Auburn, Ala. (EETV) - Kiley Weis, an undergraduate at Auburn University studying biotechnology, is speaking up about how her field of study is changing the world as we view it.
Many people associate biotechnology with GMOs and are afraid to go into this career path due to lack of knowledge about the subject. “I feel like people fear what they don't know,” Weis said. “So people are afraid to study applied biotechnology because they are afraid of GMOs. It is a vicious cycle of people fearing what they do not know and not going into it because they fear it.”
Opposing popular opinion, biotechnology has made advancements to help nutrition deficits and hunger around the world, a common example being the project Golden Rice.
The Golden Rice project genetically modified white rice, which lacks in vitamin A, to produce the nutrient that is converted into vitamin A in the body, beta-carotene. As many people around the world have access to rice, this genetic modification can help the poor get the nutrition they need. "Looking at the bigger picture, applied biotechnology [and the development of GMOs] could solve problems like world hunger,” Weis said.
Weis has taken a lot of inspiration from the Golden Rice project, and intends to become a biotechnologist that "helps develop ways to make nature work better for humanity." She is currently pursuing a career in teaching and researching.
"Agriculture is important because it is one thing that will never be gone,” she said. “We are always going to need food.”