back to article Germans satisfy latex desire with GM dandelions

German boffins have worked out a much improved method of making latex using the sticky white fluid which comes out of dandelion stems. The new breakthough could mean more comfortable body-cavity searches, an end to itchy condoms, and might free humanity from the threat posed by a global rubber fungus epidemic. According (pdf …


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  1. Elmer Phud

    It Sucks!

    "As a fringe benefit, it seems they also produce significant quantities of artificial sweetener."

    Nuff said.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The trouble with haemophiliac Dandelions

    When cross pollination occurs haemophiliac trees and shrubs will evolve leading to a world wide ban on carrying sharp objects near plants.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    CO2 sink?

    1000Kg per hectare of Latex, that must be quite a good C02 sink. We've got acres of empty farm land that could be planted, and as long as they've made them sterile so their seeds don't colonise everywhere surely this could only be a good thing?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    But it's GM!!!

    Every middle-class tree hugger in the country will be up in arms over "Frankenstein" Dandelions!

  5. Alex 32


    "using the sticky white fluid "

    Hehe! Sorry, just had to.. I know you angled for "Fnars" when you wrote that!

    Friday, and mine's a pint of the black stuff served by a Lady in black latex


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and rabbit food as well

    Clever of them

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Germans? Latex desire?

    I thought I had clicked on the wrong bookmark then...

    /Paris, because she knows all about it

  8. J 3

    Safe from fungus...

    ...until the dandelion eating fungus shows up, that is.

    @The trouble with haemophiliac Dandelions & CO2 sink?

    Maybe, maybe not. Supposing that the enzyme is useful in the little plant's survival, it would not spread well in the wild. I'm just speculating here, but it might be that the latex needs to polymerize quickly to heal any wound caused to the little stems -- the large rubber trees wouldn't need that speed, since they are big and can spare a big of latex while the healing occurs. So, in the wild, a small latex plant that "bleeds" quickly would not survive well. Just like human hemophiliacs.

  9. lee harvey osmond

    "specialist recreational apparel"?

    ...Not to mention the specialist recreational apparel popular in certain circles....

    Recreational, as opposed to workwear? Isn't it true Lewis that you were once an RN diver and as such you were allowed to, nay expected, to wear a rubber suit at work?

    Anyway the specialist recreational apparel is generally made out of synthetic latex and not natural rubber -- see also .

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Sticky white fluids

    Genetic modification and germans with a thing for latex- sounds like a fantastic field of research!

    Seriously, though- this really does seem like it's a fantastic example of genetic modification being used to solve a very real problem. Well done those german latex-lovers!

  11. scottboy
    Paris Hilton


    You mean itching and redness aren't normal?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Bother

    Not if you don't miss your annual bath twice in a row.

  13. daz disley

    but surely ....

    the rubber trees will bounce back ....

    pass my coat will you ?

  14. Vlad

    I don't trust German-made rubber

    Years ago I used to repair audio equipment such as tape recorders. The drive belts in the Grundig (German manufacturer) ones always used to get really cracked, and eventually broke. In comparison, I rarely needed to replace drive belts in units made by manufacturers from other countries. Also the rubber feet on the really old reel-to-reel Grundig recorders went all sticky. No German rubber for me, thanks!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    2+2 etc



    "...or prophylactics."


    "As a fringe benefit, it seems they also produce significant quantities of artificial sweetener."

    German-chocolate flavored condoms?

  16. kain preacher

    Already on it

  17. RW

    Prophylactics? I beg your pardon!

    The mot juste is "condom", not "prophylactic". The latter means merely any measure intended to prevent disease, whereas the former is the technical term for rubber johnnies and nothing else.

    Besides, condoms have important functions besides the prevention of disease, notably contraception. (Unless one consideres pregnancy a disease, that is.)

    If El Reg has a style sheet for its writers, please add "Do not use 'prophylactic' when you mean 'condom.'"

    Yours faithfully, in the interest of linguistic precision.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Dash it!

    I just got rid of thousands of the little beggars and now they may have commercial value?

  19. Donald Miller

    Even sweeter than the Huns' sweetner

    Dandelion wine is among the best fruit varieties, and, in my opinion, the hardest stock to gather — fully-opened blossom petals only, please!

  20. Martin Budden Bronze badge


    "As a fringe benefit, it seems they also produce significant quantities of artificial sweetener."

    Artificial? A _natural_ sweetener, because it is made by a plant not a factory.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    "any fule kno"

    Dear Reg,

    If you are paying this alleged "journalist" please stop now.

    It only seems to be encouraging him.

    Perhaps the BOFH might be able to help you with this "fule"

  22. Ivor Kintol D'uso

    re "any fule kno" AC 12:05

    Google "Molesworth" d1ckhead

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