We Pioneered a Technology to Save Millions of Poor Children, But a Worldwide Smear Campaign Has Blocked It

We Pioneered a Technology to Save Millions of Poor Children, But a Worldwide Smear Campaign Has Blocked It

On left, a picture of white rice next to Golden Rice, and on right, a girl who lost one eye due to vitamin A deficiency.

(Photo Credit: Golden Rice Humanitarian Board)


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Adrian Dubock, Ingo Potrykus, Peter Beyer
Peter Beyer headed a research group at University of Freiburg, Germany, with a strong focus on improving the nutritional value of crop plants. Ingo Potrykus worked at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, with a research group using genetic engineering technology applied to "food security" crops in developing countries. Adrian Dubock designed the international collaboration, and its governance, for turning the results of the Potrykus and Beyer teams into a useful product – Golden Rice - to combat vitamin A deficiency, a long-standing objective which all three share. Potrykus is the Chair of the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board, Beyer and Dubock are Board members, and Dubock is also the Executive Secretary of the Board. In common with other Board members, all three are unpaid volunteers.
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The Friday Five: Soon Band-Aids Could Be AIs

In this week's Friday Five, research on a "smart" bandage for wounds, a breakthrough in fighting inflammation, the pros and cons of a new drug for Alzheimer's, benefits of the Mediterranean diet with a twist, and we've learned to recycle a plastic that was un-recyclable.

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The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

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Matt Fuchs

Matt Fuchs is the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org. He is also a contributing reporter to the Washington Post and has written for the New York Times, Time Magazine, WIRED and the Washington Post Magazine, among other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @fuchswriter.

Sexually Transmitted Infections are on the rise. This drug could stop them.

Cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis soared last year, but researchers are finding that a drug known as doxy seems to reduce the number of infections.

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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are surging across the U.S. to 2.5 million cases in 2021 according to preliminary data from the CDC. A new prevention and treatment strategy now in clinical trials may provide a way to get a handle on them.

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Bob Roehr
Bob Roehr is a biomedical journalist based in Washington, DC. Over the last twenty-five years he has written extensively for The BMJ, Scientific American, PNAS, Proto, and myriad other publications. He is primarily interested in HIV, infectious disease, immunology, and how growing knowledge of the microbiome is changing our understanding of health and disease. He is working on a book about the ways the body can at least partially control HIV and how that has influenced (or not) the search for a treatment and cure.