Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Getting the dirt on carbon
Frogs and Toads
Tree Frogs
Roach Love Songs
A Meal Plan for Birds
Polly Shouldn't Get a Cracker
The Snappy Lingo of Instant Messages
Wake Up, Sleepy Gene
Swedish Rhapsody
Chemistry and Materials
Hair Detectives
The newest superheavy in town
Popping to Perfection
The science of disappearing
Getting in Touch with Touch
Play for Science
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Big Fish in Ancient Waters
Dinosaur Dig
Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Surf Watch
Weird, new ant
Explorer of the Extreme Deep
Pollution Detective
Power of the Wind
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Finding the Past
Childhood's Long History
Digging Up Stone Age Art
Fakes in the museum
Nurse Sharks
Mako Sharks
Electric Catfish
Food and Nutrition
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
Making good, brown fat
Food for Life
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Subject and Verb Agreement
Who vs. That vs. Which
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exam Preparation
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Math is a real brain bender
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Human Body
Cell Phone Tattlers
Foul Play?
Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt
Basset Hounds
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
Electric Backpack
Road Bumps
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Stalking Plants by Scent
Fastest Plant on Earth
Space and Astronomy
Solving a Sedna Mystery
Asteroid Moons
A Whole Lot of Nothing
Technology and Engineering
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Young Scientists Take Flight
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Revving Up Green Machines
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Robots on the Road, Again
A Change in Climate
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Recipe for a Hurricane
Add your Article

New Gene Fights Potato Blight

If you’re like most people, the biggest potato crisis you ever face is the common lunchtime question: “Do you want fries or chips with that?”

Potato farmers have much bigger worries. A serious disease called blight threatens potatoes all over the world. Millions of people starved when the disease destroyed potato crops in Ireland and elsewhere 150 years ago. Today, farmers spend billions of dollars every year to fight the disease.

Now, scientists say they have found a new weapon against blight: a potato that has already solved the problem on its own.

A wild variety of potato called Solanum bulbocastanum is immune to blight. Researchers from Wisconsin and California extracted four carefully chosen genes from a batch of S. bulbocastanum plants. They then spliced one gene into each of four groups of potato plants.

When the researchers exposed all four groups of potatoes to the funguslike organisms that cause blight, one bunch stayed healthy. The scientists think the gene that went into the healthy bunch is critical for blight resistance.

Farmers normally use toxic chemicals to fight blight. Using genetic engineering techniques could be less expensive and kinder to the environment, some researchers say.

Other people are more concerned about transferring genes from one species to another. No one knows how the technology will affect the environment or evolution.

Still, the possibility of keeping potato crops strong and healthy is appealing. Among other things, it would mean a steady supply of french fries for years to come. And, goodness knows, a french fry crisis would be quite hard for many of us to bear!—E. Sohn

New Gene Fights Potato Blight
New Gene Fights Potato Blight

Designed and Powered by™