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‘Golden Bananas’ Created by Scientists Can Save Thousands of Lives in Third-world Countries

About 650,000 to 700,000 children reportedly die around the world from pro-Vitamin A deficiency.

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) has been recognized as a public-health issue in many developing countries. In many third-world countries, VAD has been a cause of thousands of deaths—especially children. As a matter of fact, about 650,000 to 700,000 children reportedly die around the world from pro-Vitamin A deficiency.

But thanks to a 12-year-research by scientists from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, a new type of banana that is rich in pro-vitamin A has been developed—and it can save thousands of lives.

The extensive process reportedly involves modifying single banana cells, which then grow into banana embryos and germinate into plants.” The goal is to have Ugandan farmers growing bananas rich in pro-vitamin A by 2021.

“What we’ve done is take a gene from a banana that originated in Papua New Guinea and is naturally very high in pro-vitamin A but has small bunches, and inserted it into a Cavendish banana,” said Professor Dale who led the team.

The research came to fruition thanks to about $10 million supplied by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.



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