Using biotech to make more plants edible

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Researchers have discovered that they can use biotechnology to turn inedible and poisonous plants into edible plants for humans, according to Science Daily. Although there are a quarter of a million plant species on earth, humans only eat between 5,000 and 10,000 of them. Many are poisonous or lack nutritional value.

Atle Bones, a Norwegian University professor of science and technology believes biotechnology can make more plants available for human consumption.

Bones and his research team have discovered how to genetically program a canola plant to reduce the amount of toxic substances it produces in its seeds, which would make it more palatable. He believes this type of discovery could lead to a food revolution.

The research group has reprogrammed canola cells so that the toxic bomb cells disappear on their own as the seed matures, However, the toxin only fully disappears in the mature seeds, allowing the plant to protect itself as it grows.

Other crops this technique could be used with is cannabis.

Despite the excitement of the discovery, the challenge will be for European countries to accept it. Many EU countries don’t allow GM crops to be grown, particularly in Norway. Gaining acceptance in Europe could be tough. However, the United States could be more accepting since GM technology has been used in the U.S. for many years.

Read more here.

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