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The Race to Breed Better Rice

A new super rice may increase yield of rice crops around the world.


Many of us in the West don't understand the science behind growing rice. But international research journal, Rice Science sponsored by China National Rice Research Institute is dedicated to rice research and carries articles on things like dynamic changes in japonica rice and research findings on rice under water-deficit stress.

Water deficit as it turns out is ruining rice crops across the world. According to an article today by John Berthelsen in The Asia Sentinel


Water deficiency – drought – has been the single biggest limit in rain-fed rice fields, with drought at the early stages of growth causing delayed transplant or delayed germination. Drought at the reproductive stage also slows growth, according to a variety of papers made available by Dr Jauhar Ali, a senior scientist and regional project coordinator for the Development of Green Super Rice at IRRI in Los Banos, south of Manila, resulting in low and unstable rice productivity. Also, IR8 (semi-dwarf variety) yields have dropped by about 15 percent as hotter nights produced by climate change impede growth, according to Dr Shaobing Peng, an International Rice Research Institute research scientist.

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YaleGlobal summarized the Sentinel Article:

New research from Asia has produced strains of rice that can withstand a range of disease, soil and weather conditions. Developed over 12 years, the process “holds out the hope of a scientific method of increasing yields of other crops, making them hardier and more resistant to disease and insects and cutting the use of fertilizers and pesticides without resorting to genetic modification,”

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Food security is becoming a major political issue around the world and this new research and the creation of a Green Super Rice could challenge genetic-modification methods as well as hike rice yields.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

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Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture

In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

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Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

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