sequences that make copies of themselves and jump around
Genetics could do with some Redcode programmers apparently.
Scientists have successfully sequenced the genome of Phytophthora infestans - the potato blight mould which in the 1840s devasted Irish potato crops, leading to the deaths of one million people. According to Nature, Phytophthora infestans is a water mould (oomycete) which "causes late blight in potatoes, consumes and rots the …
"The researchers discovered that parts of the "unusually large" genome "stood out as being highly variable", or full of "transposons", described as "sequences that make copies of themselves and jump around in the genome". The scientists believe the transposons - comprising a whopping 74 per cent of the genome - allow the mould to quickly evolve to defeat genetic countermeasures intended to stop it in its tracks"
A Virtual Equivalence and Sublimely Stealthy Singularity of Good , Beta Great ConFickers and ITs QuITe Alien Piracies in Virtualised Mode. Realisation Zones for Virtual Machinery Field Testing on AIManoeuvres in the Live Operational Virtual Environment Meme Stream Teem/Future Memory Tumble/ESPecial Operating System? And a Question requires Thinking for Answering with a Negative No for a Positive Yes. :-)
Interestingly as there is a lot of misunderstanding about the Irish potato famine. It was caused by propagation from a few potatoes that were brought toIreland. A tuber or two would be handed on from each crop to another family to produce their own potatoes. As such a single variety was used thoughout (mono culture) and when disease hit took out pretty much the lot.
A good point to note in an era of increasing reduction in the genetic pool, food crops are produced from. No, genetic engineering will not help here as they cannot recreate the missing genes from a lack of gene pool.
The problem in the 1840's wasn't that there was a lack of food... Ireland was exporting food at the time. The problem was that they didn't own it . The introduction of potatoes as a source of food that didn't require level land freed up more valuable land and an increasing viscious cycle developed. It was an economic and social problem , not one of simple disease prevention and control. Think anything has changed today? (Like f~ck it has)
A Hungarian family, the Sarvari, developed strains of blight resistant spuds that seem highly resistant.
I've grown Sarpo Mira for two years and, without using fungicides, have avoided blight entirely , quite an achievement when you consider the weather.
They were conventionally developed, by selection, cross-breeding, and testing so they may fall to a later mutation, as they aren't grown on a commercial scale yet and so phytophtera may not have had a "proper go" at them but they work well for me.
Sounds like an ad, but if you grow your own, try them 'cos you know you'll be on holiday when the blight warning is given ;)
There was a huge amount of other food grown in Ireland at the time and it's not as if they were simply fussy eaters. Unfortunately, the English decided that they owned all the other food and sent it all out of the country.
So really the deaths of 1 million Irish people are on the invading English hands and not the potato blight.
We were exporting a metric assload of food at the time of the blight
It just was more profitable to sell all the bacon , beef etc etc
abroad than feed some starving paddys.
The "famine" was economic genocide so effective that the Irish population has never reached that point again.
In 1841 it was in the region of 6.5million , today there are approx 4.4million in the republic and 1.7million in the north.(this includes immigrants in the pop numbers)
To quote Sir Charles Trevelyan in charge of govt relief to famine victims
"the judgement of God sent the calamity to teach the Irish a lesson"
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