American Chestnut trees likes these used to dominate forests in the eastern US. Now they are all but extinct, due to a fungal blight. Carl Zimmer discusses the possibilities for saving them, which are unusual in that they involve changing what the American Chestnut is. The best way to save the Chestnut, conservationists have decided, is through altering its genetic make-up, either through inter-breeding with the Asian Chestnut, or inserting genes through genetic modification.
It’s possible you saw a story last year about how the American Chestnut was being reintroduced at the Garden and wondered what was going on. Now, Carl Zimmer lays it out in the best article I have seen on the topic, well … ever. Thank you Carl for so clearly explaining an unusually complex problem! ~AR