Roses are red, violets are blue. But what if roses were blue? In that case, florists might make a lot of green.
Scientists are now closing in on a prize that has obsessed rose lovers for centuries -- the creation of the true blue rose.Because blue pigment does not exist in roses, like it does in forget-me-nots or blue poppies, the only way to create a blue rose is to manipulate its genetic code. And millions of dollars are being spent on the effort by genetic engineering companies.
The prize is a nice chunk of the $25 billion global cut-flower market, which hasn't seen a major twist in roses since the introduction of yellow around the turn of the last century.
To create blue, the Western world's most popular color, scientists have plucked genes from blue petunias, fiddled with indigo-producing enzymes from the human liver and tapped into the mystery of King George III's occasionally blue urine. (A story in itself.)
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