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Science Let's Make Tomatoes Spicy With Genetic Engineering, Scientists Proclaim

Discussion in 'Articles & Happenings' started by Desire Lines, Jan 10, 2019.

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@Lipitor

?

How do you feel about genetic engineering?

  1. It's awesome

    44.0%
  2. It's OK

    12.1%
  3. It's bad

    5.5%
  4. mutant third arm here i come

    38.5%
  1. https://gizmodo.com/lets-make-tomatoes-spicy-with-genetic-engineering-scie-1831547833

    Tomatoes-400x225.jpg

    Surely, someone out there has cooked up a shrimp fra diavolo and thought, “mamma mia, this would be much easier if someone genetically modified the tomatoes to be spicy,” right? Right?

    A team of scientists in Brazil and Ireland have published an opinion paper arguing exactly that point: that new gene editing techniques could make it easier to engineer spicy tomatoes. But they’re after more than just spicy tomato sauce.

    “The idea is to use the tomato as a biofactory, with potential industrial and pharmaceutical applications,” paper author Agustin Zsögön from the Universidade Federal de Viçosa in Brazil told Gizmodo.

    The molecules behind spiciness are called capsaicinoids and are produced by 30 species in the Capsicum genus—you know them as hot peppers. People (including me) like hot peppers, and capsaicinoids appear in plenty of delicious cuisines. But they’re also well-known, low-risk painkillers found in creams for arthritis patients, and they’re used in pepper spray as well.

    Capsicum is the only genus of plants that naturally produce these molecules, but peppers take a lot of work to cultivate, according to the paper published Monday in the journal Trends in Plant Science. The amount of capsaicinoids in peppers can vary widely between fruits, too, based on variety of factors.

    The tomato, on the other hand, is an easy-to-control model organism that has already been the subject of plenty of genetic modification studies—like the genetically modified tomato that expresses the antifreeze proteins of coldwater fish. Most importantly, tomatoes, which only split off from peppers on the evolutionary tree 11 million years ago, still have the machinery to make capsaicinoids.

    “The tomato has the genes,” said Zsögön. “You just need to activate them in the right order in the right places.”

    Rather than splice new genes into the tomatoes, researchers would need only activate existing genes using gene-editing tools like TALENs or the well-known CRISPR/Cas9. The tomato could itself become a factory for producing capsaicinoids, or, yes, companies could just market spicy tomatoes.

    Should we do this? Not today—Zsögön pointed out that there are still questions about whether CRISPR/Cas9 can unintentionally edit other, unintended parts of genomes, an issue that would naturally need to be worked out first. But engineering tomatoes to be spicy could be “the next step in the fascinating story of pungent crops,” according to the paper.

    Additionally, you might ask whether the availability of capsaicinoids is an especially pressing issue in food production versus, say, feeding people or fixing the ails of industrialized agriculture, many of which stem from GMO-producing agribusiness giants. To that I say... but wouldn’t it be nice to have a spicy tomato?
     
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    Desire Lines

    Desire Lines otterly special, sometimes mesmerizing
    True & Honest Fan

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  2. While this may sound like how we could get real actual X-Men type mutants, we'll probably just get more troons and super autists from fucking around with gene editing our food.
     
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    Sword Fighter Super

    Sword Fighter Super I hope the princess made lotsah spaghetti!
    True & Honest Fan

    kiwifarms.net
  3. Let's get ourselves one step closer to living in a Pokémon world, why don't we.
    Screen shot 2019-01-10 at 3.26.57 PM.png
     
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    Kari Kamiya

    Kari Kamiya Dying for the sins of Pokémans

    kiwifarms.net
  4. Voted "Awesome", because if it takes us a step closer to real-life tomato stands, then I'm ALL for it:


     
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    neural

    neural #MakeTheFootClanGreatAgain
    True & Honest Fan

    kiwifarms.net
  5. Surely I'm not the only one who immediately thought tomacco?
     
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    Cheetahman

    Cheetahman Full of loathing

    kiwifarms.net
  6. Making salsa is going to be easier now.
     
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    Nekromantik

    Nekromantik Boo Doo People Murder People

    kiwifarms.net
  7. Basic housewives don't cook spicy food so it's a non seller
     
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  8. Sounds like a cool idea, too bad it's probably going to get killed in the cradle by anti-gmo groups and environmentalists that think genetic editing is an affront to nature.
     
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  9. If they make it taste like a little bit of oregano was added, I'm in. But I prefer to do the spicing myself.
     
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    Fareal

    Fareal Supercommander of the Brave New World
    True & Honest Fan

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  10. why would you do this? isn't the whole idea behind cooking to mix different flavors to create something new more interesting?
     
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    The Flawless Gazelles

    The Flawless Gazelles Die Aesthetik Der Herrschaftsfreiheit

    kiwifarms.net
  11. I'm into this. We have spicy and non-spicy peppers so a tomato with a li'l heat sounds just fine. Honestly it sounds like a trait that we'd have already selectively bred into it if that plant family branched just a little more closely.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    Cryin RN

    True & Honest Fan

    kiwifarms.net
  12. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes tried to warn us.
     
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    garakfan69

    garakfan69 Please be patient, I have idiocy

    kiwifarms.net
  13. Doesn't tomacco actually exist via grafting, which is possible since tomato and tobacco plants are both from the "nightshade" Solanaceae genus?

    This article from 2003 talks about a Simpsons fan in Oregon who created such a plant, where the tomatoes looked normal but were probably too poisonous to consume due to absurd amounts of nicotine.

     
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    sasazuka

    sasazuka Standing in the school hallway.

    kiwifarms.net
  14. We've been fucking with fruits and veggies for years to begin with; hundred of years of selective breeding has resulted in all kinds foods becoming edible. Bananas, watermelons, corn...I think the medical twist might be pushing it though. Let's get one right before jumping to the next one.
     
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    MasterDisaster

    MasterDisaster Back in the Stone Age.
    True & Honest Fan

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  15. The anti-freeze tomato was very interesting to learn about, I didn't know this existed. I hope the modded tomato community is easier to work with than the Elder Scrolls or Fallout modding communities.
     
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  16. Speaking of grafting...

    I want one of these.
     
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    MasterDisaster

    MasterDisaster Back in the Stone Age.
    True & Honest Fan

    kiwifarms.net
  17. Wtf I love gene editing now
     
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  18. Lol, imagine an army of CWCs.
     
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    Sword Fighter Super

    Sword Fighter Super I hope the princess made lotsah spaghetti!
    True & Honest Fan

    kiwifarms.net
  19. unless the tomatoes are literally a virus they cant change our dna so im all for it man. the world is stricken with chemo-phobia and its funny but also disappointing
     
    • Agree Agree x 6
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    pentylspacer2600

    pentylspacer2600 subgenious computergamer

    kiwifarms.net
  20. Yes, my plans for spicy strawberries comes one step closer to fruition.
     
    • 🤔 Thunkful x 2
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    Damocles_Sword

    Damocles_Sword Shovelmech Pilot

    kiwifarms.net
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