Three Bridges Bar and Grill: Worthy Waterside Watering Hole

first_imgShare This!Recently, I dropped in to visit the newly-opened Three Bridges Bar and Grill at Villa del Lago, located right in the middle of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. A beautiful lakeside (well, lake-top – it’s a floating bar!) location symbolizes the metaphorical crossroads of the world, featuring flavors from Morocco, Central and South America, and more in elevated bar fare aimed towards thirsty and hungry travelers. I had a chance to sample several libations from their extensive bar menu, as well as many of their food options – let’s take a look and see how Three Bridges stacks up.The restaurant’s central bar is a focal point, with several lanterns and a mirror wall, plus requisite TVs making sure all guests are wowed by not only the location, but the décor. There’s ample seating around the bar in comfortable stools, with several more bar seats along the waterview sides of the seating area. Seating at tables and lounge areas aside from the bar is reserved, with host/hostesses using mobile phone numbers to bring you back for your table. While all of these seats are outdoors, the restaurant is well-covered and features both rain-screens and heaters for seasonal use.DrinksThree Bridges is first and foremost a bar, so it seemed like a natural start to sample several of their signature offerings. The restaurant touts three varieties of house-made sangria, alongside several signature cocktails and a wide selection of wines and beers on draft and bottles. We sampled the Rose Sangria (glass $12/pitcher $38) made with Garnacha Rose Wine, Puerto de Indias Strawberry Gin, Apricot Brandy, Raspberry, and Apple. This is a very gin and brandy forward drink, though the fruitiness is unmistakable. It tends tarter than the white and red options, but is still very refreshing and light, perfect for outdoor dining.One of the highly recommended cocktails on the menu was the Gran Gin Tonic ($13), featuring Tanqueray Gin, house-made saffron-orange tonic, and soda water. Saffron grounds the tonic and gin with an earthy note that balances out some of the sweetness of the juniper. Overall, this drink could use a dash of fresh acidity to help brighten the orange from the liqueur-like flavors of the tonic, and it was not super liquor forward, so I expect it was a fairly light pour.On the non-alcoholic front, Three Bridges features several specialty coffee options, including the Café Bombom ($4.99). This drink is sweetened condensed milk (basically nectar of the gods) topped with espresso; once stirred, it is as sweet as your favorite macchiato from the local coffee shop. It’s also as addictive – I drank this so quickly that my dining companion wondered where it had disappeared to, and I was very tempted to order another. All in all, this is a perfect nightcap or dessert replacement.On the refreshing end of the non-alcoholic drink menu, I also tried the Prickly Pear Tea Limonada ($5.49), which is Iced Tea, Odwalla Lemonade, Prickly Pear, and Lemon. This drink tends sweet, to be sure, but it was light and not cloying, plus it’s hard to beat the very instagrammable purple hue. I also loved that it was reasonably priced for a non-alcoholic drink, at only a dollar and a half more than a standard soft drink; nowadays, non-alcoholic drinks can top $9 from many restaurants and lounges, so this was a welcome change.AppetizersThe “Spreadable/Dippable/Shareable” section of the menu features snacky appetizers, perfect for the conventioneer crowd that will undoubtedly dominate the business here at this location. Wings and chips/dip (hummus and naan) are standard staples, still in theme, but Three Bridges also offers a few off-the-beaten-path options that I had to sample.First, I tried the Stuffed Mushrooms ($12), stuffed with plant-based “chorizo” and served atop smoked tomato aioli. The “chorizo” used in these mushrooms is likely the Impossible meat being used to make kefta and meatballs all around Walt Disney World restaurants these days, though it’s lacking the punch of salt, paprika, and spice you’d typically find in a spiced chorizo. The tomato aioli really has no distinct flavor, which is unfortunate; a bit of brightness from the tomato would really elevate the flavors here. Overall, the portion is a bit small considering it does not deliver strong flavors, but it is a satisfying option for non-meat eaters that those who do partake in eating meat will also likely enjoy. Ours arrived room temperature, which may have muted the flavors a bit as well.Next, I sampled the Fried Shrimp Corn Dogs ($16) served with smoked paprika fries and two dipping sauces (neither of which were ever identified, but one appeared to be a garlickly aioli, while the other was the smoked tomato aioli that still didn’t taste like much of anything). These turned out to be more batter than shrimp, and while they are fun in concept, they’re less successful in execution – they’re not quite as delicious as the lobster corn dogs from Paddlefish, and can tend towards greasy. The smoked paprika fries