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Germany plans to clone the perfect Christmas tree, break Charlie Brown's heart

Sean Buckley, @seaniccus
December 23, 2012
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We've seen Christmas trees built out of spare car parts, discarded SCSI drives, OLED panels, and quadrocopter stacked boxes, but Germany? Their taking the old tannenbaum back to its roots -- and tweaking its genetic code. With the aide of a government grant, scientists in Germany are trying to develop a method of tree cloning suited to Nordmann Fir. The native pine is popular for yuletide trimmings, but can be difficult to grow -- as much as 40 percent of trees grown for the season wind up the wrong shade of green or have their growth stunted by frost. Plant biologists hope to have a healthy stock of cloned trees ready by 2016, assuming nothing goes terribly wrong. Perfectly cultivated clones or not, we still prefer 'ol Chuck Brown's charming twig.

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