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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Scientists Sequence the Spud
10 July 2011 1:00 pm
Potatoes are the most important nongrain food crop in the world—and scientists are finally starting to learn a bit more about them. Researchers report online today in Nature that they've completed the first high-quality genome sequencing of the potato, revealing key regions that could help growers breed varieties with better resistance to disease and insect infestations, as well as potentially increase crop yields and potatoes' nutritional value. The potato has about 39,000 protein-coding genes, the team found, slightly less than the soybean and a bit more than corn. The researchers also discovered that the clade asterid—which potatoes belong to along with tomatoes, coffee, and tobacco—likely split off from rosids (grapes, poplar trees, geraniums, etc.) around 89 million years ago. Now pass the sour cream.
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