john simpson

Taking aim at the Irish potato famine culprit

Blog Post created by john simpson on Nov 19, 2010

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Scientists take aim at potato famine  culprit"


Researchers from Singapore say they have taken an important  step toward developing a way to fight the disease that caused the Irish potato  famine, which killed almost a million people in the mid-1840s. The culprit was a  species of the Phytophthora fungi. Reporting in the journal Organic  Letters, Teck-Peng Loh and colleagues at Nanyang Technological  University in Singapore said they have isolated an important hormone that allows  Phytophthora to reproduce. The scientists said that developing a synthetic  version of this hormone could help scientists develop a way to control the  fungus and reduce its threat.