Scientists Create Super Banana That Could Save Lives Of 750,000 Children A Year

Scientists have developed a new super-banana that could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.

Vitamin A deficiency leads to the deaths of around 750,000 children in developing countries every year.




It is also the leading cause of preventable blindness, and increases the risk of contracting severe infections and diseases.

To tackle this, scientists in Australia have developed a revolutionary new type of banana that is rich in vitamin A.

Researchers from Queensland University of Technology have been growing the bio fortified bananas for 10 years, thanks to £5.9 million funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.




The bananas were created using genes from a species of pro-vitamin A-rich banana found in Papua New Guinea.

They only grow in small bunches, so scientists created a hybrid of this special banana and the regular ‘Cavendish’ banana, which are produced in large quantities. The resulting bananas are an unusual orange color.

‘We are getting over four times our target level [of vitamin A], so we are very happy about that,’ Professor James Dale told ABC Australia.

‘Over five generations we’ve been able to maintain the level of pro-vitamin A and, in some instances, increase it over time, which is really exciting.’

The fruit should be available to eat in Uganda in around six years time, after it has gone through regulatory testing.

Source:

metro.co.uk



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