March 23, 2005
Swiss Army Plants

Washington Post today carried this article summarizing a remarkable discovery in plant genetics. It seems that plants can "fix" their genes with copies from ancestors long gone:

The newly discovered phenomenon, which resembles the caching of early versions of a computer document for viewing later, allows plants to archive copies of genes from generations ago, long assumed to be lost forever.

Great. I can't remember where I put my car keys this morning, but my house plant can call up the genetic code of its ancestors. Sometimes life just don't seem fair.

Posted by scott at March 23, 2005 09:29 AM

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very interesting. I can definitely say that this wasn't even a topic discussed in my classes 10 years ago. it's also really, really interesting that they're pointing towards RNA as the culprit as that sounds almost viral in nature.

DAMMIT - now I'm going to have to go and buy Nature when I get a chance...

Posted by: ronaprhys on March 23, 2005 09:35 AM
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