Will work for cash

Will work for cash

Three years ago, at the 3rd Plant-Based Vaccines & Antibodies meeting in Verona , I proposed what I thought was a novel idea to move the field of “pharming” forward.  With Andres Wigdorovitz from Buenos Aires in Argentina, I suggested that companies in the USA and Europe could advance their recombinant plant-produced biologicals product development very significantly by investing in research groups in countries like Argentina and South Africa, where the science was essentially on par with northern countries, but personnel and facilities cost far less.  Moreover, the regulatory and ethical frameworks are often as sophisticated as those of developed countries, and according to the most recent annual report of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAAA), in fact developing countries are among the leading proponents of the use of GM plants.  Read more

Blue Sky funding

Blue Sky funding

I read "an article in The Scientist ":http://the-scientist.com/2011/10/17/nih-grants-funding-drops/ on funding with a little cynical laugh the other day. It described how “The success rate of the government agency’s grant applications has hit an all-time low” – of 17.4% of all applications. That’s just under one in five: consider, then, that a recent call by South Africa’s National Research Foundation for 40 prestigious Research Chairs in local universities was over-subscribed by at least 10 to 1 – and that was with pre-screening by the institutions. Another call for “blue sky” projects for rated researchers – open to all 2,300-odd such people  … Read more