Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference Kicks Off in Australia

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A major international conference on agricultural biotechnology starts in Melbourne, Australia, today (August 6, 2006).The Agricultural Biotech International Conference (ABIC) brings together representatives of biotech companies, agricultural researchers and policy makers from across the world.

The theme of this conference is Unlocking the Potential of Agricultural Biotechnology. Some of the topics to be discussed include:

* Importance of biotechnology in meeting global food requirements.

* Application of agricultural biotechnology in biomedicine.

* Commercialization of innovative biotechnology.

* Practical applications of genomics to cereal crops.

* Using biotechnology to protect and enhance food supply.

* Biotechnology in developing countries.

Unlocking the potential of agricultural biotechnology is an issue that has been with us since the commercialization of the first genetically modified crop a decade ago. Developed countries, notably the U.S. and Canada, appreciate that agricultural biotechnology has been a prime mover of their economies. They have massively invested in it, effectively eclipsing the so-called conventional agriculture. The gains have been innumerable.

Farmers in these countries have almost doubled their income from cultivating genetically modified crops, that are usually high yielding and pest resistant.

In developing countries, the picture is different. Agricultural biotechnology remains a contested issue. Many developing countries would not embrace because of their distrust for the developed countries. Others have been fed with lies that agricultural biotechnology, and in particular Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), pose danger to the environment and the health of consumers.

Positive attributes of agricultural biotechnology must be played out at the Melbourne meeting for all to listen.

It’s encouraging that delegates from developing countries such as Prof. Jennifer Thomson (South Africa), Dr. Jagadish Mittur (India), and Dr. Rangsun Parnpai (Thailand) are attending this conference. They have a chance to learn firsthand how agricultural biotechnology has revolutionized the economies of such countries as the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. These delegates must explore how their countries can similarly benefit from agricultural biotechnology.

Since this is a gathering of experts in agricultural biotechnology, it’s expected that there will a productive debate on the potential of agricultural biotechnology. Delegates should conduct their deliberations with developing countries in mind. It’s here where agricultural biotechnology is in dire need.

Developing countries delegates are encouraged to view this conference as a window of opportunity to learn from as many experts as possible on the potential of agricultural biotechnology.

Once the curtains of this conference fall, delegates from developing countries must ensure that they share the lessons learnt with policy makers, scientists and farmers in their respective countries.

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Make An International Conference Call

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A lot of technological advancements in communication and broadcasting have paved the way for bringing people from across the globe closer through an international conference call. However, people have been calling internationally without so much the thought of doing it the right way to save costs. If not, their telephone bill could amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month.

On the bright side, thanks to technology and modern times, there are a lot of international calling methods that are existent nowadays than there did many years ago. The humble telephone is not anymore the only means to call someone half a world away, but there is now a new method that relies on new technology like VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP makes phone calls over the Internet possible instead of traditional long distance calls.

To effectively communicate with other people across the globe without making a hole in your wallet is fairly easy. Just like making a regular conference call, an international conference call follows the same basic principles:

(1) participants dial in to a conference call access number, (2) they enter the access code or PIN for their conference, and (3) they join the conference.

International conference calling is unique in a way that international participants need special access numbers to avoid paying expensive international call rates. If you go to the larger services providers you might get an international toll-free number to access the conference. Other providers set up local access numbers in countries where their customers normally call.

For instance, you want to hold a conference call with clients in England, Japan, and Canada and you’re located in the United States. All you need to do is dial either an international toll-free access number or a local access number. Those who use the local access number are right away connected to the central conference bridge via a global IP network.

Using a dial-out system rather than a dial-in system is another economical way of making these kinds of calls. In a dial-out system the moderator dials out to each participant individually, thus absorbing the costs of each international call.

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