Here’s something to think about as you sip that morning mochaccino: Deforestation, climate change and the proliferation of pests and fungal pathogens are putting most of the world’s wild coffee species at risk of extinction.
There’s a big molecule, a protein, inside the leaves of most plants. It’s called Rubisco, which is short for an actual chemical name that’s very long and hard to remember.
Amanda Cavanagh, a biologist and post-doctoral researcher at the University of Illinois, calls herself a big fan of Rubisco. “It’s probably the most abundant protein in the world,” she says. It’s also super-important.