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ASCC-CNR Research Aims to Improve American Samoa’s Taro

Scientists still cannot explain the 1993 arrival in these islands of the taro leaf blight, a leaf disease caused by a fungus, but once here, it quickly spread by wind and rain to all of American Samoa and Samoa, decimating all the traditional varieties of taro grown here at the time. Fortunately, disease-resistant varieties of taro from Asia and other parts of the Pacific were subsequently introduced to all of Samoa to replace the traditional varieties, but research continues in pursuit of new species of taro ideally suited to our unique environment.

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Four ASCC Students Chosen for Biomedical Research Training Program

Four students at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) have successfully applied to participate in BUILD EXITO, a program launched by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to prepare college undergraduates for careers in the field of biomedical research. Students Sefilina Skelton, Suluga Taliau, Yean Ji Jung and Ernest Puletasi have made the commitment to enter the BUILD EXITO program, which will give them access to training in the foundations of biomedical research while they pursue their degrees at ASCC. Following graduation from ASCC, the students will have the option of continuing their studies in biomedical research with support from the program.

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