Scientists Say Chocolate May Be Extinct By 2050

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If you don't think that the troubling trend of global warming could impact your sweet tooth, think again. Mars claims it can save the treat by creating genetically modified "super chocolate". By 2050, rising temperatures will push today's chocolate-growing regions more than 1,000 feet uphill into mountainous terrain - much of which is now preserved for wildlife, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Climate change is a huge problem for cacao growers, as Business Insider notes, and a major part of the issue stems from the cacao plant itself. That rise in temperature is enough that it will force those chocolate-growing regions to push over 1,200 feet uphill into areas that, right now, are preserved for wildlife and do not allow cultivation. Over portion of the world's chocolate now originates from only two nations in West Africa - Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.

Could one of the best things in the world soon be no more?

"We're endeavoring to bet everything here", Barry Parkin, Mars' central supportability officer, revealed to Business Insider. The research of Jennifer Doudna, who works at UC Berkeley, was important to the creation of the gene-editing technology (but a heated legal battle concluded that the patent belonged to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.) Doudna will be working on the chocolate-preservation project as well. His team will use the revolutionary, emerging genetic engineering technology called CRISPR-Cas9.

Crispr-Cas9 is a tool for making precise edits in DNA, discovered in bacteria.

Credit PA
Credit PA

Well, maybe we really should savour every last bite of that soft, chocolatey goodness, as expects have the predicted the unthinkable, that chocolate will become extinct in 40 years.

The real danger, scientists say, is a lack of humidity, which cacao plants need.

Since the 1990s, more than a billion people from China, Indonesia, India, Brazil and the former Soviet Union have entered the market for cocoa. That - paired with the fact that demand already outpaces supply - means that "we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tons a year in the next few years", according to Hawkins.

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