Grow! That’s Nature’s prime directive to living things, and one that genetic engineers have harnessed for making powerful drugs such as human growth hormone. This time, University of Edinburgh scientist Peter Doerner has used genetic engineering to create plants that just plain grow faster and bigger-up to three times as big, in fact.
In 1996, Doerner discovered that a gene called cyc-1 helps control the rate at which plant cells divide. Now he has created a strain of Arabidopsis thaliana, a flowering mustard plant, with an extra copy of this gene that kicks in at just the right moment in the cell-division process. The payoff will come in crops like rice, which could reach maturity faster with the new gene inserted, enabling farmers to squeeze in an extra harvest.
The inside story of how ChatGPT was built from the people who made it
Exclusive conversations that take us behind the scenes of a cultural phenomenon.
How Rust went from a side project to the world’s most-loved programming language
For decades, coders wrote critical systems in C and C++. Now they turn to Rust.
Design thinking was supposed to fix the world. Where did it go wrong?
An approach that promised to democratize design may have done the opposite.
Sam Altman invested $180 million into a company trying to delay death
Can anti-aging breakthroughs add 10 healthy years to the human life span? The CEO of OpenAI is paying to find out.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.