A genetic secret lurks in America’s favorite snack

Different types of popcorn illustrate some of the genomic diversity found in a University of Illinois study.  The findings could facilitate future breeding efforts to create tastier, easier-to-grow versions of America's favorite snack.

URBAN, Ill. — Popcorn, a seemingly simple snack, holds a hidden world of genetic diversity, according to researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The study, led by agricultural science researchers, explored the genetic code of popcorn and uncovered a wealth of untapped secrets that could have implications for both consumers and the agricultural industry. … Read more

The ‘forbidden planet’ narrowly escaped becoming a snack for a dying star (video)

Astronomers have discovered a “forbidden planet” orbiting so close to a red giant star that it should have been destroyed. The giant exoplanet, which has 1.7 times the mass of Jupiter, was discovered when NASA’s Transiting Survey Satellite (TESS) observed its parent red giant star for six months between July 2019 and June 2020, and … Read more

Illinois study reveals genetic secrets of America’s favorite snack

Popcorn kernels of different colors arranged in a spiral on a black background

In its simplest form, popcorn is pretty basic. Most supermarket strains offer a choice of two bean colors, yellow or white, and two bean shapes, pointed or pearly. When popped, the flake typically expands into one of two shapes: mushroom or butterfly. But there’s more to popcorn than meets the eye. New research from the … Read more