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Live longer through trees

Two UK students are planning to grow trees with the human DNA. The trees would not be affected by the change, but still carry the donors' biological essence.

tech reviews Updated: Jun 28, 2003 20:26 IST

To replace the unused "junk" DNA in trees with entire human genomes, two art students are planning to grow trees containing the genetic identity of human beings.

Scientists have advised the pair that it is perfectly feasible. The "humanised" trees would be unaffected by the change, but still carry the biological essence of the DNA donors. One possibility envisaged is that the trees could replace gravestones as a way of preserving the memory of loved ones, says a report in The Telegraph.

According to the report, Georg Tremmel, an Austrian studying design at the Royal College of Art in London and a Japanese colleague, Shiho Fukahara, hope to create the first hybrid trees within a year.

"Life is DNA," said Tremmel, "The basic idea is that if you can pass your DNA into a tree you would have another chance to prolong your life in storage."

First Published: Jun 28, 2003 00:00 IST