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You Never Have to Mow Your Yard Again

With the arrival of spring most everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere comes badly needed rain, birds singing and, for most home owners, yard work. Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have mapped a hormone that can regulate the size of plants, thus limiting how high grass can grow.

The hormone researchers have unlocked is a signaling pathway for an important class of steroid hormones, the brassinosteroids that regulate plant development and growth. Sounds innocent enough, especially when it comes to cutting grass...

While being more precise, this genetic modification could lead to all sorts of unknown problems with the vegetables and fruits we eat, not to mention farm animals.

The question remains, will this new technology make natural food any healthier to eat? Developing Frankenstein-like crop concoctions that are non-allergenic have been problematic at best. But that hasn't stopped processed food manufacturers from using genetically modified products in about 75 percent of the products you see at your neighborhood grocery store.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute May 4, 2006

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