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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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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.
See more ScienceShots.