Forget genes - we're working whole chromosomes now, baby. The world of biotech is just beginning to gather momentum, and we're one reason for it.
It's been a brave new world for genetic crops for some time now but Chicago-based researchers say they have developed a method to take crop manipulation to a higher level: the chromosome.So, while you moan about seed costs, remember you are not stupid. If it didn't make you money, you wouldn't buy 'em. And because you buy them, more will come.
Creating an artificial chromosome, into which several manipulated genes can be inserted, may speed efforts to produce fuels and medicines from plants as well as boosting crop nutrition and yield.
In a scientific paper set for publication Friday researchers from Chicago-based Chromatin Inc. and the Universities of Chicago and North Carolina reported success in creating an artificial chromosome for corn plants. Through four generations, the corn treated the man-made chromosomes as if they were natural and passed them along to offspring intact at a rate nearly as high as for chromosomes native to the plants.
"This appears to be the tool that agricultural scientists and farmers have long dreamed of," said Daphne Preuss, a University of Chicago professor of molecular genetics and Chromatin's president. [More]
Here is the real question: do you believe that biotech will reshape your yield curve? If so, what will you bet? Whle others are fixated on whether demand (read: ethanol) will falter, some producers are guessing biotech productivity gains can lower their cost per bushel to survive when competitors bleed red ink.
Those bets are being placed in cash rent and land prices as we speak.