The ongoing armed conflict in Syria has forced scientists—for the first time ever—to withdraw from the Arctic seed vault that is tasked with safeguarding the world's food supply, the Crop Trust which oversees the repository confirmed Monday.
Yes, that is what I thought too, that it was the Artic seed bank... it grabbed my attention because of that...
but needless to say, I am very glad this work is being done... but I am also worried about any genetic engineering thtat they may be trying....
I am hoping that only a small proportion of the seeds (if they are so rare) were removed. If the situation in the Middle East were resolved that is one thing but it is just as likely that more mishaps could happen in the future and those seeds be lost. Couldn't they relocate outside the war zone?
However, due to ongoing war and conflict, research at the Aleppo facility has been destabilized.
More specifically, it's probably due to the recent U.S. bombing campaign that is targeting Syria's electricity network. The U.S. is pissed that the legitimate Syrian government, with Russian help, is going to take back all of Aleppo, and the U.S. has decided that it is going to inflict even more misery on the Syrian people by taking out important infrastructure, guaranteeing that Syria will spend an even longer time rebuilding if this war ever ends.
An interesting example of how the world is increasingly connected, but just to clarify, Svalbard is a series of islands and islets lying north of the Arctic Circle, not a peninsula. And seeds are always being brought in and out, since the stock is rotated to maintain freshness/viability.