Seeds of Hope - Past, Present & Future of Agriculture
To feed an estimated 10 billion people by 2050, more food than has been produced in history will need to be made on a shrinking amount of land and resources required for agriculture. Humans, thus, will need every science tool at their disposal - including genetic engineering - to feed them.
In this lecture, Prof. Bob Goldberg, a UCLA plant molecular biologist, will discuss the origins of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in agriculture some 10,000 years ago, their current major advances, and their future in leading a new science-driven "green revolution" with high-yielding crops. Those crops now have been engineered for pest resistance, improved nutritional quality, herbicide tolerance, and male-fertility control. Many of these engineered crops have led to a reduced input of chemicals into the environment, increased yields, and a reduction in soil erosion, as well as offering hope to malnourished children with the production of vitamin A-enhanced rice.
Prof. Goldberg, who uses genomics to identify all of the genes required to "make a seed," is currently a Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at UCLA, joining its faculty in 1976. He received his doctorate in Plant Genetics from the University of Arizona and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. Goldberg served as Director of the Plant Genetics Program at the USDA and was the Founding Editor of The Plant Cell, the leading journal in the area of plant biology. He has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences and is currently on the Board of Agriculture - an arm of the National Research Council that advises Congress and the President on agricultural policy. Committed to undergraduate teaching and public science education, Goldberg has received numerous awards for his novel teaching approaches, and his class on Genetic Engineering & Society was named as one of the top ten "hottest classes" in America. He was listed as one of the "Top Fifteen Professors" in UCLA history and by Newsweek as one of America's "Great Professors."
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