Golden cure

Published: Tuesday 15 February 2000

Scientists have genetically-engineered a variety of rice that could end vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. The deficiency results in blindness. Researchers at the International Rice Research Institute in Switzerland spliced three genes to make the rice rich in betacarotene, the source of vitamin A. However, the new crop, which is called golden rice because of the hue the betacarotene gives it, is not expected to be available to farmers very soon. Scientists are yet to determine whether the altered rice loses any of the original nutritional value.

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