Feeds

Scientists create 'no-tears' onion

No more crying while you're frying

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Scientists have created an onion that won't cause you to cry using Australian-developed biotechnology to switch off the gene behind the enzyme that brings on the waterworks.

Using gene-silencing technology, the New Zealand-based research institute Crop and Food pioneered the breakthrough and hopes could lead to a prototype onion hitting the market in a decade's time.

Colin Eady, the institute's senior scientist, told the Herald Sun that the project started in 2002 after Japanese scientists found the gene responsible for producing the agent behind the tears.

"We previously thought the tearing agent was produced spontaneously by cutting onions, but they proved it was controlled by an enzyme," he said.

"Here in New Zealand we had the ability to insert DNA into onions, using gene-silencing technology developed by Australian scientists.

"The technology creates a sequence that switches off the tear-inducing gene in the onion so it doesn't produce the enzyme. So when you slice the vegetable, it doesn't produce tears."

Mr Eady said that by stopping sulphur compounds from being converted to the tearing agent and redirecting them into compounds responsible for flavour and health, the process could even improve the taste of the onion.

"We anticipate that the health and flavour profiles will actually be enhanced by what we've done,'' he said.

"What we're hoping is that we'll essentially have a lot of the nice, sweet aromas associated with onions without that associated bitter, pungent, tear-producing factor.''

The discovery has caused concern overseas, following an international symposium in the Netherlands and after the trade journal Onion World featured Eady's work on the front cover of its December issue last year.

Onion World magazine

...oh yes

Mr Eady, who has developed several model onion plants at the institute, said despite the excitement about the prospect of a "no tears" onion in every home, it would be 10 to 15 years before this was a reality. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.