Wetenschap - 6 maart 1997

English Summary

English Summary

English Summary
  • The DLO counterparts of the Wageningen social scientists are located in The Hague, at the Institute of Agricultural Economics (LEI). Director Vinus Zacchariasse has developed a portfolio of contract research, on the basis of economic data from Dutch farmers. The clients will get the results they ask for: We work from the client's point of view. If other organisations are not satisfied with the results of the study, they can also do a research project at the LEI. The LEI turns down requests for research from organisations whose work, in their opinion, is detrimental to Dutch agriculture
  • Scottish scientists have managed to develop Dolly, the first sheep clone. They took genetic information from an udder cell of a six-year old sheep and placed it in an embryo cell. Until five years ago animal breeding researchers at the WAU and DLO institutes were also engaged in unravelling the mysteries of cloning. Research was stopped however, after discussion of the ethical aspects. The scientists are now involved in genetic research on animal health now, but would be easily capable of picking up the cloning technique again. It might be useful for the production of medicines for humans in genetically modified animals
  • The Dutch government has come up with a new procedure to decrease the harmful impact of the large amounts of animal manure released into the environment. Farmers will have register the quantities of minerals entering and leaving the farm. In addition, farmers will have to pay fines if the intake of minerals on the farm is greater than the registered manure emissions. However, strong opposition from the farmers has led to government easing of the regulation, according to WAU sociologist and manure expert Jaap Frouws. He is surprised that the farmers even go as far as registering the burps and farts produced by cows - a source of nitrogen emission - in order to reduce the quantities of manure loss manure in the environment. It's just ridiculous fiddling around.
  • Students have to finish studying more quickly these days as the grant system has become more restricted. In order to improve the exam results universities have had to extend the tutoring system. Most university freshmen are in favour of this, but other students argue that universities may become too like schools, especially as Dutch secondary schools are also currently trying to improve pupils' ability to study more independently

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