Scientists Prep to Battle Impending Chocolate ShortageMarie Donlon | January 02, 2018
With word from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that cocoa plants might not survive rising temperatures and will consequently threaten future chocolate production, scientists from the University of California-Berkeley in collaboration with the candy company Mars are working on a possible solution to an impending chocolate deficit.
Scientists have placed cocoa plant seedlings in refrigerated greenhouses so that they can work on creating a more flexible plant able to endure the rising temperatures that threaten the few regions where the plants currently grow — roughly 20 degrees north and south of the equator.
With warmer temperatures threatening the consistent humidity, rain and temperatures necessary to grow the cocoa plant, experts warn that chocolate could go extinct by 2050.
However, scientists using the gene-editing tool CRISPR hope to manipulate the DNA of cocoa plants — making them durable enough to withstand warmer, dryer climates.
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