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Potato famine genome secrets unlocked

Using historical botanical collections, scientists have unlocked the genetic code of potato blight – the disease behind the great Irish Potato Famine. New study shows what made the potato famine so ruthlessly dangerous and why it’s still costing billions to fight it.

Why insects always hide in the dark

It is no coincidence that insect larvae always hide away in dark corners. Scientists have now discovered how the larvae know where it’s best to hide away.

Microscopic arms race rages on the seabed

The ocean floor contains viruses and bacteria locked in a constant struggle for survival. This has a great effect on the carbon cycle in the ocean and thus also affects how much CO2 is released into the atmosphere.

Adrenal tumours linked to high blood pressure

High blood pressure can be caused by adrenal tumors triggering hormone overload.

Childhood obesity gene identified

Defects on a special ’satiety gene’ may constitute a rare but important cause of early childhood obesity.

’Allergy genes’ identified

Scientists have identified the ten main genes responsible for inherited allergies. The discovery may also reveal the cause of the rising incidence of type 1 diabetes.

Why leprosy is still going strong

Scientists have mapped the genome of the bacterium that causes leprosy. The findings reveal why the disease still manages to infect more than 200,000 people every year.

Malaria's deadly grip explained

Scientists have identified the protein that the deadliest malaria parasites bind to in humans. Now the way is paved for a malaria vaccine.

Scientists planning global network of diseases

Biologists across the world are discussing the possibility of establishing a global database of bacteria, viruses and other biological data.

How bacteria adapt to human hosts

Researchers have mapped how bacteria go from living in topsoil to living in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.