Stories tagged blind

Aug
27
2009

Getting the Facts

Today we are all experiencing a global food crisis. Food prices are inflating, families are food poor. Some of the deaths due to hunger or hunger related causes can be avoided. Many children are malnourished but The most damaging micronutrient deficiencies in the world are the consequence of low dietary intake of vitamin A. In the world, the largest dietary eaten is rice, over 80 percent of the world's population depends on rice as their staple food. Although rice tastes awesome with chicken and with everything else, many people around the world do not get enough β-carotene (provitamin A, the form before vitamin A is converted) to help produce Vitamin A in what they are eating or able to afford to eat. Vitamin A is necessary, without Vitamin A our eyes would be unable to function properly. According to the World Health Organization, 250,000 to 500,000 children to go blind every year due to the lack of Vitamin A deficiency (VAD). Every year it has has claims the lives of 350 000 or more, people who are VAD become blind and 60% of those who become blind will die. 400 million rice-consumers may lead to fatal health problems, some are impaired vision; impaired epithelial integrity, exposing the affected individuals to infections; reduced immune response; impaired haemopoiesis (and hence reduced capacity to transport oxygen in the blood) and skeletal growth; and measles infection. MAP
MAPCourtesy Wikipedia

The science behind

Golden rice is a genetically modified (GM), it is made through genetic manipulation. The gene responsible for the yellow color like the daffodils is inserted into the rice genome, and causes rice to produce large quantities of β-carotene.

The purpose of golden rice was made to to produce B-carotene, In the location where people eat the most, the endosperm. β-Carotene is composed of two retinyl groups ( the animal form of Vitamin A, which is different from the plants who are able to perform photosynthesis for their Vitamin A), and is broken down in the the mucous membrane of the small intestine by B-carotene to retinal, a form of vitamin A. Carotene can be stored in the liver and body fat and converted to retinal when it is needed, thus making it a form of vitamin A for mammals like us. SCIENCE
SCIENCECourtesy Wikipedia

for more details on the science behind golden rice you can check out this website:

http://goldenrice.org/Content2-How/how1_sci.html

But Why Is This Not Happening?

But behind this great discovery and invention people are bound to have their own reason's why they would like it or not. Many have responded with Golden Rice with rage and the desire for those to stop making the golden rice. Many of whom wish for those who do have VAD to receive naturally grown food instead of humans modifying. Those who feel this way feels that other's deserve to eat real food instead of man made. How do you feel towards genetically modified food? Is it still food or something else? With this conspiracy going on the Golden Rice is being stored in a building in Europe because of those who angered about the Golden Rice. Not only do people feel that way other's also said that it will effect the economy worldwide, if golden rice keeps going around the world for free people will stop buying rice and the rice industry would fall apart and the two largest rice exporters ( Thailand and Vietnam ) economy would fall apart and possibly even worse.

My view on this is that Genetically modified food is still food and is made for the better. If we waited for naturally grown food to grow I think it will take way to long for it to be ready for animals and humans to eat, in the world the food consumption is rising and more people demanding food. For example, in 1985 the average Chinese
consumer ate about 20 kg (44 lb) of meat a year, and now consumes over 50 kg (110 lb). Genetically modified food can help feed those who need it. And I understand that there are many people in Europe who do not support GM food, but don't you think we should send food those people who are dying from hunger and save them as soon as possible?

Aug
16
2009

Tasting light
Tasting lightCourtesy ARTiFactor

Tasting the Light

Just as blind people read words by touching braille bumps, some are now able to "see" objects via a special lollipop that stimulates their taste buds. Images from a video camera control which of the 625 low voltage shocker buttons fire on a one inch square lollipop.

This device, which I wrote about more than 3 years ago (Tongue ESP), is now being submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval.

Robert Beckman, president and chief executive officer of (Wicab) notes that the device (called Brainport) could be approved for market by the end of 2009 at a cost of about $10,000 per machine.

Learn more about Wicab's Brainport

Jun
07
2005

Wal-Mart is testing robots created by Vladimir Kulyukin of Utah State University to help shoppers with low- or no vision navigate through the stores and locate products.

The robots can guide people around other shoppers and through the aisles using radio frequency identification (RFID) chips and 16 ultrasonic sonars. They can take instructions via Braille directories of products attached to their handles, and they answer shopper's questions with spoken answers. And they can use their RFID readers to locate products.

Kulyukin says:

"There are RFID sensors placed on the shelves in the store. The robot has the RFID antennae and detects the presence of those tags. That's how it knows it's reached the Colgate section of the toothpaste shelf and it then announces, 'You have reached the Colgate toothpaste section, on your right.'"

But since individual items aren't usually RFID-tagged, visually-impaired shoppers run the risk of picking up the wrong product. Right now, the system can only tell you where the products should be. If an item has been moved or misplaced—either by a store worker who forgot to update or move the RFID tag, or by another shopper who dumped a discarded item—a blind shopper might grab an item they don't want. To get around that, Kulyukin is building a bar code into the system that will announce each product being placed in the cart.

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