I was wondering how long it would take for genetic engineering to move into the area
of ornamental plants and apparently it won't take long. A front page article in today's
New York Times says that in addition to developing a blue rose, the Scotts Company
has developed a grass that is drought resistant, immune to weed killer and stops growing
after it reaches a certain height so it needs little mowing. They have even more ambitious
plans, there is talk of red, orange, blue and purple grass, and Peter Day, one of the
company's scientists says: " You might put a luminescent gene in so that your grass might
glow. Or, if your foot stepped on it , it would glow. You could also make novelty grasses."
He didn't say what was more novel than glowing multicolored grass but I'd love to find out.
Jeremy Rifkin and others who fear an attract of killer tomatoes are certain all this will
bring an end to western civilization, they've already sabotaged some of Scotts's test
plots causing serious damage. Nevertheless my hope is that when people start to bring
beautiful plants into their home genetic engineering will shed its fearsome image.
John K Clark firstname.lastname@example.org
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