The latest newsletter from U.S. Wheat Associates, which markets U.S. wheat internationally, has an article that will interest Americans with gluten intolerance.
Gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease, is a digestive condition that damages the surface of the small intestine and blocks the ability to absorb certain nutrients. About 2 percent of Americans suffer from celiac disease, which is caused by some of the proteins found in wheat, according to the article in the newsletter.
A team of researchers at Washington State University is using advanced genetic techniques to shape wheat to have fewer of the problem-causing proteins. Another approach they’re taking is trying to find an enzyme that would break down the proteins while food is still in the stomach.
A fun twist to the article is that the lead researcher is an 83-year-old man who came to the United States from Denmark in 1996, when age-related regulations forced him to retire there.
Science gets a bad rap, at least in some circles. The work at Washington State University is an invaluable reminder that scientists, most of them anyway, are working to make life better.