‘Super Rice’ Fights For The Cause Of The Undernourished
Before this news was out, you were probably running miles away from the word called rice. Fear not, because things are about to change as ‘super rice’ gets ready to fight for the cause of the undernourished. Since the malnourished population of the world doesn’t have access to the usual supplements in the form of vitamins and minerals, Australian scientists have made a breakthrough by filling their rice with all the necessary nutrients. Here comes super rice, learn about it now!
1) What is Super Rice?
Scientists at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, Adelaide, have modified rice genetically and added twice the zinc and four times the iron as compared to the conventional rice. They are hoping that if the governments the world over feed this rice to the undernourished populations in their respective countries, this health problem can be dealt with to a large extent. However, the scientists are also clear about the fact that large-scale production of such a rice variety would take at least 10 years to become possible.
2) The Technique
If you believe local Australian media, the scientists just “tricked the plant into thinking it doesn’t have enough iron.” By doing so, the plant started taking up more iron and supplying more iron into the grain.” The problem with the conventional breeding technique is that it is not able to supply the rice grain with even half of the nutrients as required by the human body. This is where the biotechnology comes in. The scientists at Adelaide employed the services of a plant virus to pique the gene activity inside rice.
3) The Team
Apart from the Adelaide Centre, the team of scientists who achieved this breakthrough, also comprised of the University of Melbourne as well as all three universities in South Australia. This team is the first in the world to grow rice inside the greenhouse with as much iron and zinc levels as desired. Isn’t that wonderful?
A lot of debate has taken place over the fact whether genetically modified food can eradicate world hunger. And the scientists warn too that it will be, at least, a decade before super rice makes an appearance on market shelves. However, it is enough that one day, this super rice will be able to overcome nutrition deficiency in a large chunk of the world population.
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