Innovations

-- Just days apart, two teams of biotech researchers announced they had found the gene that regulates flowering. Scientists at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and the University of California at San Diego say that the results promise to boost crop yields by coaxing plants to bloom faster and to shorten the time it takes to cross-breed new hybrid strains. They could even be used to inspire rose plants to sprout flowers where leaves would normally grow.

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