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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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Good News for Imperiled Russian Seed Bank
10 September 2010 4:45 pm
The Pavlovsk Experimental Station, a major Russian seed bank threatened by development, has received a partial reprieve.
Located outside St. Petersburg, the station contains more than 6000 varieties of fruits and berries in its fields. Most aren't found anywhere else and must be grown, rather than saved as seed, to be preserved. On 11 August, a court approved the transfer of 71 hectares of fields to the Russian Housing Development Foundation to be auctioned off. It had previously ordered the transfer of a separate 19-hectare plot with varieties of forage plants.
Scientists objected strongly, and President Dmitry Medvedev ordered a review of the decisions. Officials from the Russian Accounts Chamber and the Housing Foundation visited the station late last month. On 8 September, the station announced that the foundation had decided to postpone the auction for the forage plot until October. In the meantime, the foundation will form an independent, international commission to assess the uniqueness of the plant specimens. The station says it could receive up to 7 years to relocate forage plants if the auction goes ahead.
"It's a positive step, and we are grateful that the authorities have chosen to listen to the scientific community and provide a more transparent process," said Cary Fowler of the Global Crop Diversity Trust in a statement released today. Fowler remains concerned about the fate of the more important fruit and berry collection.