If you are allergic to peanuts there may be hope in the horizon. Horticulture expert Peggy Ozias-Akins from the University of Georgia at Tifton, is using genetic engineering to grow hypoallergenic peanuts. The reason ? This method has been successfully implemented…”to silence two of the genes responsible for the most common cause of fatal allergic reactions to food in the United States”…although a complete elimination of all allergens is not possible at this time.
It has been identified that most allergic reactions (by peanuts) are initiated by a specific group of eleven molecules, and eliminating these molecules will be enough to suppress further reactions extensively. Research says that atleast 50 Americans die from peanut-allergy and several hundreds are badly affected.
There are two proteins that are among the most intense allergens. Wired explains, “The biologists shot a customized DNA sequence into the plants with a gene gun, causing the legumes to produce hairpin-shaped RNA molecules, which halt the production of the two proteins.”