In a lab at a U.K. research park, researchers from a startup called Tropic Biosciences are using CRISPR to create a better banana. The startup, which is also using gene editing to improve coffee, believes that technology could help save the fruit. Today, the company announced that it raised $10 million to commercialize its varieties of both coffee and bananas.
Both coffee and bananas are an important part of the food market–bananas are a staple food in some areas and the bestselling fruit in the world after tomatoes, and coffee is the most-consumed drink after water. Both are a major source of jobs; around 25 million people globally grow coffee. “If you look at the impacts on livelihoods, then it really is a very critical crop for some of the poorest people globally,” says Gilad Gershon, CEO of Tropic Biosciences. Both crops also face serious challenges. Read more