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Food security news

When the first flowers appeared around 130 million years ago, it marked a revolution in plant reproduction. But it’s sometimes easy to forget how sophisticated they are, and how important they are to our everyday lives.

An ongoing outbreak of swine fever in China – home to more than half the world’s hogs – has led to a cull of more than 24,000 pigs. Pork is the principal source of dietary protein in China, the Korean peninsula and in many regions of Southeast Asia, and this highly contagious disease, capable of killing any pig it infects, is a significant threat to livelihoods across the region.

Scientists from The Pirbright Institute’s Vaccine Differentiation group have recently returned from Chennai in India, where they conducted a mass peste des petits ruminants (PPR) vaccination campaign and awareness programme. The trip marked the end of a four year collaborative project that has successfully uncovered important details about the PPR virus and generated tools to help eradicate the disease.