were a hit with the table – they disappeared before the corn dogs did (and we certainly could’ve eaten another order).Finally, we devoured the Warm Manchego and Oaxaca Cheese Dip ($13), made with chorizo, roasted poblano peppers, and served alongside tortilla chips. This, too, arrived to our at table room temperature, but the tableside squeeze of lime by the manager who brought us the food was a nice touch. The acidity from the lime did help cut through a bit of the grease and richness of the first few bites, though towards the end of the dish, the dip did start to feel a bit heavy. Overall, though, it’s a quality take on queso fundido, packed with chorizo and peppers, with an addictively-bruleed top that folks will fight over until the last bite. This is undoubtedly going to be a popular dish – it’s a huge portion of cheese dip, and our server even brought us additional chips to finish up the remains of our dip.EntreesThree Bridges classifies their more substantial dishes in a “Sandwiches/Salads/Entrees” section of their menu – keep in mind, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are entrée size, in the traditional sense, just that you’d likely not share these as you would with the appetizers above. Options include an entrée-sized salad that can be topped with steak or chicken, an open-faced skirt steak sandwich topped with a poached egg, a burger, and crispy hot chicken biscuit sliders.The first entrée I sampled was the Harissa Lamb Chops ($21), served with mint yogurt, cucumber and tomato relish, and pita. This dish comes with three small chops and a handful of pita with a spicy harissa tomato-based sauce. The lamb was well-seasoned and prepared, but the spicy sauce really took a lot of the flavor away, and required huge dollops of the mint yogurt to cool it all down. The pita was soaked in the sauce and the juice from the lamb, which meant it was tasty but also a little soggy. Your mileage may vary as to whether this dish is truly worth the $21 price tag – it’s always nice to see well-made lamb on a menu, but it may be a little steep for three chops.On the true entrée side of the menu, the braised pork tacos ($13) are a relative value for the amount of food on the plate. Served in what seemed like house-made blue corn soft tortillas, topped with radish and carrot slaw, a salsa verde, and Cotija cheese, these tacos were packed with pork and very filling. I found the pork to be a tad tough, but smoky, sweet with a tad hint of pepperiness all complemented by the acidity in the salsa verde and the slaw on top. Alongside these three tacos came more dipping sauce (still unknown!) and a side of either fruit or the smoked paprika fries (you’ll want the fries, just trust me). This was a substantial plate of food – easily a full meal for a hungry adult, and a bargain at the current price, which I expect will go up.Overall, the two entrees I sampled varied highly in terms of value, but both were excellent in quality; I’d come back for either of these two dishes, and can’t wait to try the burger and biscuit sliders, as those are sure to be very popular options, as well.DessertsThe dessert menu is short and sweet at Three Bridges – literally! Diners have two options, so I sampled both, but I’ll spoil the ending for you – I’d stick with coffee or a drink for a dessert here. I was not wowed by either option, though both will satisfy your sweet tooth.First up, the Vanilla Custard Mickey Tart ($8) served with compressed pineapple and tropical sorbet. The presentation is upscale cutesy, but unfortunately, very little of the vanilla flavor shone through in the custard here, making this a bland dessert. The sorbet was similarly lacking, but the real star of the dish, which made it worth even picking at, was the compressed pineapple. Think of the ripest, juiciest, sweetest, freshest pineapple you’ve ever tasted, and these little nuggets of fruit are better. I wouldn’t order this plate just to try those, but you’ll definitely fight over the last of these pineapple pieces if you do.Finally, we tried the restaurant’s signature churros ($9), covered in Espelette pepper sugar and served alongside a chocolate dipping sauce. Served warm, these were clearly made in house (and incredibly fresh), but they were lacking in the pepper sugar department – most of our churros were naked! The chocolate sauce was pretty simple – melted dark chocolate with a tad bit of sweetener. The sauce was on the thin side, but it still did the trick in gussying up the otherwise bland churros.Overall ThoughtsFor two hungry adults, or a family of three or four, Three Bridges will ultimately be an expensive night out if you are looking to eat a full meal – our bill for all of the above was just about $150, pre-tip, with a 10% Annual Passholder discount (DVC also accepted; no Tables in Wonderland discount just yet). However, I was impressed with the quality of the entrees and a few of the appetizers so much that I’ll definitely be back; it’s clear they know how to make food well here, and with all of the dishes being made in their own scratch kitchen, a lot of effort is going into making this place a success.I expect the menu will shift a few of the existing options off in the coming weeks as the tastes of the resort’s mix of heavy conventioneer and family traffic makes their interests more well-known. In the meantime, the current options at Three Bridges at Villa del Lago are excellent, and well worth a visit on your next trip to Coronado Springs.Does Three Bridges sound like an addition to your dining around Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

