Feeds

US boffins create GM 'supercarrot'

Need a calcium boost? Click here

The next step in data security

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.