Vitamin A Deficiency Solution


Vitamin A Deficiency

An estimated 250,000–500,000 vitamin A–deficient children become blind every year. Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) is a significant global health concern, affecting those with undiversified and insubstantial diets. Current mitigative efforts have had limited success due to consumer reluctance and their failure to consider lipid deficiency, an equally concerning condition that impedes Vitamin A uptake.

In order to provide a sustainable, community-based solution, we plan to genetically modify Rhodosporidium toruloides , an oleaginous yeast that naturally produces beta-carotene and lipids, to be more robust and resource-efficient. By modifying the yeast to produce cellulase, it can then use common agricultural waste products as an energy source for synthesizing its oil. It can then be eaten as a vitamin A supplement. The yeast strain, while naturally safe and non-pathogenic, will also be genetically modified to include a kill switch for bio-containment, and optimized for oil production.