Arsenic is a very toxic and carcinogenic element which occurs naturally in rock. Arsenic contaminates water, soil and crops in a large number of countries. In some developing countries, high levels of arsenic in springs used for drinking water and irrigation have lead to alarmingly high amounts of toxin both in water and cultivated crops.
For example, in Bangladesh, parts of India and in some regions of Nepal, where rice is a staple food and people therefore risk consuming large amounts of the toxin via the food chain, arsenic is a very serious problem. According to calculations by UNESCO, more than 20 million people may be exposed to chronic arsenic exposure in these areas alone. But arsenic is a global problem where both developing and industrialised countries are affected.Found the protein which governs arsenic absorption
Attempts to develop rice varieties which absorb less arsenic are underway already, but this discovery of the particular proteins involved may lead to these developments accelerating.
"But even though we are happy to have identified the proteins, our goal is still a long way off," says Markus Tamas.Contact:
Krister Svahn | idw
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