Timely switches

scientist Peer Schenk, who works at the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Plant Pathology ( crctpp ) in Brisbane, Australia said that his institute has made a breakthrough that could transform the agricultural industry. The development could help feed millions and save children in poor countries by producing crops that are more nourishing, disease resistant and that can survive extreme cold. According to Schenk, the genetic switches or gene promoter was isolated in a banana virus by researchers from crctpp and Katholieke University, Belgium. Genetic switches, which control the actions of genes that have been genetically engineered into plants, already exist.

Schenk said the gene promoter they had isolated was a huge improvement on the others already on the market. "Genetic switches can be used to turn genes on or off and can also be used to vary the amount of protein produced by a gene

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