Canonical Ubuntu One Music Service Goes Into Public Beta

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#cloud#cloud computing Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… alex williams We store music on iTunes despite its stringent DRM, preventing us from freely sharing music. But like any innovation in the marketplace, it takes time for us to determine what is acceptable and what is not. The promise of cloud computing and the ability to store limitless amounts of music may perhaps be that turning point. But it could also mark a more stringent time than we have ever known.Canonical has unveiled the public beta of its Ubuntu One music store that gives a glimpse of what cloud computing may offer as an alternative to storing music on our hard drives or a proprietary service like iTunes. This is new territory. As Canonical point out, integrating a cloud service like Ubuntu One with buying music is new for digital music stores.Ubuntu One serves as a desktop music service that stores the music in the cloud and syncs it with your computer. It allows someone to purchase music and then store it in their Ubuntu One account. Ubuntu One also serves as a service to store other kinds of information such as images or documents.The service will go live in late April to coincide with Ubuntu’s new release. In the meantime, Canonical is looking for beta testers to give it a try. Helpful infomation is on the Popey blog:As with everything in Ubuntu Lucid, the developers are keen to get people testing the store before Lucid is shipped at the end of April. If you’re running Ubuntu Lucid either on bare metal or inside a Virtual Machine, it would help greatly if you could take some time to test this new functionality. So far only a very limited number of beta testers have been using the store, so opening up the store to public scrutiny should generate plenty of feedback to the developers.These are the early days of music services that allows you to purchase, store music in the cloud and sync with your computer or smartphone And it comes with definite kinks. The Ubuntu One service is free for up to 2 gigabytes of storage. If you go beyond that you start to pay. That could happen pretty quickly as people can use the service to store any kind of information they want.Plus, there are the copyright laws that have had to be taken into consideration for the service. Music, in some respects, defines how we view the ways we store information. Music is deeply personal. We want easy access to it. We want it always to be there. Cloud services may provide this capability but they also run the risk of acting as walled gardens that can be controlled perhaps even more easily than a service like iTunes.center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

To feed its 1.4 billion, China bets big on genome editing of crops

first_img Gao’s first CRISPR success—her proof-of-principle editing of plant DNA—was with rice, which has a genome one-eighth the size of the one in humans. But she soon tackled wheat, which has six sets of chromosomes and a genome nearly six times larger than the human one. In a tour de force experiment published in Nature Biotechnology in July 2014, Gao’s group showed how either TALEN or the much simpler CRISPR could cripple production of a protein that makes wheat susceptible to powdery mildew, a fungal disease that extensively damages harvests. With conventional breeding, “that would have been a nightmare, if not impossible,” Lippman says, because wheat has six copies of the key gene, and knocking out all of them would have taken multiple generations.CRISPR can easily modify several genes in one step, and it is faster and simpler than TALEN. But CRISPR has its limits: In a paper in the 19 April issue of Science, Gao’s lab showed that one popular CRISPR variation called base editors makes many unintended “off-target” mutations. And although CRISPR efficiently knocks out existing genes, putting many plant traits within its reach, it can’t efficiently add new genes. “We are not so good at it,” Gao says. No one is. Gao notes her lab succeeds only about 1% of the time, but it—and the rest of the plant CRISPR world—is trying to improve those odds.CRISPR researchers are also looking for easier ways to get the components of the genome editor—typically two or more genes—through the tough walls that protect plant cells. For now, scientists depend on cumbersome injection devices known as gene guns or on growing specialized plant-infecting bacteria to deliver the CRISPR apparatus. But China’s new acquisition, Syngenta, may have a