Nowadays, we have a variety of selections involving what type of Christmas tree to get and put in our living rooms. We can choose from purchasing and/or chopping down your own real tree, buying a life-like artificial tree (green or silver), a basic cardboard cut-out, or even some tech-inspired ideas (trees made from spare car parts, old hard drives, flexible OLED panels, and a crew of quadrocopters stacking boxes; thanks Engadget). But Germany wants to offer a new method for selecting a Christmas tree, and it involves altering the genetic code of a popular local fir and cloning perfect specimens of it. Yes, Germany is about to go all “Jurassic Park” on Christmas trees!
German scientists, with the aide of a government grant, are trying to develop a method of cloning the Nordmann Fir tree. The tree is native to Caucasus, yet massively cultivated in Germany (and is a popular choice for tannenbaums), but it’s a difficult tree to grow. Biologist Kurt Zoglauer of Humboldt University in Berlin said that 40% of trees don’t make the cut when they mature after 10 to 14 years, while some were stunted by frost, or have the wrong shade of green. Zoglauer’s team hope to refine a method to clone a healthy stock of hardy and beautiful trees by 2016 – that is, assuming that nothing strange happens in the cloning process and the trees actually go “Jurassic Park” on us; and I’m talking about the “Kite-Eating Tree” from the Peanuts type of scenario…but eating humans.
Science is awesome and scary at the same time. Also, never trust a creepily-smiling tree…