News Worms
News Worms


Scientists work with candy manufacturer to save chocolate from extinction

Scientists work with candy manufacturer to save chocolate from extinction

The places where cacao plants, necessary for the production of chocolate, grow are in danger of becoming warmer, drier, and less suitable for cacao cultivation, reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The scientists have planted rows of tiny cacao seedlings in greenhouses using gene-editing technology CRISPR to assess whether altering the DNA of the seeds will enable them to survive these future climates. Over half of the world's chocolate now comes from just two countries in West Africa - Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana - and by 2050, rising temperatures will shrink today's chocolate-growing regions even further.

The company has also joined forces with researchers at the University of California-Berkeley to work towards a solution.

The Sun reports cocoa beans, which grown on cacao trees only thrive in humid rainforest-like conditions close the equator.

Yet, those regions won't be appropriate for chocolate in the following couple of decades.

Mars, which would obviously be majorly affected by a drop in chocolate supply, pledged $1 billion back in September to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 60 percent by 2050. This will allow farmers to continue raising their crops without forcing them to look for new plots of land at higher elevations where the climate is more welcoming.

These fungal diseases spread too, of course, so if climate change doesn't kill our cacao, disease will. The company's chief sustainability officer, Barry Parkin, told BI UK his company is trying "to go all in".

Jennifer Doudna, the geneticist who invented CRISPR, is overseeing the collaborative effort with Mars, the company behind Snickers and M&M's. Despite the fact that her apparatus has gotten more consideration for its capability to annihilate human infections and make alleged "fashioner babies", Doudna figures its most significant applications won't be on people but instead on the food they eat.

The exploration lab she regulates at UC Berkeley is known as the Innovative Genomics Institute. Well, apparently it's all down to cacao plants, which our favourite naughty snack is made from, being unable to grow in the warmer climates that experts are predicting to occur due to global warming.

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