Coffee Science


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Sep 8, 2003
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Da Gist

Most of the article is whimsy, coffee history, redundant brewing info, etc.

The gist refers to genetically modified coffee:

Decaf once came courtesy of nasty organic solvents such as methylene chloride; today it is "nonchemically" water- or CO2-extracted. Enter "Frankenbeans," a term some Web sites evoke to denote the transgenic transgression of silencing a gene. Researchers in Japan have used RNA interference to dampen one of the three genes in the caffeine biosynthetic pathway, achieving in a year what would take 25 years to breed.4 Integrated Coffee, of Waialua, Hawaii, also is developing a genetically modified (GM) decaf, as well as antisense mRNAs directed against two of the enzymes in the biosynthetic pathway of ethylene, a plant hormone.5 Spray a tree, and its cherries ripen in stunning synchronicity, although saving seeds for next year's crop won't work without an ethylene bath.