more elegant approach. Its North Carolina unit has engineered corn pollen to deliver the CRISPR machinery into cells, where it makes an edit and then disappears. Preliminary evidence, reported in the April issue of Nature Biotechnology, shows the strategy works in wheat and a few vegetable species.Most of all, scientists still need to identify the right genes to manipulate, says geneticist Catherine Feuillet, who previously headed crop science at Bayer and now is chief scientific officer of Inari Agriculture, a startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (The firm has licensed Lippman’s technology and he is a consultant.) Changing a single gene to control pests or a fungus has been the “bread and butter of biotech,” Feuillet says, but multiple genes—often unidentified—affect prized traits such as yield, drought tolerance, or the ability to survive without agrochemicals. “The person who can predict that ‘if you do this edit, this is the performance you have’ is the winner of the whole game,” Feuillet says. STEFEN CHOW This story, the first in a series on CRISPR in China, was supported by the Pulitzer Center.BEIJING AND DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA—If Gao Caixia were a farmer, she might be spread a little thin. Down the hall from her office at a branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) here in Beijing, seeds from a strain of unusually soft rice and a variety of wheat with especially fat grains and resistance to a common fungus sprout in a tissue culture room. A short stroll away, wild tomato plants far hardier than domestic varieties but bearing the same sweet fruit crowd a greenhouse, along with herbicide-resistant corn and potatoes that are slow to brown when cut. In other lab rooms Gao grows new varieties of lettuce, bananas, ryegrass, and strawberries.But Gao isn’t a farmer, and that cornucopia isn’t meant for the table—not yet, anyway. She is a plant scientist working at the leading edge of crop improvement. Every one of those diverse crops has been a target for conventional plant breeders, who have slowly and painstakingly worked to endow them with traits to make them more productive, nutritious, or hardy. But Gao is improving them at startling speeds by using the genome editor CRISPR.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Gao is one face of the Chinese government’s bet that CRISPR can transform the country’s food supply. A natural bacterial immune system, CRISPR was turned into a powerful genome editor just a few years ago in U.S. and European labs. Yet today, China publishes twice as many CRISPR-related agricultural papers as the second-place country, the United States. The explanation? “Because I’m here,” jokes Gao, who punctuates much of her speech with robust, giddy, infectious laughter.In August 2013, her group modified plant DNA with CRISPR, a first, and the 50-year-old researcher has since written three dozen publications that describe using the genome editor on various crops. Daniel Voytas, a plant geneticist at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul who invented an earlier genome-editing system and who has also adopted CRISPR, says Gao is an “outstanding cell biologist [who] jumped on CRISPR early on and has just been riding the crest of the wave.” Syngenta Beijing Innovation Center A researcher who works with Gao Caixia plants CRISPR-modified wheat in a Beijing greenhouse. Gao Caixia and her team grow gene-edited wheat, including strains engineered to resist a common fungal disease, in this experimental station in Beijing. STEFEN CHOW By using CRISPR to disable the gene for an enzyme that degrades the cell wall in fruits, Syngenta is developing an edited tomato (right) that has prolonged shelf life. STEFEN CHOW Did CRISPR help—or harm—the first-ever gene-edited babies? Whatever the outcome of China’s regulatory decision, it won’t address CRISPR’s own limitations, especially for changing crop traits influenced by multiple genes. “We still have to tackle a lot of those challenges,” Voytas says. But he expects China’s major academic and industrial push into CRISPR to pay off in improved techniques as well as new crops. “China definitely has the foundation to contribute and make discoveries on those frontiers, particularly now that such a big investment has been made.”Gao doesn’t have a farming background, and as a teenager she did not dream of becoming a plant scientist. “If I said that, I’d be lying,” Gao says, laughing again.High school students in China take a standard exam, the gaokao, and their performance leads to offers in specific majors at specific universities. “I thought it would be very nice to be a doctor, but I was not really at that level,” Gao says. She was offered a slot at an agricultural university. “I thought that was fine because otherwise I’d be quite embarrassed to go back to high school for another year to take the exam again.”Whatever the downsides of an educational system that puts the country’s needs above individual desires, it has helped build a strong agriculture research community for China. And