The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have collaborated on a project to develop crops that can provide sufficient food in a warming world. The project involved sending Arabidopsis and Sorghum seeds into space to study the effects of cosmic radiation on accelerating the natural genetic adaptation of crops. The seeds were released from the International Space Station and have now returned to Earth for analysis at the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre in Austria. The project aims to develop crops that can adapt to climate change and boost global food security. The seeds will undergo a phytosanitary import process before analysis to minimize the risk of introducing new pests. This is the first time such a project has been conducted and initial results could be available in October 2023. The project builds on the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre’s history of using radiation to speed up plant breeding research and develop new agricultural crop varieties.
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