Wageningen Agricultural University is neglecting its central task of developing sustainable crop systems and is running the risk of becoming a general university, wrote five WAU professors in a discussion paper this summer. The Plant Production Sector in the university has developed two research institutes in Experimental Plant Sciences and Production Ecology, but as a result the links between ecological and molecular research have weakened, explains agronomist Prof. Paul Struik, one of the authors of the discussion paper. He feels it is necessary to reflect on how to reach the university's mission of establishing sustainable agricultural systems. Chairman of the Plant Science Production Sector Prof. Rudie Rabbinge says the research institutes have been established for this goal.
Nutricia has launched baby food with a unique composition of fats produced through molecular engineering. It is the first product of this nature on the Dutch market. Nutricia is not worried about receiving emotional responses from consumers who don't want to eat products which are produced through modern biotechnology. The company has used DNA from a specific fungus in another fungus, to produce a special saturated fatty acid.
About 750 students have had their introduction week at the university. The theme this year was Infinite. A week of a house music and an overload of activity at the four student unions resulted in very little sleep for participants. More than three hundred students have become members of one of the unions so far.
Good financial news: the university managed to improve its new financial administration system so that the departments can once again control their budgets. The new system, called Millennium, suffered from various technical glitches. As a result, the departments have not been able to establish the costs and earnings of their research projects since January 1st of this year.