The microbiologist scientists at Egerton University have embarked on cancer research to verify and authenticate whether aflatoxin or fungi found in maize contribute to the growth of cancerous cells in human beings.
The Head Researcher, Dr. Meshark Obongo said they were using mouse for the taste because their physiology was closer to that of human beings.
He spoke to KNA on Tuesday in their tasting laboratory at Egerton University, Njoro main campus.
Dr. Obongo said the mouse which they were using for the taste was fed with food that has compounds produced by fungus for 10 days to test whether a swelling above the back appears.
The swelling, he said, might be an indication of cancerous cells and they have taken the specimen for specialised tests to establish whether it has developed the cells.
He added that the purpose of the research was to substantiate on whether the cancers which have ravaged the country had any connection with aflatoxin or fungi that are commonly found in grains in the country.
Dr. Obongo added that cancer does not seem to have boundaries because it had affected people across the country and that means there might be a common ingredient which was ingested by both the rich and poor.
“When a disease closes all the social boundaries and keeps on the increase, then scientists naturally begin to investigate a cause which all those people might tend to interact with on a daily basis and in this case its maize because it is a staple food,’’ he stated.
He said the characteristics of scientific research were to question and doubt every suggestion until the truth was established and agreed among peers, worldwide.
This, Dr. Obongo said, means that the research was far-far away from getting the answers but was happy that the first baby steps were being taken by a local university.
By Veronica Bosibori