CRISPR and SWEET POTATOES

I love this Inside Science interview with Samuel Acheampong, a scientist who’s using CRISPR to edit sweet potatoes. Now you might think that sweet potatoes are fine just they way they are. But the traditional variety grown in Ghana (and most of Africa) is low in beta carotene – a vitamin important to everything from eye health to the immune system.

Using CRISPR, Ghanian sweet potatoes are bing transformed from white to orange. The change is not just cosmetic – beta carotene’s what vegetables orange. Science is also making sweet potatoes bigger by editing genes involved in sugar transportation.

Find out more about the science behind this and Dr. Acheampong’s journey from the farm to lab here. And, of course, you can read more about gene editing in general by ordering my book CRISPR: A Powerful Way to Change DNA.

P.S. This “bonus” #CRISPR and… blog post is in honor of World CRISPR Day. It’s really just a virtual conference on gene editing but I like that CRISPR ranks up there with other things that have “days” like hot dogs, left handers and pirates.

P.P.S. Another good reason to post today – it’s 20/10/20. My son loves the symmetry of the date (and so do i)!

P.P.P.S. Hungry? Here’s a few recipes from The Forest Feast.