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    Re: Cause of Potato Famine & Why Its Coming Back

    Posted by Deborah on 12/30/09

    So you are not related to Daniel B of the same surname?

    On 12/30/09, Mike B. wrote:
    > 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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