DuPont Co. has been honored by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its research efforts to improve nutrition, production and availability of sorghum, a staple crop in Africa. Patents for Humanity is an awards competition to recognize patented technologies that address humanitarian needs. Using technology developed by its DuPont Pioneer subsidiary in Johnston, DuPont established collaborations with a number of organizations, including Africa Harvest Foundation International, to increase the amount and stability of vitamin A, iron and zinc and improve protein digestibility of sorghum. In Africa, each year up to half a million children become blind from vitamin A deficiencies and nearly 600,000 women die from childbirth-related causes, many from complications from deficiencies in these nutrients. DuPont scientist and lead researcher for the initiative, Marc Albertsen, was presented with the Patents for Humanity award at a ceremony held last week in Washington, D.C.