Genetically Engineered Flowers – Introduction
Genetically engineered flowers are a branch of the popular science of genetics. Many biologists work tirelessly with the DNA and genes of various plant species in hopes of creating new species with new and attractive characteristics. Others attempt to decipher the genetic code in hopes of finding ways to increase the cell life of plants, animals, and even people.
An ultimate goal of genetic engineering is to cure cancer and other malignant diseases. Another is to perfect a human clone, although this is a matter so controversial that it may be many years before much progress is made in the field. Genetically engineered flowers, however, raise no controversy and remain, for many scientists, their chief topics of study, and primary tools of experimentation.
So, what are the primary goals of working with genetically engineered flowers? These are many fold, with some prominent examples like pigment alteration, scent alteration, improved hardiness and resistance to disease. Although the former two are largely cosmetic, the latter two can help gardeners to grow rarer species that require very specific environments and stimuli.
Genetically Engineered Flowers – Benefits
As stated above, there are many possible benefits to altering the genes of a plant. We’ll start by discussing the first.
Chiefly cosmetic, the ability to alter the color of a species is one of the original sources of genetically engineered flowers. The idea first came about when botanists and florists desired new and interesting variety amongst existing plants that were very limited in color. Although it is possible, to a degree, to alter the color of a plant through cultivation and cross breeding, genetically engineered flowers have become more popular due to the surety of success.
Consider the benefit of genetically engineered flowers with this example. Say a florist wishes to come up with a new and unique flower to market for a specific event or holiday. In this case, we’ll say that they wish to create a black rose. Black flowers are not actually possible, although near-black variants of certain species are produced by the clumping together of pigmentation to the point where the color is so dark that it appears black.
Genetically engineered flowers that are designed to be as dark as possible would allow the florist to create new designs for marketing and sale. This example can be shared with any colors and any plants.
It is also possible to manipulate genetically engineered flowers to grow to new heights, or to be shrunk into dwarf versions of the parent species. This can be beneficial for botanical gardens that wish to create new and exciting exhibits to draw spectators.
Another interesting development is the ability to alter the scent of genetically engineered flowers. Scientists are currently designing flowers with genetically modified or enhanced scents, in an attempt to replace fragrances that have vanished over decades of flower breeding. This can help to restore the appeal of classic breeds that now suffer from a weak or undetectable scent.
Although this science is still in its infancy, it is hoped that one day in the near future it will be possible to determine the scent of a flower at the genetic level. Since scent is the sense most often linked with emotions, this could have the benefit of creating genetically engineered flowers that can trigger memories or fond emotions from a person’s past.
Potential benefits of this include the ability to design and sell roses that emit a scent that triggers romantic feelings in a person’s brain. Other flowers could be designed to emit scents that are pleasant, calming, and helpful in reminding someone of better times. This could have the benefit of helping the ill or infirm to recover.
Indeed, it is a popular element of psychology to use sensual stimuli to help trigger repressed or damaged memories. This can go be used to help overcome personality-altering traumatic experiences, or to even go so far as to revive someone from a coma (theoretically, this has yet to be proven with any reliability).
Genetically Engineered Flowers – Conclusion
Thanks to the myriad benefits of working with genetically engineered flowers, this new avenue of science is receiving increased funding and attention from big businesses. We can expect to see many more developments in this field over the near future.
On a personal level, if you wish to enjoy genetically engineered flowers, simply visit your florist or log onto their online shop. They will often carry a selection of genetically engineered flowers suited to various occasions, and should hopefully have what you’re looking for. They are also a good source of additional information on the topic.
Consider the use of fresh flowers as a gift or for decoration. By creating something truly beautiful and that everyone will be able to love, you can enhance the spirit of a room or office.
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