China would have created 120 varieties of modifying plants in space
While humans have always applied artificial selection of the seeds in the crops (using robust plant seed), in recent years we have witnessed a transformation of agriculture through genetic modification of plants like soybeans , corn, cotton and barley plants for much more resistant and offer better yields. Besides the traditional artificial selection and genetic complexity of a laboratory, the Space Exploration has also witnessed experiments in agriculture to develop Seeds with modifications that improve the performance of crops on Earth. While the United States and Russia conducted experiments of this kind (for example in the MIR), China would also have been working in this direction for the past 25 years, developing 120 new varieties of seeds of fruits and vegetables by modifying conventional seeds space.
This story straight out of a science-fiction has been published by China Daily that, in turn, cited as a source in the middle of the country that have reported that, during the past 25 years, China had been working in the improvement of seeds of many plants by modifying in space. With that, China would have sent into space, housed in satellites that were subsequently recovered, seeds of 400 varieties of plants, starting the project in 1987 with the sending of corn seeds.
And why send seeds into space? The aim was to find out how they could influence the conditions of space in the seeds, causing changes in these and improve crop yields since both weightlessness and cosmic radiation can exert changes and modifications in the genetic structure of the seeds, causing mutations in these. Apparently, about 12% of the seeds were sent into space some modification, a rate that is well above the modifications that have been made to perform research on Earth.
These modified seeds can not be used directly and require artificial selection process and various crops but, after this period of duty, may be used for commercial purposes in a period of just four years, that is, that given the age that has this Chinese experimental program, some varieties of fruits and vegetables sold in the markets of China that originated in modified seeds in space and precisely there lies the controversy because these products do not carry any type of identifier that serves come to recognize that modified seeds or mutated in a laboratory in space.
For one of the most populous countries in the world depend, as is the case, the purchase of seeds (more than half) of third countries is a difficult position of trying to distance himself slowly, even looking into space to get . In fact, according to the Chinese space agency, expect by 2020 to develop its own space station around the country and perhaps this particular may increase production of improved seeds.Tags: China, experiments, mutation, Seeds, Space Exploration