Potato

Increasingly Similar Global Food Supply Poses Risks, Study Says

Publication: NBC News   Date: March 3, 2014   View Article

The same crops that have fed a rapidly expanding global population over the last 50 years may pose problems for the global food chain as pests and limited diets spread, according to a new study.

Crops such as wheat, corn, potato, and soybean, as well as meat and dairy products make up a bulk of the world’s diet today. Meanwhile, once regionally important crops such as millet, sorghum and yams are losing ground, explained Colin Khoury, a visiting research scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali, Colombia, and the study’s lead author.

“It is not all bad, but there are some very significant implications on both the agricultural side and on the nutritional side,” he told NBC News.

Potato Vaccine for Hepatitis B: Syringes off the Menu?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 15, 2005   View Article

Scientists have shown that, for hepetitis B vaccine, genetically modified potatoes may be an alternative to the syringe and needle.

The hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes liver failure and liver cancer. Despite the availability of a safe, injectable vaccine, the virus currently infects an estimated 350 million people worldwide and kills about a million people every year.

DNA Sheds Light on Irish Potato Famine

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 5, 2004   View Article

In the mid-19th century, a fungus-like disease that turned potatoes into black, inedible mush led to the fatal starvation of approximately a million people in Ireland. A team of DNA sleuths now believes they know the true identity of the killer disease.

The mystery began unraveling three years ago, when the researchers presented DNA evidence from samples of 150-year-old potato leaves. The scientists said the findings exonerated the previous prime suspect behind the Irish potato famine: a strain of the pathogen Phytophthora infestans known as the Ib haplotype. (The pathogen causes a plant disease known as late blight.)

Black Bears Adapting to City Living, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 26, 2003   View Article

Black bears (Ursus americanus) have efficiently adapted to the urban couch potato lifestyle, according to a recent study that compared urban and wild land bears in the Lake Tahoe region of Nevada.

Given a readily available and replenishing food resource—garbage dumpsters—the urban bears are nearly a third less active and weigh up to thirty percent more than bears living in more wild areas, biologists with the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society report.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach