Feeds

US boffins create GM 'supercarrot'

Need a calcium boost? Click here

Intelligent flash storage arrays

US scientists have created a genetically-modified carrot which delivers a much higher dose of calcium than the bog-standard carrot and may help "ward off conditions such as brittle bone disease and osteoporosis", the BBC reports.

The team at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas claims in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that "someone eating the new carrot absorbs 41 per cent more calcium than if they ate the old". This is due to an added gene which "allows the calcium within it to cross more easily over the plant membranes".

The upshot is that people who need a calcium boost but who are advised to avoid dairy products due to allergies or their high fat contents might avail themselves of the "supercarrot", although it wouldn't on its own be able to provide the 1,000mg recommended daily dose.

Accordingly, other veg might be similarly manipulated to further boost intake.

However, the supercarrot won't be coming to a Sunday lunch near you in the immediate future. Team member Professor Kendal Hirschi said: "Much more research needs to be conducted before this would be available to consumers."

The GM vegetable research field is booming, the BBC notes. Boffins are working on a spud with "more starch and less water so that they absorb less oil when fried, producing healthier chips or crisps", while looking at ways to boost broccoli's sulforaphane content - a chemical which "may help people ward off cancer".

Professor Susan Fairweather-Tait of the University of East Anglia concluded that "genetically engineering foods to increase their nutrient content was becoming an increasingly important avenue".

She said: "People are being told to eat more modestly to prevent weight gain, and many diets now no longer contain everything we need. There has been great resistance to genetic engineering, but gradually we are moving away from the spectre of 'Frankenstein food' and starting to appreciate the health benefits it may bring." ®

Bootnote

We at El Reg have a suggestion for the Baylor College of Medicine team: a fluorescent carrot created using jellyfish genetic material which allows those who have not yet availed themselves of carrots' legendary powers to improve night vision to find them in the dark. Oh yes, and we want a fluorescent dog, too. Thanks.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.