A relatively small cluster of genetic information, some of it dating to 60 million years ago, endows the staple fruit of summer with its taste and texture. The secrets of the tomato, star of summer gardens, salads and gazpacho, is now laid out for plant breeders and horticulturists in exacting detail.
In literature and folklore (and video games, sometimes), the blue rose signifies the impossible, or mystery, or the unquenchable. It's not much of a leap, really; roses are ubiquitous, but due to a genetic barrier, a blue rose is naturally impossible. Of course, there's no particular reason to do what that meddling bully nature wants us to do, so a Japanese company has genetically modified a rose to create...well, it's not quite blue, but it's certainly closer than any previous effort.
Office workers in Japan are adding some rural relaxation, if you can call it that, to their usual workaday routines. In Tokyo’s bustling business hub of Otemachi, a 1,000-square-foot indoor rice paddy is providing office workers a way to get back to their horticultural roots – and 100 pounds of rice for the building’s cafeteria. That’s actually kind of a big deal for a country that grows only half of the food it requires.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.