Soybeans and their Potential

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One way in which biology and biomedical science is being used for the cause of Christ is in the constant fight against global hunger. One valuable weapon in this fight is the researching and pioneering of new, more nutritional, more cost effective kinds of food to distribute to those who could not otherwise acquire it. This is often done by genetically modifying foods in order to make them either easier to grow, better able to withstand harsh conditions, bigger, more nutritious or cheaper. The honing of this branch of biology could result in more, better, food for a greater number of people. Although it is not a Christian organization, the University of Missouri’s work towards feeding the world’s hungry promotes the Christian values of compassion and charity. Recently, researchers at the University completed the development of a map of the soybean genome. This new development means that, after the refinement and an implementation of the science, soybean crops can be adapted to survive in environments wherein they otherwise would not be able to survive. Thus, it is possible that within only a few years, this research could be refined to the point whereat soybeans could be successfully grown in places like sub-Saharan Africa, one of the poorest areas in the world.

The soybean genome map is really of paramount importance, not only to the potential development of soybean crops in new areas but also for the improvement of a much larger pool of food all across the world. First of all, this study will serve as a reference point for other studies on the genetics of creating better crops in the future. Any researchers interested in this topic can now look back at this study as a model. Secondly, the findings revealed a way to immunize soybeans to the Asian Soybean Rust disease, which can and can wiped out up to eighty percent of the soybean crop in certain parts of the world. Without this disease, farmers will be able to have more confidence in their yearly crop yield and the yearly production of soybeans will rise tremendously. It has also been found that that adding soybeans with slight genetic modifications to animal feed could significantly increase the health value of meat, namely certain antioxidants that are known to greatly reduce the risk of cancer. These findings also have the potential to make crops much less vulnerable to droughts.

The findings of the researchers at the University of Missouri could be compounded if they were coupled with an organization such as World Vision, which is already working to combat hunger on an international scale. One of the ways World Vision fights hunger is by distributing seeds among and teaching farming techniques to people in the poorest parts of the world. If organizations such as World Vision could distribute genetically improved soybean seeds, especially considering the fact that soybeans are currently the second most valuable cash crop in the world, people in impoverished areas would have both food and a source of income. In this way, biological research has the potential to greatly impact the fight against world hunger.

If 1,000 people could use these new developmnets... Many, many lives could be saved in small towns in impoverished areas...
If 10,000 people... There would be a substantial increase in food supply in several third world countries...
If 100,000 people... The poorest part of the world could have a much larger food supply and could actually participate in the global economy due to their posession of a cash crop as well as food.