Detoxify Contaminated Soil With Trees

Environmentalists warn that altered genes could spread to natural populations.
August 5, 2004, 1pm PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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"In laboratories around the country, researchers are using detailed knowledge of tree genes and recombinant DNA technology to alter the genetic workings of forest trees, hoping to tweak their reproductive cycles, growth rate and chemical makeup, to change their ability to store carbon, resist disease and absorb toxins.

The research is controversial. Environmentalists and others say that because of the large distances tree pollen can travel, altered genes will migrate to natural populations, leading to damage to ecosystems and other unforeseen consequences...toxic-avenger trees are intended to remove heavy metals from contaminated soils in places where other forms of cleanup are prohibitively expensive."

Thanks to Abhijeet Chavan

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Published on Wednesday, August 4, 2004 in The New York Times
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