African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals including micro-nutrients, supplementary protein, fibre, and calories. However, despite their nutritional value, these vegetables have not been a high priority in food programmes. As a result, adequate resources have historically not been allocated to promote their production and consumption. This compounds the issue of hidden hunger – a lack of vitamins and minerals that often has no visible signs – in Africa.
According to a new report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) economic growth is not enough to transform rural areas in developing countries; governments need to develop inclusive policies and tailor investments if they want to make a fundamental change in rural peoples’ quality of life.
While most geneticists may have a hard time convincing non-scientists to look at DNA gels, a company is offering DNA art portraits which allow customers to show off their own DNA bands to anyone.
The “DNA portraits” point to bands which the company says are associated with particular characteristics as follows:
“• Sport: Show off your muscles without having to flex. This gene called ACTN2 is expressed in all muscle cells.
• Brain: This gene (IGF-2) is associated with intelligence. It is not the only gene whose expression correlates with IQ, but one of them that is involved in development of the brain.
• Love: This gene ( NGF2 ) is one of the genes responsible for those butterflies in your stomach when you meet that special someone.
• Gender: This gene (Amelogenin); is often used to determine whether someone is male or female.”
Is this a step on the way to potential suitors exhibiting their genetic potential through a medley of tastefully framed DNA tests? Rather than inviting someone to see their etchings, or evidence of their sporting prowess, might they can give a brief presentation of their genomic profile (lecturer’s pointing stick is not provided)?
With prices starting at £268, not everyone will be rushing to make their home look a little bit more like an academic conference. DNA 11, the company behind the idea, makes no claims that the DNA portraits are anything more than a conversation piece – perhaps centring around what else you could get for £268.
Nazim Ahmed, co-founder of DNA 11 says the service “allows clients to analyze their genes in an interesting way that creates great entertainment value for friends and family”.
For more about DNA fingerprinting and its applications, see the CAB DIRECT database.