Home > News > Regional
Tuesday June 17, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday June 17, 2014 MYT 7:41:53 AM
SYDNEY: A super-enriched banana genetically engineered to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa will soon have its first human trial, which will test its effect on vitamin A levels, Australian researchers said.
The project plans to have the special banana varieties – enriched with alpha and beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A – growing in Uganda by 2020.
The bananas are now being sent to the United States, and it is expected that the six-week trial measuring how well they lift vitamin A levels in humans will begin soon.
“Good science can make a massive difference here by enriching staple crops such as Ugandan bananas with pro-vitamin A and providing poor and subsistence-farming populations with nutritionally rewarding food,” said project leader Professor James Dale.
The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) project, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, hopes to see conclusive results by year end.
“We know our science will work,” Professor Dale said.
“We made all the constructs, the genes that went into bananas, and put them into bananas here at QUT.”
Dale said the Highland or East African cooking banana was a staple food in East Africa, but had low levels of micro-nutrients, particularly pro-vitamin A and iron.
“The consequences of vitamin A deficiency are dire with 650,000-700,000 children world-wide dying ... each year and at least another 300,000 going blind,” he said. — AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Muhd Ikram stakes place in archery team for world meet
Bad day for Aaliyah in tricks final
MHC to revamp hockey team after failure in Belgium
No podium for Khairul in Aragon Moto3 race
World Bank removes section from China report
Yemen government raises prospect of truce, air strikes kill over 40
France's Sapin - it's down to Athens to make realistic proposals
Zimbabwe's Mugabe moves 'devil incarnate' information minister in reshuffle
Insight - Iranian nuclear deal set to make hardline Revolutionary Guards richer
Celebrate Raya in style with GEMFIVE
The 3 unexpected life events that leave us in debt
Eat rite and be merry
When a selfie is not enough: India abuzz over ‘velfie’ craze
Not too early to be in yellow for Froome
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)