Feeds

US boffins create GM 'supercarrot'

Need a calcium boost? Click here

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.