Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Seed Withdrawal

Researchers are about to make the first withdrawal from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the Verge reports.

The vault contains seeds from some 4,000 species or 860,000 total seeds as protection against a global disaster. This first withdrawal is in response to a request from researchers in the Middle East who are seeking to replace seeds that had been stored in war-torn Aleppo, Syria, Reuters says.

"Protecting the world's biodiversity in this manner is precisely the purpose of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault," Brian Lainoff, a spokesperson for trust that runs the vault, tells Reuters.

The International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), which fled Aleppo for Beirut in 2012, requested 130 boxes — it deposited some 325 in the vault — many of which contain samples from drought-resistant plants and crops, the Verge notes. Reuters adds that these plants' traits could help breed ones to withstand the effects of climate change in dry regions of Africa and Australia.

Once the paperwork is done, the seeds will be sent to ICARDA, the Verge adds.

Filed under

The Scan

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.

Active Lifestyle Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in People at High Genetic Risk

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that an active lifestyle goes a long way in type 2 diabetes prevention.

Beneficial, Harmful Effects of Introgression Between Wild and Domesticated European Grapes

A paper in PNAS shows that European wild grapevines were an important resource for improving the flavor of cultivated wine grapes.

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.