New Rice Line Enhances Vitamin B1 Content

Rice is the staple crop for half the world's population, particularly in the tropical countries of Asia, South America and Africa.
Rice is the staple crop for half the world's population, particularly in the tropical countries of Asia, South America and Africa.
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New Rice Line Enhances Vitamin B1 Content

Rice is the staple crop for half the world's population, particularly in the tropical countries of Asia, South America and Africa.
Rice is the staple crop for half the world's population, particularly in the tropical countries of Asia, South America and Africa.

Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), in collaboration with teams at ETH Zurich and Taiwan's National Chung Hsing University (NCHU), have achieved a significant advance in the fight against vitamin B1deficiency, frequently associated with a rice-based diet.

By specifically targeting the nourishing tissues of the rice grain, the scientists have succeeded in considerably increasing its vitamin B1content, without compromising agronomic yield.

These results, to be read in the Plant Biotechnology Journal, could help solve a major public health problem in regions where rice is the staple food, the Science Daily reported.

The laboratory of Teresa Fitzpatrick, full professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the UNIGE Faculty of Science, specializes in vitamin biosynthesis and degradation pathways in plants.

Her group, in collaboration with a team from ETH Zurich and Taiwan's NCHU, focused on improving vitamin B1 content in the endosperm of rice.

''Previous attempts at biofortification by other teams had succeeded in increasing the vitamin B1 content of the leaves and bran -- the outer layer of rice grains -- but not that of the ready-to-eat rice grain. In our study, we specifically targeted the increase in vitamin B1 content in the endosperm,'' explains Teresa Fitzpatrick, first author of the study.

The scientists generated rice lines that express a gene that sequesters vitamin B1 in a controlled manner in the endosperm tissues.

After growing in glasshouses, harvesting and polishing the rice grains, they found that the vitamin B1 content was increased in rice grains from these lines.



Asharq Al-Awsat Secures 3 Awards in Arab Media, Samir Atallah Named Personality of the Year

The winners of the Arab Media Awards
The winners of the Arab Media Awards
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Asharq Al-Awsat Secures 3 Awards in Arab Media, Samir Atallah Named Personality of the Year

The winners of the Arab Media Awards
The winners of the Arab Media Awards

At the 2024 Arab Media Award ceremony in Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper scooped up three top honors.

Samir Atallah, a writer for the paper, was named “Media Personality of the Year.”

Asharq Al-Awsat’s Ali AlSarai won in the Arab Journalism category with his piece on Iraq post-Al-Aqsa Flood, while Ossama Al-Saeed received recognition for his economic journalism on electronic gaming.

Additionally, the best documentary was won by “In front of the scenes... salt on a wound” on Al Sharq TV.

This brings the total awards for Saudi Research and Media Group (SRMG) platforms to four for this year’s edition of the awards.

Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, presented the award for the Media Personality of the Year to Atallah in recognition of his contributions to Lebanese media.

Atallah, who started his career at An Nahar newspaper, has been writing his daily column for Asharq Al-Awsat since 1987. Atallah has accrued nearly four decades of experience across Paris, London, and North America, and has authored various books.

Sheikh Mansoor also honored Tunisian writer Abdul Latif Al Zubaidi from the UAE newspaper Al Khaleej with the Best Columnist award. This award was given in recognition of his intellectual contributions, which have enriched the Arab press with numerous articles and ideas.

The investigative reporting award was won by Sahar Al-Maliji from Al Masri Alyoum newspaper.

The category of children’s media was won by Al-Arabi Al-Sagher Magazine.

The award ceremony took place at Arab Media Forum in Dubai.

Under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the 22nd edition of the Arab Media Forum kicked off on Tuesday in Dubai.

About 4000 media professionals are attending the two-day forum, including Arab politicians, media leaders, local and Arab newspaper editors, influential writers, and media personalities.