Weekly Brief: Banana Fungus Slip Slidin’ AwayAI

How can artificial intelligence save the world’s favourite fruit?

Tropical Race 4 – don’t worry we aren’t talking about that purple hurricane game every kid seem to be playing this summer! Better yet: crop destroying fungus. Fusarium Oxysporum has come to public attention after it hit land in Colombia. Short banana PSA: a different strain of Fusarium almost obliterated bananas as we knew them 30 years ago, leaving the more resistant ‘Cavendish’ as top banana. This strain is already present in Asia and can survive dormant in the soil for many years. It is expected to sweep through Latin America, where 99% of the world’s crop is grown, decimating bananas left and right. But all is not lost! An international team is using AI to detect diseases in bananas, developing tech that could be deployed on an international scale to contain and control the epidemic. Opening up the GMO debate, CRISPR and BioTech options have also been suggested to modify bananas (or even the disease itself) to sidestep a potential biological catastrophe. Without getting all Swedish child environmentalist on you, it seems like a good time to think about how to promote biodiversity within the confines of practical and ecological production needs. Thankfully BioTech is positioned to lead this attack and protect our precious bananas! Let the fights in offices across the nation continue over (objectively) the best fruit.

Go bananas for our favourite job ads:

Want to work with us?
Check out our vacancy for a Sales and Operations Intern – apply on the site if you think you can be our next superstar! 

Get the Weekly Brief straight in your inbox: Subscribe

Leave a Reply

avatar

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of