Aug 27, 2010
Here’s an article that might hint at “wheat”-gathering coming soon to a church and nation near you!
Scientists: We’ve cracked wheat’s genetic code
By Raphael Satter, Associated Press Writer – August 27, 2010
LONDON – British scientists have decoded the genetic sequence of wheat — one of the world’s oldest and most important crops — a development they hope could help the global staple meet the challenges of climate change, disease and population growth.
Wheat is grown across more of the world’s farmland than any other cereal, and researchers said Friday they’re posting its genetic code to the Internet in the hope that scientists can use it as a tool to improve farmers’ harvests. One academic in the field called the discovery “a landmark.”
“The wheat genome is the holy grail of plant genomes,” said Nick Talbot, a professor of biosciences at the University of Exeter who wasn’t involved in the research. “It’s going to really revolutionize how we breed it.” …Wheat is a relative latecomer to the world of genetic sequencing. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the date the human genome was laid bare. Other crops have had their genetic codes unscrambled within the past few years — rice in 2005, corn in 2009, and soybeans earlier this year.
The reason for the delay in analyzing wheat’s genetic code, Hall said, was that the code is massive — far larger than corn or rice and five times the length of the one carried by humans. …Alexander Evans, an expert in resource scarcity issues at New York University, welcomed the announcement as something that would “very helpful” in getting farmers to grow “food that will meet those challenges.”
But, as one British paper hailed the announcement as the most significant breakthrough in wheat farming for 10 millennia, Evans warned against putting too much faith in genetics, saying that reforming the politics and economics of food distribution was easily as important.
“We have to be very careful about saying that science will feed the world,” he said. END OF ARTICLE EXCERPTS. All underlining emphasis was mine-JWB. The complete article is here. (Link is no longer valid.)
It ought to be humbling to man that the lowly wheat grain’s genome is five times the length of man’s! Professor Evans is right on target when he speaks of the need to reform the politics and economics of food distribution. However, I would not be surprised if he and I differed on precisely how they should be reformed. I favor the politics and economics of God’s jubilee and Stone Kingdom system, which is part of our current lecture series, Mystery Babylon and the Stone Kingdom.
The Bible has much to say about wheat. It is historically, of course, one of the world’s great grain crops. But more than that, it is one of the key symbols in the Bible. It represents the portion of the church who are non-overcomers (the majority). In the Old Testament, King Saul was crowned king on the day of wheat harvest. The wheat is in contrast to the barley which symbolizes the overcomers.
Dr. Stephen Jones wrote a wonderful book some years ago called The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost. It is 56 pages long and available from us for $3 plus $4 shipping and handling (Yes, with you, we are dismayed that the shipping costs more than the book, but Alas, Babylon…) I don’t think I have it listed in our online bookstore, but you can just send us an email requesting a copy and then make a minimum $7 donation via PayPal.
Moreover, I have used the wheat/barley, non-overcomer/overcomer distinctions all throughout my lecture series on The Character of Saul and David. Those lectures are now available for free download here. (Link is no longer valid.) Notice that even the title of the first lecture is “Saul Eats His Wheaties.” (Link is no longer valid.)
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