Archive for 2016

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Opinion on the Regulation of Targeted Mutagenesis in Plant Breeding

Since the early 1990s techniques of induced mutagenesis targeted by biotechnological processes have been developed.
Targeted mutations obtained are of great interest for plant breeding as they can accelerate the creation of varieties of interest and therefore reduce costs associated with it.
In a regulatory landscape still confused at the European level, and in the absence of hindsight on concrete data from the field, the two French Academies in their opinion voted on July 7, 2016 call public authorities permit the development of the experiments in progress, including field experiments, and to use their results in order to prepare a regulatory framework which incorporates both biomonitoring and technical advances that these new technologies may provide.

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How we perceive risk factors

In their new Academic Report, the National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) – recalling that their motto is ‘Sharing reasoned, chosen Progress – analyses the question of how we perceive risks that accompany any form of innovation. The Report acknowledges the controversies that surround certain applications of science and certain technological innovations and raises the implicit political issue of the ‘city’s project’ and its objectives: what do we wish to do collectively with new knowledge and powers conferred by science and technology?

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The National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) has been led to the conclusion – following in-depth studies on recent results due to introduction of new technologies in the complex area of health issues and their interactions with foodstuffs and feeding – that there are emerging generations of new products that underscore the importance of this sector to the French economy. NATF would strongly welcome a modification of existing rules and regulations that would enhance and accelerate their development.

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Joint Academic Report and Recommendations in regard to implementing Next Generation Genome (NGS) Sequencing techniques in France

Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, which allow high speed automated DNA sequencing, DNA sequence analysis and comparisons using big data algorithms are being used more and more in medical diagnosis, to provide prognosis information and for choosing a treatment that best fits the patient. 

The French “Académie nationale de médecine” (ANM) and “Académie des technologies” (NATF) jointly stress the scientific and medical importance of these technologies and call for bringing together strengths of the national computer science industry and the medical community in a public-private consortium in order to build a Demonstrator and Centre network filling up the growing gap between France and the most advanced countries in this field with great potential. They underline also common pitfalls which need to be addressed in technic, legal, economic, education and ethics issues, in order to make this complex project a success.

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Biodiversity and land-planning policies

Biodiversity and land-planning policies: local and global aspects, specifics and generalities
Academic Advice Note adopted by vote in the NATF at its Dec.9, 2015 Plenary session
The National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) recommends that dynamic management policies in favour of biodiversity be included in land planning schemes.