the nation backs it with money. In 2013, the most recent year for which USDA has comparative figures, China’s public funding of agricultural research approached $10 billion—more than twice what the U.S. government spent—and it supported more than 1100 agricultural research institutes. “I of course need to apply for all my grants, but the percentage of my proposals that get funded seems higher than the rest of the world,” Gao says.Gao did not immediately embrace CRISPR after reading the landmark study in June 2012 that showed how to transform the bacterial system into a tool for altering genomes. Her lab at the time was having steady success with a more cumbersome genome editor, transcription activatorlike effector nuclease (TALEN), the system Voytas invented. “We had knocked out more than 100 genes with TALEN, and we were so proud of it,” Gao says. “And you think, ‘a new technology, arrrgh, should we try it or not?’” Although Gao, Bei, and the rest of China’s CRISPR plant community are ready to unleash a bounty of edited crops, their government first has to clarify its regulatory policies. Many agricultural industry observers think it’s waiting to see how the public reacts in the United States as companies there tiptoe into that future. In February, Calyxt—a Minneapolis, Minnesota, company that Voytas co-founded—brought to the U.S. market the first gene-edited food product, a “healthier” soybean oil created with TALEN that it sells to the food industry. Calyno oil, the company boasts, has zero trans fats, 80% oleic acid, and “three times the fry life and extended shelf life.”Corteva, of Wilmington, Delaware, will likely bring the first CRISPR crop to market, and it, too, is far from one that will help feed the world. Corteva—DowDuPont’s agricultural arm, now rebranded with a consumer-friendly name—deleted a gene in order to improve what’s known as waxy corn, which industry uses to make shiny paper and to thicken food. Neal Gutterson, Corteva’s chief technology officer, says the company hopes its new, even waxier corn will help the public become more comfortable with the concept of CRISPR-altered food. “People don’t like the combination of technology and food in the same sentence, certainly not in the same phrase,” he says.For Corteva, Syngenta, and the other two big ag companies—BASF and Bayer (which acquired Monsanto last year)—the long game is to use CRISPR to develop better versions of their serious moneymakers, the “elite” varieties of a wide range of crops that have big commercial markets. They sell dozens of kinds of elite corn seeds—for example, inbred strains that consistently have high yields or reliable resistance to herbicides. Creating the genetic purity needed for an elite variety typically takes traditional breeding of many generations of plants, and CRISPR is seen as the cleanest way to improve them quickly. The earlier methods of engineering a plant can lead to unwanted genomic changes that must be laboriously culled.The Chinese government signaled it would back modern genome editing of plants in a 5-year plan issued in 2016, and to many observers the purchase of Syngenta confirmed that. “They have had a plan for years now, and I think the Syngenta acquisition was part of that plan at the outset,” says food scientist Rodolphe Barrangou, a pioneering CRISPR researcher who previously headed genomics R&D at DuPont and now is at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The untold story of the ‘circle of trust’ behind the world’s first gene-edited babies STEFEN CHOW Technicians in a lab run by Gao Caixia pick immature embryos from wheat seeds so they can edit their genomes with CRISPR. But she is far from alone in China. Her team is one of 20 groups there seeking to use CRISPR to modify crop genes. “All the labs use CRISPR for basic research,” Gao says. “They cannot live without CRISPR.” China also expanded its efforts beyond its borders in 2017, when the state-owned company ChemChina bought Switzerland-based Syngenta—one of the world’s four largest agribusinesses, which has a large R&D team working with CRISPR—for $43 billion. That was the most China has ever spent on acquiring a foreign company, and it created an intimate relationship between government, industry, and academia—a “sort of a ménage à trois” that ultimately could funnel intellectual property from university labs into the company, says plant geneticist Zachary Lippman of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.Chinese leaders “want to strategically invest in genome editing, and [by that] I mean, catch up,” says Zhang Bei, who heads a team of 50 scientists at the Syngenta Beijing Innovation Center and works closely with a sister R&D facility in Durham. “And they also want to be the global leader as well in this area.”China may one day need CRISPR-modified plants to provide enough food for its massive population, notes rice researcher Li Jiayang, former president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing and vice minister of agriculture. “We have to feed 1.4 billion people with very limited natural resources,” says