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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
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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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