What’s in Your Crispr Drawer?

There’s a new weapon in the age-old battle to get kids (and adults) to eat their vegetables. Growers have long messed with the genes of vegetable crops to increase yield. Now they’re working to change flavor. “Today’s Brussels sprouts taste better than you might remember from childhood. It’s not that your refined adult palate appreciates them better. Rather a new variety has displaced the original vegetable. You can thank plant breeders for the change. And modern breeders, armed with new gene-editing technology, are looking to replicate Brussels sprouts’ reinvention.” Scientific American: Tweaking Vegetables’ Genes Could Make Them Tastier—And You’ll Get to Try Them Soon. While “kale, for instance, is particularly healthy, many prefer eating the less bitter romaine or iceberg lettuce. So Pairwise scientists figured out how to use CRISPR to edit a kalelike mustard green to fit that palate. They wanted to turn off the genes that code for an enzyme called myrosinase, which breaks down the glucosinolates and creates bitterness once the leaf is chewed in a diner’s mouth. The result is a healthy but less bitter green.” (What we need are brussel sprouts that look and taste exactly like a Snicker’s bar.)

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