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.