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February 20, The “Skulls” meet inside the Croft Chapter House, but Victoria University Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (). 27 February , pm, The Gujarat Hindu Society, c) is struck off the professional register by order of the GMC, or other relevant Dr Clayton thanked Professor O'Donoghue and Mrs Kumar for an informative. Apologies were received from Satheesh Kumar (Medical Director) and TB/14/ Minutes of the previous public meeting, 30 October hoc reports from GMC, the Ombudsman, commissioners, Healthwatch England.
In his talk Prof Stratton reflected on the three last three decades of genetic research: Prof Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, visited Israeli universities, medical schools, research institutes and hospitals as Henry Cohen Visiting Professor in June The following morning Prof Jonathan Halevy hosted them at Shaarei Zedek Hospital and explained to them how the Israeli healthcare system is run.
Their next visit was to the Hebrew University — Hadasah Ein Karem campus where the Dean of the Medical School, Prof Lichtstein, had arranged for them to meet senior staff, and to hear about research topics from some of the younger faculty. Prof Naparstek, who is in charge of academic activities at Hadassah, spoke to them about clinical research. The following day started with a visit to the Weizmann Institute where they were met by the Director, Prof Zajfman, and heard about recent research advances in biomedicine.
On Tuesday the first visit was the Technion where they met with the President, Prof Lavie and colleagues, and this was followed by a tour of the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya and a meeting with the Director, Dr Barhoum.
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En route back to Tel Aviv there was time for a brief visit to Caesarea to see the antiquities before going to a dinner in their honour hosted by the UK Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould. The Association website continues to be handled by Dr Simon Woldman. Jewish Medical Association UK members have continued to provide expert advice to the Board of Deputies and other Jewish organisations about professional issues.
This has included the preparation of material outlining the issues of health and social care relevant to the Jewish community which should be raised with Parliamentary candidates.
Unfortunately there has been a recent recrudescence of criticism of the Association itself, and of the links between British and Israeli medicine. Rice has also been engineered to combat other major forms of malnutrition, including iron and folate deficiency.
These were addressed by improving iron storage and transport proteins in plants and by adding a phytase to improve ion absorption in the gut [ 5354555657 ]. Transgenic rice which expresses essential amino acids such as free lysine have also been developed using RNAi silencing-based technologies.
De Steur et al. Iron has been increased in rice as a result of conventional plant breeding rather than the development of transgenic plants.
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A control group consumed nonbiofortified rice at a level of 0. Studies using transgenic rice that have been biofortified with iron have centered around the overexpression of iron storage proteins such as ferritin. Rice cultivated from these transgenic plants contain 3—4 times as much iron as their wild-type counterparts [ 6061 ]. Phytic acid PA is a known inhibitor of zinc absorption and is prevalent in many cereals. Phytic acid binds to zinc and other minerals such as iron to form an insoluble complex in the gastrointestinal tract that prevents mineral absorption.
Since the prevalence of phytic acid in cereals such as wheat, corn and rice can have serious nutritional consequences efforts have been made to reduce its content [ 626364 ]. Standard methods used for the reduction of phytic acid include heat or microwave treatment, as well as the use of chemicals such as hydrochloric acid or acetic acid.
The exogenous application of recombinant microbial phytase is also frequently used to reduce the level of phytic acid in grain [ 65 ].
Since phytic acid can be effectively degraded by microbial phytase enzymes, resulting in an increase in mineral availability, transgenic corn expressing phytase derived from Aspergillus niger has been generated. These transgenic varieties were found to be as effective at lowering phytic acid levels as conventional corn that was supplemented with commercially used phytases [ 66 ].
Recently, cereal mutants exhibiting a low phytic acid lpa phenotype have also been developed in rice, wheat and maize [ 67 ]. Although effective, these strategies are sometimes associated with downstream impacts on crop yield and other parameters concerning agronomic performance.
To meet this challenge, transgenic rice crops have been developed by manipulating the phytic acid biosynthetic pathway through RNAi-mediated gene silencing of the IPK1 gene, which is involved in catalyzing the final step of phytic acid biosynthesis [ 68 ]. Agronomic traits associated with these transgenic plants were also analyzed to ensure that the plants were not compromised in any physiological way. This strategy led to the generation of rice plants with greatly reduced yields of phytic acid and correspondingly improved mineral bioavailability.
The results of these studies indicate that the biofortification of maize via biotechnology can be a useful strategy to improve vitamin A status. The BioCassava Plus project has been developed to target cassava, the nutritionally deficient staple of a quarter of a billion sub-Saharan Africans. The results of this study suggest that biofortified cassava could be used to prevent vitamin A deficiency. Programs such as these could therefore generate cassava crops with more lasting nutritional benefits [ 72 ].
Cassava roots also express a low protein: By reducing levels of the toxin cyanogen in roots, iron root uptake and protein accumulation in cassava could be enhanced [ 73 ].
Crops biofortified with multiple micronutrients have also been generated [ 7475 ]. Biofortified Wheat Wheat has been altered using biotechnology for a number of health benefits. For example, levels of celiac-disease causing gliadins have been lowered from wheat using RNAi-based technologies, and the level of free lysine, an essential amino acid that is generally scarce in wheat, has been increased.
