Scientists Invent a Tearless Onion
ALISON STEWART: All right. Scientists have finally done it. For all you people who like to cook in the kitchen but you hate it when you see a cup of chopped onions.
RACHEL MARTIN: Hate it.
STEWART: Oh, scientists have created an onion that doesn't make you cry when you chop it. Now, here's a little bit of science. I'm going to bust out the science now. The tear reaction is caused when sulfur compounds in the onion are converted into other substances that apparently make you very sad and tear up.
MARTIN: Sulfur compounds?
STEWART: So you can't just remove the sulfur compounds because they're very important to the flavor and the nutritional value of onions but a team from Crop and Food Research in New Zealand, they used gene silencing to essentially just basically turn off the gene that converts the sulfur compounds.
MARTIN: Okay, all right.
STEWART: I learned a lot actually. I had no idea that onions were so complicated. Hey, folks, Alison, we did it.
MARTIN: That's the ramble. These stories will definitely be available on our Web site - we link on through - at npr.org/bryantpark.
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