Biotech Updates

Fighting Vitamin A Deficiency Using Engineered Probiotic Bacteria

October 17, 2012

Scientists Loredana Quadro and colleagues in Rutgers University received a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to tackle vitamin A deficiency through genetic engineering of probiotic bacteria. The scientists were able to demonstrate that beta-carotene can be used in mouse embryonic tissues to generate vitamin A. Their paper was published earlier this year in the FASEB Journal. 

The new grant will be used to engineer probiotic bacteria that will be allowed to colonize the intestines of mice and produce beta carotene. Loredana said, "We want to engineer probiotic bacteria so that the beta-carotene they produce can be absorbed by the intestine, travel through the circulatory system, and be delivered to the target tissues to produce the active form of vitamin A they need."

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