Friday, 12 June 2020

Stopping to smell

My grandma has a garden full of roses (and I mean, full)—red, yellow, pink, even orange (actually, I think the technical term is apricot). Grandma could probably open her own flower business with the number of different coloured roses in her garden.

I'm teasing, but the truth is Grandma's rose garden is exceptionally pretty with all the different colours. Except...Grandma doesn't grow any of her favourite-coloured roses.

Grandma loves ROYAL BLUE ROSES. I concur—they are beautiful. But…you won’t see many of those growing in a typical garden.

That’s because blue roses are grown using biotechnology—which is a scientific process that’s pretty hard to explain but essentially means the plant’s DNA is naturally altered to create a specific trait—in this case, its royal blue colour. Sound complicated?

It is!

Which is why even though scientists have been growing royal blue roses for the last six years or so, my grandpa has to order them in for special occasions—like Grandma’s birthday, Mother’s Day, and June 12 (that's today!)—which is ironically, Red Rose Day. (Who makes these days up?!)

Biotechnology is pretty fascinating science, and of course like all science, it’s evolving all of the time.

We talk about biotechnology in the Superman Duffy educational graphic novel 5-7-5 ERRAND BOY. If you've read it, you know that biotechnology affects our daily lives more than we think. If you don't have a copy, you can get a free copy by visiting the Alberta Canola Producers Commission website.

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend—and don't forget to stop to smell the roses....

~ Chase Superman Duffy

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