Bloomberg the Company

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Follow Us

Industry Products

Businessweek Archives

A Green Lawn And Lots More Leisure


Developments to Watch

A GREEN LAWN--AND LOTS MORE LEISURE

WEEKEND YARD WORK MAY NEVER BE THE SAME. Researchers in Australia and Canada have discovered that a synthetic version of a plant hormone can slow the growth of ordinary lawn grass without diminishing its color or lushness. The compound--a type of growth regulator called gibberellin--causes grass to grow at only one-fifth to one-third the normal rate. With a monthly spraying, said Richard Pharis of the University of Calgary, mowing could be reduced to once every 30 days. Treated grass also requires less water and fertilizer--an urgent concern to people maintaining golf courses, large estates, or country clubs.

Serendipity played a classic role in the discovery. Pharis and investigators at the Australian National Laboratory in Canberra were synthesizing gibberellins to understand how they stimulate plant growth and flowering. A manufacturing error produced a variant. And when they tested it, the new synthetic stunted grass growth--possibly by competing with natural gibberellins in the grass. The researchers applied for a patent, and in the meantime, Abbott Laboratories, Dow Chemical, and DuPont have all expressed interest in licensing it. Shrubs and garden weeds, alas, are not significantly affected.EDITED BY NEIL GROSS


The Aging of Abercrombie & Fitch
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus