Chocco-lypse: Chocolate might run out in 30 years experts warn

CRISPR put to work to save chocolate from devastation

Beyond the glittery glass-and-sandstone walls of the University of California's new biosciences building, rows of tiny green cacao seedlings in refrigerated greenhouses await judgment day.

Now that the festive period is officially over *sobs*, many us still have kitchen cupboards full to the brim with chocolate that we were given for Christmas, and are now desperately trying to hide it whilst we undertake our annual strict January diet.

Cacao plants involve a dubious position on the globe.

FYI, other foods at risk of not surviving climate change include coffee, apples, and potatoes.

Cacao plants are slated to disappear by as early as 2050 thanks to warmer temperatures and dryer weather conditions. Cacao plants are already at a disadvantage given the limited area they can thrive in - within 20 degrees north or south of the equator, in a place with mostly uniform temperatures, high humidity, plenty of rain, and wind protection. Officials in countries such as Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana - which produce more than half of the world's chocolate - will face an agonising dilemma over whether to maintain the world's supply of chocolate or to save their dying ecosystems.

Its initiative with Cho at UC Berkeley is another arm of that efforts.


"There are obviously commitments the world is leaning into but, frankly, we don't think we're getting there fast enough collectively", Parkin said.

Berkeley's gene-editing technology, called CRISPR, has been in the works for a while, though when it gets attention, it's nearly always for the potential to eliminate genetic diseases or (sort of on the extreme end of this) build "designer babies".

An ardent tomato nursery worker, Doudna figures her device can profit everybody from substantial food organizations like Mars to singular specialists like herself.

The exploration lab she regulates at UC Berkeley is known as the Innovative Genomics Institute.

CRISPR is involved in another project to protect cassava, a crop that saves millions of people from starvation each year, from the effects of climate change by tweaking its DNA to produce fewer toxins in warmer temperatures.

However, the joy of eating chocolate may not last long, especially by the 2050s, as the planet is set to run out of cacao seeds - the key ingredient in cocoa, cocoa butter and chocolate.

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