An international team has managed to sequence the watermelon genome in the hopes that it could help create a sweeter, more nutritious and more disease-resistant fruit.
Due to the domestication and large-scale farming of watermelons, much of the fruit’s disease-resistant genes were lost.
Researchers examined the genomes of 20 different watermelons and developed what they call a first-generation genetic map for watermelon. This means breeders can now try to produce new crops using genetic information that specifies size, colour and taste among many other factors.
“Decoding the complete genome of the watermelon … provided a wealth of information and toolkits to facilitate research and breeding,” said Zhangjun Fei of Cornell University and one of the leaders of the project.
The report said domesticated watermelons contained 23,440 genes, about the same as humans.
Watermelon, one of the top five fresh fruits consumed in the world, are believed to have originated in Africa and then cultivated by the Egyptians more than 4,000 years ago.
Why Presidents Seem So Tall: Psychologists Find Powerful People Feel Taller Than They Really Are – ABC News
“Now that we have jobs,” Goncalo recalled in a telephone interview, “the rooms feel smaller.”
The two suspected that having jobs gave them a feeling of power, which made them feel literally bigger, and they toyed with the idea of finding out if that was actually the case. Not much happened initially, because such a study would take years, but a national disaster brought their question to center stage.
As oil from the deadly 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico inched towards the shores along the gulf, BP’s chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, uttered this statement, which became the first sentence of their study:
“We care about the small people.”
That statement “generated a firestorm of controversy when he twice referred to the victims of the largest oil spill in United States history as the ‘small people,’” the study, to be published in Psychological Science, notes.
“That quote really got us going,” Goncalo said. It suggested that self-deception “is a real phenomenon that actually happens among powerful people.”
Strange Random Power Quote:
- Large and in Charge: Powerful People Overestimate Their Own Height (sciencedaily.com)
- To Boost Business, Let Employees Unleash Their Inner Napoleons (fastcompany.com)
- Power Makes People Feel Taller (livescience.com)
- Powerful people think they’re taller than they really are, claim researchers (dailymail.co.uk)