FEB 20, 2019 3:33 PM PST

Bringing Ancient Plants Back to Life

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Scientists at Ginkgo Bioworks are using genetic technology to bring back the essence of extinct plants. It took a major effort that is outlined in the video, but eventually, they were able to assemble DNA from a specimen of Hawaiian mountain hibiscus that had been preserved.   

When the DNA they created was inserted into yeast, the microorganism was able to start generating the aromatic fragrances that were originally from the plant. A scent artist was able to use that information to make blends of the fragrant molecules, and give scientists a suggestion of how the plant may have smelled.

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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