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Salt Tolerance in Tomatoes
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On Cell Respiration
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JUNIORS STUDY TEAMS
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Beta-carotene is a red or orange organic compound found in many fruits and vegetables that is converted into vitamin-a
by the body. Vitamin-a not only boosts ones immune system it also aides in the functioning of the retina and the growth of epithelial and bone tissues.
In the 1950s the first synthetic beta-carotene was produced and since then it is now produced on a industrial scale.
Beta-carotene is now be manufactured out of a lab in the form of supplemental pills. However, the synthetic beta-carotene is made up of only one
rans beta-carotene molecule, while
natural beta-carotene is made of two molecules. It is claimed that daily use can supplement for food groups
that contain would ordinarily contain the carotene needed to produce vitamin-a. Though the biotechnology seems like it would be beneficial for the body
there has been much discussion on whether or not the synthetic pills actually have positive effects on consumers. According to satisfied-mind.com
some studies suggest that synthetic beta-carotene actually
increases the risk of lung cancer while natural carotene helps to prevent the formation of cancer.
. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2011. <
. Google, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2011. <
Foods containing beta-carotene
. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2011<
. Web. 30 Jan. 2011. <
1 problem that the Synthesis of Beta-Carotene in rice can solve is Vitamin A Deficiency.
Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of child blindness worldwide.It can also increase the mortality rate of children suffering from severe infections.The deficiency is prevalent in poorer areas of the world such as Africa and South-East Asia, where rice is the main source of food due to its prevalency and low cost. What is odd about rice is that it does not contain any traces of Vitamin A but the plant, the parts we don't eat, actually contain some form and traces of Vitamin A, this is where "Golden Rice" comes in. Golden Rice gets its "Golden" color from the Beta-Carotenes that are stored within the rice. Once in the human body, the Beta-Carotene in Golden Rice has the ability to convert itself into Vitamin A. Golden Rice in its normal form has about 35 micrograms of Beta-Carotene, in which it takes 4 micrograms of Beta-Carotene to convert into 1 microgram of Vitamin A. Albeit it is a small amount it still does provide the body with at least some Vitamin A that is necessary for the body to try and maintain homeostasis, otherwise the effects of deficiency can be seen below.(Citations for info directly below)
the left) and
All of that can be prevented with some intake of this(on the right side).
My stance on this GMO is that although it may have some risks to the environment, it is for the most part worth it. An estimated 10 million children who are malnourished and have severe Vitamin A deficiency go on to
develop xerophthalmia and have an increased risk of complications and death from measles and about half a million children go blind because of this deficiency. All GMO's can pose some level of threat to the environment but this risk can lower this number of children who die or go blind needlessly from diseases that are for the most part preventable from the simple intake of Vitamin A. This "Golden Rice" although it doesn't provide the total amount of Vitamin A needed, will still provide something for the body to work with so these children do not reach these types of illnesses. To see some of the affects of severe Vitamin A deficiency one only needs to look at the photos I posted earlier which is just for blindness.
Adam Weisse comment on this POV- THis may sound cold, but should the risks of this GMO be fully explored before it is used too much? It might be able to prevent this deficiency, but is it worth the potential risk to the environment? If this product will poison teh water supply or something like that, it should be made known. The environment is too important to risk for the sake of finding an instantaneous cure for this problem of deficiency.
A problem with the beta-carotene synthesis in goldren rice is that even though the purpose generic engineering of the rice is to help with vitamin deficiency due to a lack of food in third world countries, the synthesized rice is not readily available for human consumption. If the goal of the genetic engineeered food is not being achieved, then what is the point of having even engineered this food?
My point of view on the lack of availability of the rice is that there is no point in having created this vitamin enriched food if it can not be utilized. It is not helping the world, so there is no point of the synthesized rice even existing. There are plenty of places in world where the rice can be used help cure vitamin deficiency but it isn't being used.
Golden Rice is rice that is genetically modified to be rich in beta-carotene, which will turn into vitamin A in the body. For golden rice to be able to make Beta-carotene three new genes have to be added to the genetic make-up of the rice; 2 form daffodils and the 3rd from a bacterium.
Since rice itself is one of the easiest grains to get a hold of it is commonly used in efforts to alleviate world hunger, it makes sense that one would add such an important vitamin like vitamin A to the most common grain. That way the countries which are experiencing hunger and malnutrition would be able to at least in some way help alleviate both problems. A definciency in vitamin can cause many problems and so this enhanced rice would help solve those problems. For example having a definciency in vitamin dimishes one's ability to fight infections. In countries where the children have not been immunized diseases that are really infectious such as the measals has a much higher mortality rate than countries where chidren are immunized. Having a vitamin A definciency in these countries would be very bad for these children as they would be more suseptable to getting such infectious diseases and possibly dying from them.
I believe that while the availability of the golden rice may not be as great now, it will increase as the years go on and there is more research done to refine and better the product. For now however, the benefits of the rice are still incredible as it can save millions of children from dying fron diseases such as the measals. While I understand that the golden rice would not give all of the vitamin A needed, it would still contribute to helping to maintain the homeostasis of the body and keep the body string enough to fight against such diseases as the measals. I think the idea of golden rice will succeed as it is very beneficial and many orginizations that help alleviate world hunger, such as UNICEF, will find this rice beneficial as it help alleviate hunger and malnutrition.
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