A plant has been genetically engineered to make a “fishy” fatty acid.
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of heart disease and arthritis, and are essential for brain development. Fish are a great source, but few people eat enough.Now Allan Green of Australian research organisation CSIRO in Canberra and his team have created thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) that produces the long-chain omega-3 DHA. The team inserted genes for enzymes from marine algae (Functional Plant Biology DOI: 10.1071/fp05084).Other teams have created plants that make the omega-3 EPA. But the longer-chained DHA is particularly beneficial for brain development.(Source: Issue 2499 of New Scientist magazine, 14 May 2005, page 18.)