Scientists Slow Aging in Flowers
It could mean longer-lasting bouquets eventually
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2014 7:24 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Japanese scientists seem to have figured out a way to slow down the aging process dramatically, albeit only in flowers. They zeroed in on a gene in a variety of morning glory, shut it off, and, voila, the flower's blooms suddenly had twice the normal lifespan, reports AFP via Phys.org. "Unmodified flowers started withering 13 hours after they opened, but flowers that had been genetically modified stayed open for 24 hours," says a researcher at National Agriculture and Food Research Organization near Tokyo. The striking result: When new blooms opened in the morning, paler ones from the day before were alongside them.

Theoretically, the find "could help unravel secrets on how to prevent cell decay in other organisms," observes the Daily Mail, but for now the discovery is confined to the world of flowers. One possible real-world benefit is longer-lasting bouquets of cut flowers. The gene that got turned off is called Ephemeral1, and if scientists find something like it in other flowers such as lilies and tulips, they could apply a solution that suppresses the gene and prevents petals from aging. (Humans who want to keep their brains from aging might consider learning a new language.)

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Mark Dreher
Jul 5, 2014 7:39 PM CDT
You don't need, any "miracles. You can STOP, the aging process AND REVERSE IT Right now. At home For "next to nothing" By using "Vitamin C Infusions" Which is several powdered vitamin C pills, melted into a small amount of warm water,and applied topically, to your face and neck. Costs, almost nothing. But the effects, are amazing. You absorb 10 times more vitamin C, when it is applied topically. And on your face, it boosts "collagen production", dramatically smoothing out all your wrinkles. Applied twice daily. This trick, is actually amazing. "Vitamin C Infusions", work in two ways. First, the citric acid in the vitamin C acts as a daily "mild chemical peel", that constantly "sloughs off" all dead skin cells, and evens out the skins surface and texture. Second, the vitamin C is actually absorbed, by the skin, causing a huge boost in collagen production, wherever it is applied. This pushes up and fills in wrinkles, from below. Not temporarily, permanently.
dan6807
Jul 5, 2014 2:46 PM CDT
Nature created the aging in flowers to prevent them from using and choking all resources in a given area. If these modified plants get into the field they will kill all other plants like weeds and we will have to find genetic solutions to kill them faster. OR...
FarmerM
Jul 5, 2014 11:41 AM CDT
I can't resist a small rant: What Blooming Idiot paid for this one? As a farmer, usually the food value of hay is lowered if you let the hay "bloom." Most foods are after blooms. The only thing I see it helping is the shelf life of broccoli...not something I really like to think about.