A driver operates a tractor to pile wheat grains at the drying house of the Solgonskoye farming company near the village of Talniki, southwest of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia August 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin/File Photo
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The tracking technology used to halt the deadly Ebola and Zika viruses could now be turned against wheat rust as scientists try new ways to stop the fungus devastating world grain crops.Caused by fungal pathogens, the rusts can devastate the world's most widely grown crop, the source of food and livelihoods for more than 1 billion people in developing countries, according to the United Nations.There are only two ways to control wheat rust diseases -- planting varieties that are resistant to rusts or using chemicals to kill the fungi.This translates into a loss of about $1 billion a year, said Hodson, who is leading a technology project to tackle the rust.The new method proposed by Hodson could cut yellow rust disease diagnosis from months to days.Hodson is planning to test the device next summer in Ethiopia, where more than 500,000 hectares of wheat were affected in by yellow rust in 2010 .
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