New eBook from HowPlantsWork – “Plant Trek: To Boldly Go Where No Plant Has Gone Before”

On the Past, Present & Future of Plant Genetic Engineering Why would anyone want to insert foreign genes into plants? When and where was this technology invented? And how does it work? Who makes money from this technology? If you grow genetically-engineered crops in the field, won’t the foreign genes…

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Plant “Fountain of Youth”? – Increasing the Longevity of Plants Through Genetic Modification

Forever Young? In a previous post, we saw how some Spanish scientists genetically modified (GM) plants in the genus Pelargonium (more commonly known as geraniums) so that they don’t produce pollen. (You can view the abstract of this paper here or read a provisional copy of the complete paper via…

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Nothing To Sneeze At: Making Pollen-Free Plants Using Genetic Engineering

Sneeze The pollen from some plants can cause allergic rhinitis, a.k.a., “hay fever” in many people. This is because, when the pollen is inhaled into the nasal passages, antigens on the surface of the pollen elicit an immune response in people with a sensitized immune system. (In grass pollen, the…

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“Farmaceuticals” and “Plantibodies” – Using Genetically-Engineered Plants to Produce Drugs and Vaccines

New Meanings For “Medicinal Plants”? Plants have been used by humans for thousands of years as a source of medicines, some effective, many not so much (except perhaps as placebos). The first botanists were likely shaman herbalists who possessed the knowledge of which plants would kill and which plants would…

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