A few weeks ago, researchers from the University of Arizona said that they were able to develop a new method to neutralize a dangerous toxin caused by fungi, that can lead to childhood stunting, cancer, and other health problems. These researchers made a genetically modified, edible maize plant, even when infected with a mould that produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin. ROME – Scientists said on Friday they had developed a new method to neutralize a dangerous fungal toxin affecting crops that can lead to cancer, childhood
Every year, more than 16,000 tons of maize are being thrown because of aflatoxin contamination. In most developed countries, they are able to screen their crops. However, some small farmers do not have the technology to do so. Therefore, people are consuming unknown levels of these dangerous toxins.
This latest research found out that a Trojan Horse molecule can jump onto the fungus and shuts down its aflatoxin production.
In a study published in the journal Science Advances, Schmidt and her team said they had created a genetically engineered maize plant, which produces a “Trojan horse” molecule that jumps onto the fungus and shuts down its aflatoxin production.
Schmidt said the method should be transferable to other crops prone to aflatoxin contamination, like rice, soy and peanuts, as it exploits a naturally occurring biological mechanism known as RNA interference.
Though the modified corns shouldn’t have side effects, it’s still important to get some testings done.