Blinded by Science

Jennifer Zurko

I’m a child of the ’80s and when a song comes on that was a hit during that era, I smile with that faraway look in my eye and say, “This song reminds me of my childhood. I had a good childhood.”

One popular ’80s song was “She Blinded Me With Science,” a one-hit-wonder by Thomas Dolby. If you’ve never heard it, go on Vimeo so you can hear it and see the bizarre video. One of the fun parts of that song is when the old guy shouts out “Science!” every once in a while. It’s weird and quirky … kinda like how the 1980s actually were.

This month’s cover story made me think of that song. As I read Chris Beytes’ article, I kept wanting to shout, “Science!” because its basis is really centered around the science of breeding and genetics. I know you haven’t forgotten what’s happened to our beloved Impatiens walleriana—I don’t know if there’s been anything more destructive for such a long period of time and had such far-reaching effects than impatiens downy mildew (IDM). But we now have some hope of actually bringing back one of the most popular shade annuals.

PanAmerican Seed has cracked the code on I. walleriana genes, with the help of DNA technology company KeyGene, to breed a series that’s fully resistant to IDM. This is exciting, breakthrough stuff, people, and we have science to thank for that. Chris actually went to visit PanAmerican’s research greenhouses and KeyGene’s facilities in the Netherlands to get the whole scoop and see the plants for himself.

Another thing that seems like science—but only science a small handful of people get—is taxes. Now that the government has passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a lot of elements to your business (and personal) finances will be changing. Our tax expert Mark Battersby dives into the parts that matter for your business.

What about the science of robotics and machinery? Chris is a proud gearhead, so he’s more than happy to travel to IPM Essen in Germany every year to see the latest in greenhouse technology.

There’s also the science behind growing plants. Now that more states will be looking at new cannabis decriminalization or legalization laws in 2018, some growers are looking to transform their ornamentals greenhouse into one to grow cannabis. But it’s not that simple. Read what’s the same and different between an ornamentals greenhouse and a cannabis structure.

And finally, get a refresher on calibrachoa diseases from one of Ball Horticultural Company’s in-house scientists, Dr. Colleen Warfield.

I think we have enough science-y stuff in here to give you college credit! Also, for those of you who know Thomas Dolby’s song, you’ll be shouting, “Science!” for the rest of the day. You’re welcome. GT