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    Re: Cause of Potato Famine & Why Its Coming Back

    Posted by Mike B. on 12/30/09

    I have nothing to do with any of that.

    On 12/29/09, Deborah wrote:
    > Oh, the class action over the formaldehyde and FEMA trailers...
    > On 12/29/09, Mike B. wrote:
    >> Which FEMA trailer suit are you referring to?
    >> On 12/28/09, Deborah wrote:
    >>> sorry, I realize that might be over your head, I just thought
    >>> you'd realize it and have enough sense to let someone else
    >> respond...
    >>> Oh, maybe you were responding to Sharon's post rather than mine?
    >>> Hey, how did that FEMA trailer suit work out?
    >>> On 12/28/09, Mike B. wrote:
    >>>> do you make the leap to the conclusion that the
    >>>> potato famine is coming back?
    >>>> On 12/27/09, Deborah wrote:
    >>>>> Malaria, potato famine pathogen share surprising trait
    >>>> pathogen-share-surprising-trait
    >>>>> On 12/27/09, Sharon wrote:
    >>>>>> .html
    >>>>>> (NaturalNews) Researchers have sequenced the genome of the
    >>>>>> fungus responsible for the Great Irish Potato Famine in the
    >>>>>> 1800s, uncovering the reason that the organism continues to
    >>>>>> plague potato farmers to this day.
    >>>>>> "This pathogen has an exquisite ability to adapt and
    >>>>>> change, and that's what makes it so dangerous," said lead
    >>>>>> researcher Chad Nusbaum of the Broad Institute in
    >>>>>> Cambridge, Mass.
    >>>>>> The organism, known as Phytophthora infestans, is a type of
    >>>>>> water mold that continues to cost potato farmers billions
    >>>>>> of dollars every year. It prefers cool, wet climates and is
    >>>>>> capable of destroying entire fields of potatoes and
    >>>>>> tomatoes within only a few days. In 2003, P. infestans
    >>>>>> destroyed Papua New Guinea's entire potato crop.
    >>>>>> The mold evolves resistance to antifungal sprays with
    >>>>>> astonishing speed. In just the last few years, potato
    >>>>>> farmers in the United Kingdom have increased chemical
    >>>>>> spraying by 30 percent in an attempt to hold the organism
    >>>>>> at bay, and the ongoing blight in Ireland has been
    >>>>>> called "the worst in living memory," according to the BBC.
    >>>>>> According to information published in the journal Nature,
    >>>>>> P. infestans' genome is especially large, at least twice as
    >>>>>> long as the genetic code of its closest relatives. Some
    >>>>>> regions of the genome are particularly dense, containing
    >>>>>> many genes in a small area, while others are much less
    >>>>>> dense. It is these gene-light areas that may hold the key
    >>>>>> to the organism's adaptability: more than 700 key genes
    >>>>>> were mapped in these regions, some of them coding for
    >>>>>> attacks on potatoes' immune systems.
    >>>>>> "The regions change rapidly over time, acting as a kind of
    >>>>>> incubator to enable the rapid birth and death of genes that
    >>>>>> are key to plant infection," said co-lead author Brian
    >>>>>> Haas. "As a result, these critical genes may be gained and
    >>>>>> lost so rapidly that the hosts simply can't keep up."
    >>>>>> Modern agriculture has exacerbated the problem, said Paul
    >>>>>> Birch of the Scottish Crop Research Institute. Widespread
    >>>>>> application of chemicals encourages pest evolution, while
    >>>>>> genetic standardization of food crops makes them more
    >>>>>> vulnerable to infestation.

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