Part III: The Warning Clock

For thousands in Kehemba and tens of thousands across Africa afflicted by the neurotoxic disease konzo, the solution is to give people food, seeds and fertile land so they don’t have to rely on bitter cassava, a staple crop that’s rich in the poison cyanide.
 
But conflict in the region and government corruption prevent that from happening, explains Amy Maxmen, in this third and last installment of a series about the much-neglected disease that preys on the very poor.
 
Molecular biology may be the best hope, Maxmen reports. In March, Roslyn Gleadow, at Monash University in Australia, and colleagues published the cassava genome in Nature Biotechnology. “Now, researchers will be able to detect which genes control the toxicity of cassava, and which make them resilient to drought,” Maxmen writes.
 
Read the intro to the series and the other articles here.
Amy Maxmen, Global Health NOW

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