Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Redwood Giants 2.0

As much as the new system at the New York Times disappoints me because I think it hampers self-guided education, I am still fairly addicted to the science and environmental news in the New York Times (even thought I am now limited to 20 articles a month). A recent article that I read was about cloning the gigantic redwood trees on the west coast. According to the article, some scientists believe that the threes which have been around for thousands of years can help save the environment and replace trees that have died because of bug epidemics and other natural problems. Other scientists argue that the trees that lived the longest may have benefited from earlier good fortune rather than strong genes and only cloning a small number of the oldest trees will reduce the genetic strength of the trees because it adds no new gene patterns to help make the trees stronger. The debate is especially interesting to me because of the massive foresting I saw on trips to Oregon where whole mountainsides are clean cut and then artificially repopulated until the trees are mature enough to be cut down again.

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