Some Synthetic Biologists aspire to live in a house grown from a reprogrammed tree. We’re not there yet but our ability to train trees to form useful structures certainly gives cause for optimism. Take for example the living root bridges of the War-Khasis tribe in Northeastern India. Strong, flexible roots are trained to grow across rivers and take root on the far side. While a bridge can take 10 years to grow some may be more than 500 years old and still getting stronger. Much like good whiskey, these root bridges take a long time to make, but once made, they get better and better.

Image source – Vanlal.

Posted By: Barry Canton

  1. You said you’d be growing these house-trees within my lifetime, Mr Canton. All I hear is excuses: Look, we made a rooty, living bridge! Erm….kind of.

    My Grandpa makes sweet-pea climb a fence every year but he doesn’t expect a medal.

    Get the finger out, Barry, I want my house-tree.

    1. I’ll be more impressed when your Grandpa is using his sweet-pea to ford rivers.

      But ok, we’ll get back to the house-trees. In your case, perhaps a lemon tree will be the most appropriate starting point :p

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