Genetically altered wheat has been tested for dough making quality and taste with encouraging results. Biofortified wheat provides more options for the proportion of the population who are gluten sensitive or intolerant, and can also provide higher levels of micronutrients, such as iron and zinc, to those in developing countries who use wheat as a staple [ 767778 ].
Wheat has also been under study as a model crop for zinc biofotification. Zinc Zn deficiency ranks as the fifth leading cause of disease in low-income countries, and affects billions of people whose diet is based on cereal grains low in Zn content. Health defects due to zinc deficiency include stunted growth, poor immunity, impairments in mental development and birth complications.
Recently, improvements in nitrogen N management has enabled Zn concentrations in grain crops such as wheat to be improved, both through Zn available in soil as well as by foliar application. Radiolabelled 65Zn has been shown to be taken up by the roots, translocated to shoots and to accumulate in the wheat grain [ 7980 ].
Nitrogen availability therefore represents a key component for the zinc biofortification of wheat and thus can improve the nutritional status for many who reside in developing countries. Selenium, which has demonstrated chemoprotective properties, is another micronutrient that is found in deficient levels in soil, and as a result, is often only present in low quantities in grain crops [ 828384 ]. Moreover, selenium present in its organic form, such as selenomethionine and selenocysteine, are significantly more bioavailable than inorganic Se species.
Recently, Pobaciones et al.
Nutritionally Enhanced Food Crops; Progress and Perspectives
The authors demonstrated that chickpea could accumulate sufficient amounts of Se-Met with only low amounts of Se-containing fertilizer applied as a foliar spray at the start of flowering. Nutritionally-Enhanced Feed Crops Nutritionally enhanced crops have been designed to address improvements in feed for livestock and poultry.
For example, animal feed crops have been generated which produce higher levels of limiting amino acids so that fewer supplements will be required. Feed crops have also been developed with the aim of producing more environmentally friendly manure. As an example, poultry and swine fed transgenic maize with increased free lysine content increased body weight gain to a level comparable with animals fed diets with lysine as a supplement.
Similar results have been demonstrated for livestock fed soybean and lupin [ 85 ]. In the same way, Tong et al. An increase in the abundance of other essential amino acids such as aspartate and lysine was also observed.
Strategies such as these can help to enhance the nutritional value of feed crops used for livestock. Transgenic maize crops expressing cell wall invertase have also been developed [ 87 ]. Grain yield was substantially improved up to Constitutive expression of invertase increased total starch content in the transgenic kernels as well, demonstrating that this gene can be utilized to improve both grain yield and grain quality in crop plants.
The removal of anti-nutrients from animal feed to increase micronutrient absorption has been explored using biotechnology. These crop plants simplify the feed processing procedure, making the feed more amenable for livestock consumption.
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Plants with Other Health Benefits Not only can food crops be biofortified by genetic engineering, they can also be designed to contain bioreactive compounds which have improved health benefits or reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease [ 8990 ]. Plant seed storage oils have been examined for their ability to produce novel fatty acids that are beneficial to human health.
Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids omegaFA are of great interest due to their dietary benefits such as improvements to brain function and development as well as for cardiovascular health. Since most omega-3 FA comes from marine life and the seas have been overfished, plants represent a more sustainable source of this nutrient. Genetically modified plants, algae and krill are under development to express levels of omega-3 FA approaching those found in marine organisms [ 9293 ].
The metabolic pathway to produce this fatty acid has been reconstituted in plants such as false flax, a relative to canola, via metabolic engineering [ 9495 ]. Expression in tomato plants of the antioxidant anthocyanin, a compound found in blueberries and cranberries, through metabolic engineering resulted in tomato fruit which could extend the life spans of cancer-susceptible mice by up to thirty percent [ 97 ].
These tomatoes, which are also believed to fight cardiovascular disease and exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, have been produced as a juice and are currently being tested on heart patients in Britain. Tomatoes were chosen because they are consumed by large amounts of the population and are quite affordable, unlike blueberries, which tend to be seasonal and higher priced. In the future, these tomatoes may make their way into food products such as ketchup and pizza sauce.
Tomatoes have also been transformed with the gene encoding grape Vitis vinifera L.
Resveratrol is a bioactive compound found in grapes and red wine but not many other common food sources, and so producing resveratrol in tomatoes can improve their nutritional value. Significant increases in both antioxidant capability and ascorbate content were found in these tomato lines.
Transgenic tomato fruit were able to counteract the pro-inflammatory effects of phorbol ester in a culture of monocyte-macrophages [ 99]. The metabolic pathway of isoflavones found in soybean has been expressed in transgenic tobacco lines. Leaves from these tobacco plants exhibited elevated isoflavone synthesis, and estrogen-deficient mice fed transgenic leaf extracts exhibited reduced osteoclast number and expression of osteoclastogenic genes, as well as higher total serum antioxidant levels and increased uterine estrogenicity compared with control mice [ ].
Biopharmaceuticals Produced in Plants The generation of biopharmaceuticals in plants adds another layer of complexity to the role of plants in human health.