Li, who works at the same CAS campus as Gao, the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology. “We want to get the highest yield of production with the least input on the land from fertilizers and pesticides, and breed supervarieties that are pest and disease resistant as well as drought and salt tolerant. All this means we need to find the key genes and to work with them.”Before the harvest of that effort can move from labs to farms and tables, however, China needs to resolve how it will regulate CRISPR-engineered crops—a divisive issue in many countries. In a 2018 decision that rocked big agriculture, a European court ruled that such crops are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that need strict regulation. In contrast, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) exempts genome-edited plants from regulations covering GMOs as long as they were produced not by transferring DNA from other species, but by inducing mutations that could have occurred naturally or through conventional breeding.Chinese consumers are wary of GM food. The country strictly limits the import of GM crops, and the only GM food it grows are papayas for domestic consumption. But for CRISPR, many plant researchers around the world, Lippman included, assume China will follow in the United States’s footsteps. China’s CRISPR push in animals promises better meat, novel therapies, and pig organs for people Barrangou suggests the Chinese government is reticent about how it will regulate CRISPR-modified plants for strategic reasons. “In terms of gamesmanship, is it not possible that they will make the announcement when they’re ready to give the green light at the same time with their own products?”It’s too soon to say which CRISPR crop Syngenta will try to take to market first if China gives the green light, says Wu Gusui, who heads seed research at the company’s North Carolina facility. “It could be tomato, could be corn, depending on the progress of the next 2 or 3 years.” But he says Syngenta sees CRISPR-modified corn as a big opportunity in China, which grows more hectares of corn than any other crop. Yields per hectare are only 60% of those in the United States because corn ear worms often weaken Chinese crops. A fungus thrives in the weakened plants, producing a toxin that makes the resultant ears unfit for animal feed. As a result, China must import a great deal of corn. (According to USDA, 82% of U.S.-grown corn has been engineered to have a bacterial gene that makes it resistant to ear worms.)CRISPR could allow Syngenta to quickly modify the corn genomes to introduce insect resistance or other traits, bolstering China’s food supply while transforming agribusiness there. The country’s seed marketplace has some 3000 companies, and none has more than a 10% share of corn, Wu says. “Syngenta is putting a lot of emphasis to grow in China to become the leading seed company. The China market as a whole, if it modernizes as the U.S. has modernized, can be as big as the U.S. market.”Gao has her own contenders to be China’s first CRISPR crops: different kinds of aromatic rice—“it’s easy to make and very popular,” she says—and wheat that’s resistant to powdery mildew. Regardless of which crops make it to farmers first, Gao says, they likely will arrive long before any CRISPR-derived medical treatment reaches a doctor’s office or an animal product comes to market. Crops may have a lower profile, but the research also presents fewer risks and ethical dilemmas. Propelled by China’s vast investment, it is also much further along.Just ask Gao. If Chinese regulators do open the door for CRISPR-engineered food, how long would it take before something in one of her culture rooms or greenhouses might be ready for planting on a commercial farm? “Six months,” she says. “That’s why we work with CRISPR.”And Gao doesn’t laugh when she says that. CRISPR in China Read more from our special series. With its CRISPR revolution, China becomes a world leader in genome editing To feed its 1.4 billion, China bets big on genome editing of crops Gao Caixia’s team grows CRISPR-modified rice strains in experimental paddies near its lab in Beijing. By Jon CohenJul. 29, 2019 , 8:00 AMlast_img read more

Stephen Fleming biography revives Aushim Khetrapal’s match-fixing woes

first_imgEPISODE 2: Fleming has Khetrapal on the backfootAushim Khetrapal protests his innocence a little too loudly. “I am off sports. I am into films and production, which are more exciting. Stephen Fleming has made the charges only to gain publicity for his book.They are rubbish,” he rants. It was pure,EPISODE 2: Fleming has Khetrapal on the backfootAushim Khetrapal protests his innocence a little too loudly. “I am off sports. I am into films and production, which are more exciting. Stephen Fleming has made the charges only to gain publicity for his book.They are rubbish,” he rants. It was pure deja vu for 42-year-old Khetrapal, who in his new avatar as actor-cum producer still cannot shake off allegations of cricket match fixing which had made him more famous than a stuttering Bollywood