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NEWS
July 3, 1992 | STEPHANIE SIMON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Her neighbors, desperate for food, were eating rats. Others, crazed with hunger, were stripping flesh from human corpses. Her own body, subsisting on rations of five ounces of bread a day, was starving to death. And yet, throughout the excruciating 900-day siege of Leningrad in World War II, Maria Bopkova never considered touching the three tons of rice, millet and plant seeds that she worked with each week in the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry.
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SCIENCE
August 12, 2010 | By Rachel Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
A Russian seed bank preserving more than 5,000 rare fruits and ornamental plants, including unique varieties of strawberries, plums, pears, apples and currants, moved one step closer to demolition after losing a court hearing Wednesday, in which rights to the federally-owned land were granted to a government housing development agency. The Vavilov Research Institute, which manages the bank as well as 11 other crop development and conservation facilities across Russia, immediately filed an appeal.
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SCIENCE
August 12, 2010 | By Rachel Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
A Russian seed bank preserving more than 5,000 rare fruits and ornamental plants, including unique varieties of strawberries, plums, pears, apples and currants, moved one step closer to demolition after losing a court hearing Wednesday, in which rights to the federally-owned land were granted to a government housing development agency. The Vavilov Research Institute, which manages the bank as well as 11 other crop development and conservation facilities across Russia, immediately filed an appeal.
NEWS
July 3, 1992 | STEPHANIE SIMON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Her neighbors, desperate for food, were eating rats. Others, crazed with hunger, were stripping flesh from human corpses. Her own body, subsisting on rations of five ounces of bread a day, was starving to death. And yet, throughout the excruciating 900-day siege of Leningrad in World War II, Maria Bopkova never considered touching the three tons of rice, millet and plant seeds that she worked with each week in the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry.
NEWS
January 30, 1993 | DONNA K. H. WALTERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Unless more attention--and money--are focused on agricultural research and conservation, the tragic famine in Somalia will seem "infinitesimal" compared with the massive food shortage the world will face by the end of the decade, leading agricultural researchers warned Friday at a symposium in Washington on food, poverty and the environment.
NEWS
September 24, 1991 | DONNA K. H. WALTERS
When Ethiopia's civil war threatened to engulf the capital of Addis Ababa last May, a group of scientists and activists meeting near Stockholm reacted swiftly to rescue the precious contents of the Addis Ababa seed bank. The bank's director, Melaku Worede, had been among the experts and international leaders participating in discussions about how to best protect crop plants and seeds--key to the world's ability to feed its people. In the face of violent reality, talk shifted to action.
WORLD
April 27, 2003 | David Holley, Times Staff Writer
Scientists here at one of the world's largest gene banks starved to death during the 900-day siege of Leningrad, as this city was then known, rather than consume their collection's priceless seeds. At the time, Nikolai Vavilov, the institute's highly respected leader and most significant collector, had already been arrested after running afoul of a quack geneticist who caught the ear of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Vavilov, whose name the institute now bears, died in prison in 1943.
NEWS
April 25, 1996 | TERENCE MONMANEY, TIMES MEDICAL WRITER
On the eve of the 10th anniversary of history's worst nuclear power plant disaster, scientists report that a group of children 120 miles away who were born eight years after a reactor exploded near Chernobyl, Ukraine, have twice as many mutations in their DNA as do other children. Although researchers have long known that radiation can permanently damage DNA, this study by scientists in Russia and England offers the first evidence that people can pass such mutations to their children.
NEWS
September 24, 1991 | DONNA K. H. WALTERS and TAMARA JONES, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
They did it with primitive computers and jerry-built equipment, without access to technology and information that their counterparts all over the world took for granted--and most likely under the watchful gaze of agents from the Stasi, East Germany's secret police. But since the end of World War II, scientists, researchers and gardeners here have carefully tended a seed bank that most experts rank among the best in the world.
SCIENCE
August 10, 2010 | By Rachel Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
A tug of war between scientists and government real estate developers in Russia will determine the global future of almost 1,000 strawberry varieties, along with hundreds of strains of berries, apples, pears and plums. The threatened plants are part of a collection of rare berries and other fruits growing at the Pavlovsk Experimental Station, a seed bank that blankets over 200 acres of prime land about 20 miles outside St. Petersburg; 90% of the bank's more than 5,000 plant varietals are found nowhere else.
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