Mad scientist at work

Well, that’s what the SMH article’s accompanying picture would have you believe just by looking. I’m sure this nice boffin in the white coat doesn’t always look like he’s wondering about photographers a la fava beans and a nice chianti.

Actually, some Victorian scientists “have discovered a gene that could prevent frost damage to wheat plants and save the world’s farmers billions of dollars a year.

According to the SMH report, “[the plant] has the ability to inhibit the growth of ice crystals, which prevents it from freezing and dying.”

That’s pretty bloody impressive. Waves of wheat on the Mongolian steppes, here we come.

Categories: Uncategorized

11 replies

  1. Flounder anti-freeze proteins have been spliced into crops — potatoes, tomatoes, and otehrs — for five or ten years aleady. I believe that some of these frost-resistant crops are already commercially available. Moreover, several crops (some forms of winter wheat, I think) have already been shown to produce their own anti-freeze proteins naturally. I think the breakthrough here is that this is a somewhat more effective antifreeze protein. It’s incremenetal, not revolutionary.

  2. Sorry for the double comment. The system seized up on the first and claimed that it failed (something like “There was no data in the page, would you like to try again?”), but apparently it was lying.

  3. I believe the Bush Administration has found an easier solution – just raise the temperature of the earth.

  4. Ian, I hadn’t heard anything else about frost-resistant genes, as NSW doesn’t have a huge problem in that area so the media coverage is lacking.I guess it’s not surprising that is a fertile area of research – the benefits are so obvious. We’ll see which gene-splices win the crop-yield war, eh?

  5. Sing it, Paul.

  6. When I first read “Victorian scientists” I thought you meant scientists from the Victorian era, and found the use of the present tense confusing.

  7. Willendorf, now I have a picture of vast amounts of steam and wrought iron being somehow involved. As long as Kevin Kline and Will Smith don’t get involved, I’m sure it’s safe.

  8. I say, old boy, take a look at my horse-drawn steam-powered cloning machine!By Jove, that’s simply ripping, old chap! Let’s clone something for Queen and country, eh what?

  9. Ian – so long as you stick to crops & steer clear from the royal family….That’d be great 🙂

  10. Oh I don’t know, old bean. Surely a few chin augmentations cloned from skin fragments retrieved from royal razors would be well received.

  11. The up-and-coming generations don’t seem to be lacking in chinnishness. But those chinned breeding stock led to pugnacious spouses and royal divorce – was it worth it? Betty must ask herself late at night over a G&T gazing fondly at the pics of of well-chinned grandkids.

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