Cornell granted $5.5 million in federal funds to use DNA technology to improve rice production

Sen. Charles Schumer
U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) jointly announced Wednesday that Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has been granted nearly $5.5 million in federal funds to study ways genome technology can be used to improve rice output.

The funds will be allocated over four years through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant and allow researchers to determine the positive and negative DNA strands of rice in order to improve sustainability of a crop that helps feed half the world’s population.

Schumer said the NSF grant will enable the world-renowned researchers at Cornell to use cutting-edge DNA technology to study and improve our output of rice by making it more resistant to diseases and harmful substances.

“This will ensure that our farmers can produce and sell more rice to meet domestic and global demand,” Schumer said.

Cornell scientists will work to alter the traits of various crops, including rice, to create a more sustainable product that would be resistant to diseases and acidic soils. The NSF grant would also be used to develop educational materials for middle and high school students and undergraduates, as well as to train scientists on the process of genome editing

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