From: Eric Bland, Discovery News
Published September 15, 2009 11:02 AM

Tech Helps Dandelions Ooze

Pop off most dandelion heads and, just for a second, white sap oozes freely from the wound.

Pop the head off a new genetically engineered dandelion, however, and white sap oozes for minutes, allowing scientists to gather five times more latex than from the average dandelion.

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The research could lead to a variety of new or cheaper products, including new car tires or even new pharmaceutical drugs.

"We have identified the enzyme responsible for the rapid polymerization and have switched it off," explained Dirk Prufer, a scientist at Fraunhofer Institute in Munich, Germany, who is developing the technology.

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