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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: Tapping the Tomato's Secrets
30 May 2012 1:00 pm
Every year, gardeners grapple with how to grow a tastier tomato. Now scientists are tapping into the fruit's secrets, too. The first high-quality genome sequence of the tomato, reported online today in Nature, reveals the genes responsible for everything from the fruit's color to the sources of its famous antioxidant, lycopene. The tomato (left) shares all but 8% of its more than 34,000 protein-coding genes with its close relative, the recently sequenced potato. The tomato is even more similar to its wild cousin, the small-fruited, hardy and usually green tomato, Solanum pimpinellifolium (right); the two share all but 0.6% of their genome, which suggests they've been recently crossed. The completed genome could help scientists pinpoint how and when the tomato was first domesticated, and it may even lead breeders to that holy grail: an even better tomato. And in case you're wondering, yes, the genome confirms that the tomato is indeed a fruit, not a vegetable.
See more ScienceShots.