Vaccines and other therapeutic proteins including monoclonal antibodies can be produced in plants and now a handful are in the early stages of commercialization. Today, the variety of therapeutic proteins produced in plants is considerable, and ranges from human monoclonal antibodies against HIV to vaccine proteins against smallpox and other potential biological warfare threats, and even to an assortment of anti-cancer therapeutic agents for the newly emerging field of personalized medicine.
Molecular farming as a field originally stemmed from the need for safe and inexpensive biopharmaceuticals in developing countries. These vaccines are easily transportable and do not require refrigeration to ensure that they are accessible to remote regions of the planet. Vaccines produced in food crops including soybean, tomato and banana can be directly consumed and effectively elicit an immune response to a particular pathogen.
Plants expressing vaccine proteins can be raised using local farming techniques and need only be partially processed, features that can substantially reduce production costs. Bananas expressing biopharmaceuticals can be dried into chips, or tomatoes can be lyophyllized into a powder and reconstituted as a juice when needed [ ]. The earliest research and development on plant made pharmaceuticals focused upon diarrheal infectious diseases which are major causative agents of infant mortality in developing countries, such as cholera, rotavirus and Norwalk virus [ 69 ].
Today, clinical trials are underway to examine the ability of plant-derived therapeutic proteins to treat challenging diseases such as HIV and Ebola virus [ ]. Some of these therapeutic proteins are generated in transgenic plants, however, an increasing number are generated from plant virus expression vector systems [ ]. Plant viruses have been engineered in the form of modules and can produce very large amounts of the protein of interest within a short period of time most often days.
Transgenic plants remain preferable in certain cases as they can generate transgenic seed, something that cannot be realized with a transient expression system based on a plant virus.
Other production systems which center on chloroplasts and hairy roots also exist .
Public Perception and Politicization of Nutritionally Enhanced Crops While crops which are nutritionally enhanced through biotechnology could clearly play a role in alleviating malnutrition for developing countries, a number of issues must still be addressed [ ]. Among the most daunting is public perception and politicization, and how these factors will influence the regulation of biotech crops in the future.
Today, the viewpoints between those who advocate for agricultural biotechnology and those who oppose it could not be more polar [ ]. Opposition to GM crops revolve around issues such as biosafety or the vulnerability of farmers and food to corporate monopolies.
Non-governmental organizations such as Greenpeace go out of their way to motivate opposition for genetically modified organisms GMOs. These groups act by diffusing information and heightening anxiety with the mass public as well as with public authorities.
False stories range from Indian livestock dying from consuming the leaves of Bt cotton crops to Indian farmers committing mass suicide as a result of the assault of GMO crops on their livelihood .
Most recently, a highly discredited study claiming that GM foods increased the number of tumors in mice has induced a sort of mass hysteria among opponents of GMOs [ ]. Although the paper later was retracted, it was highly cited by opposition groups and added fuel to the fire of the GMO controversy.
This reinforces anti-biotechnology sentiments and upholds the mistaken belief that harm will come to those who consume foods made up of GM ingredients. Most recently, a representative of the grocery store Whole Foods is claiming that byany products they sell that contain GMOs will have a cigarette-like label and warning [ ]. The stigma regarding GMOs has reached epidemic levels with the push for US state legislatures to pass bills for mandatory labeling of GMO products [ ].
In the past year alone, Proposition 37, the GMO labeling mandate for California has failed; however, the battle with this and other states is far from over. In order to determine their safety on the environment and human health, all GM crops must undergo risk assessment which is both rigorous and thorough. The structure of the European regulatory program has brought about a virtual moratorium of GM crops across the EU, thus blocking research and development of nutritionally enhanced crops from moving forward for humanitarian aid [ ].
Commercial and Approval Status of Nutritionally Enhanced Crops Inthe 18th year of commercialization of biotech foods, a record This contradicts previous views that biotech crops would only be adapted by industrialized countries.
GM crops with two or more stacked traits, such as herbicide tolerance and insect resistance, were grown in 13 different countries inten of which were developing countries. Stacked traits can be generated either by cross-breeding of two GM plants or by the retransformation of a GM plant with an additional transformation cassette.
Since it is entirely possible that parental plants may be significantly heterozygous, the resulting offspring may display high phenotypic variability and will make comparisons with non GM plants, for example, more complex.
This must be taken into account when regulatory bodies perform risk assessments [ ]. According to current regulatory practice within the EU, stacked events are considered to be new GMOs and are treated as such. Prior to marketing they require the same regulatory approval, including an assessment of their safety, as is needed for single transformation events [ ]. In the EU, GM maize and oilseed rape stacked events have already been evaluated with respect to their risks for the environment and for human or animal health [ 90 ].
Other countries such as the United States may not require this depth of regulation. At least 36 countries have been granted regulatory approval for GM crops sincewith Japan having the highest number of GM events approved, followed closely by the USA.
Three countries in Africa South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan are currently commercializing GM cotton and maize with great success, and seven others are undergoing field trials and taking steps toward commercialization.
New GM crops that would be particularly helpful for poor African farmers, such as insect resistant cowpea, are also under research and development [ ].