By Nick Glass and Tim Hume, CNN
Wageningen, The Netherlands (CNN) — The dandelion’s bright yellow bloom and fuzzy, parachute-like seeds are a familiar sight across the continents.
But scientists at Dutch biotech firm KeyGene believe the flower’s true beauty could lie beneath the soil. The dandelion’s roots contain latex, the milky liquid that is a source for natural rubber and the origin for the plant’s name in a number of languages (the Danish for “dandelion” translates as “milk pot”).
Global demand for natural rubber is expected to outstrip supply by 20% by 2020. But KeyGene believes that the dandelion can be developed into an important natural source of the commodity, worth more than $100 billion a year. (read more)