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    Re: Cause of Potato Famine & Why Its Coming Back

    Posted by Mike B. on 12/30/09

    If I was, how in the world does that make me involved in any FEMA trailer
    litigation? Are you smoking, again?

    On 12/30/09, Deborah wrote:
    > 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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