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Apart from feeding maximum number of people, globally and being the staple food for crores of Asians, rice is all set to serve another remarkable purpose. A group of scientists have recently found rice to have HIVpreventing properties. They have come up with a genetically modified (GMO) variant that will generate HIV-neutralising proteins, according to a recent media report. It has been observed that three proteins present in rice seeds can neutralise HIV.
Being the second largest producer of rice in the world, India gets an upper hand as rice seeds can be applied as a topical cream to prevent HIV, say the scientists. Ground rice seeds can be used as an antiretroviral medication that could counterbalance the viruses.
While GMO has been used earlier to fight malnutrition and climate change, these scientists from the UK and Spain have worked on a strain that has the potential to tackle HIV symptoms. This option can be a lucrative one to manage HIV in those countries where antiretroviral medication is inaccessible.
Also, the treatment is affordable as the production costs of manufacturing this cream are marginal once the rice is grown. It is considered to be the most effective way of controlling HIV symptoms in developing countries as the infrastructure for growing rice is already available. The study has been published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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