career ever could.In 1999, former England all-rounder Chris Lewis and New Zealand captain Fleming separately alleged that sports promoter Khetrapal had offered them Pound 300,000 to act as conduits to fix an England-New Zealand Test match in Manchester. At the time, Khetrapal, who ran Radiant Sports Management, had called a press conference and vehemently denied the allegations to clear his name. Five years on, in 2004, it was virtually a repeat performance or as he would probably want it known, Khetrapal: The Sequel. In a story that made international headlines, Richard Boock’s biography of Fleming, Balance of Power, recounts the incident featuring the sports promoter and names names. At a hastily convened press meet in Delhi, Khetrapal stuck to the same tune. Khetrapal maintains he met Fleming in the bar of the Holiday Inn in Leicester and again the next morning and left behind his numbers and visiting card.Fleming’s account of the meeting states that Khetrapal claimed there were people he could call all over the world to give insider information on cricket. He offered to pay the cricketer Pound 200,000 upfront and another Pound 100,000 within a year if he joined the syndicate.”Enough is enough. It is time I brought out my side of the story and I intend to publish my book to counter all these charges,” Khetrapal exclaims.”Khetrapal said he would pay me Euro 200,000 straight up.”Stephen Fleming, in his biography Balance Of PowerWaving a dogeared, spiral bound manuscript titled I Dare, Khetrapal promises that a book is coming, written in record time. “It contains episodes of match-fixing, and the row over sponsorship and telecast rights.”Brushing aside threats of legal action, the publishers of Fleming’s book have said they were okay with what has been published. Publisher Kevin Chapman and managing director Hodder Moa Beckett said that Balance Of Power had undergone the regular legal checks. “We did not think it was particularly problematic from the legal point of view,”Chapman was quoted as saying. “Stephen has been incredibly consistent … He recorded it all at the time and took good advice.”The controversy has its origins in August 1999 when Khetrapal says he went to England to organise a benefit match for Punjab Cricket Association secretary M.P. Pandove and met Fleming as the Kiwis were due to tour India. advertisementDeja vu for Aushim KhetrapalKhetrapal also claims that before this, he had met a news agent called Kamlesh Patel who fixed the meeting with Lewis, whom Khetrapal invited to act as coordinator for a benefit match which would feature either an England XI or a Rest of the World team.Lewis’ story, later sold to tabloid News of the World for Pound 40,000, was, again, different. He alleged that Khetrapal had tried to persuade him to throw the Manchester Test and asked him to offer similar amounts to England cricketers Alec Stewart and Alan Mullaly for dropping catches and bowling wides respectively. When Lewis refused Khetrapal, said the paper, he contacted Fleming. Five years on, other facts have come to light. Travelling on the same flight to London with Khetrapal and staying in the same hotel in Leicester was Mumbai-based film financier Jagdish Sodha. Sodha’s name featured prominently in the recent corruption case involving Kenyan cricket captain Maurice Odumbe, who was then banned. Neither Sodha nor Khetrapal deny knowing each other.”Yes, I was there. But I was on business,” said Sodha from Mumbai. The ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit detectives, who revisited the case, charged Sodha with using Khetrapal as a “front” in his attempts to fix players.Says one, “The material evidence was weak. It was one person’s word against the other … therefore, we did not pursue it.” Scotland Yard had also tried to establish links between betting syndicates that had contacted Lewis and those that had dealt with former South African captain Hansie Cronje. They arrested and questioned three Indians based in London, Kamlesh Patel (the same news agent Khetrapal said he had met), Jayendra Patel and Peter Patel, for their alleged role in recruiting England players to fix matches.Khetrapal will wait for Fleming’s book before deciding on his line of action. Does he believe that match fixing exists in cricket? “Let’s not be hypocritical. You know as much as I do what happens,” he says. That is telling.advertisementlast_img read more

Sreenath Arvind replaces injured Milne in RCB squad

first_imgRoyal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Adam Milne, who is out with an injury, was on Wednesday replaced by Sreenath Arvind.The technical committee of the Indian Premier League (IPL) approved the change on Wednesday.This will be Arvind’s second stint with RCB. The left-handed paceman was part of the RCB squad in the 2011 and 2012 seasons and was their highest wicket-taker in 2011 with 21 scalps in 13 games.The technical committee consists of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur, Sourav Dasgupta, Subir Ganguly, Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri.last_img read more