News From the Field
Genetic Evidence Clears Ben Franklin
July 28, 2011
The DNA evidence is in, and Ben Franklin didn't do it. Genetic tests on more than 1,000 Chinese tallow trees from the U.S. and China show that Franklin did not import the tallow trees that are overrunning thousands of acres of U.S. coastal prairie from Florida to east Texas. The study in this month's American Journal of Botany found that the invasive strain of the tree was likely imported by federal biologists around 1905.
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