Naonobu Noda / NARO

Scientists have engineered a "true blue" chrysanthemum for the first time. After roses, chrysanthemums are the world's top-selling flowers, available in every color but blue.

  • How it works: Despite hundreds if not thousands of years of breeding and earlier attempts at engineering, humans have never been able to make blue chrysanthemums. (The flowers are naturally pink, red, magenta, yellow and white and, through breeding, orange and green.) The plant lacks an enzyme that creates the blue-violet pigments found in other flowers.
  • By introducing a gene from the blue-flowering Canterbury bells that encodes that enzyme and a related gene from butterfly peas into the chrysanthemum, researchers at Japan's National Agriculture and Food Research Organization created a blue-hued flower, as defined by the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • What's next: Roses, carnations, lilies, gerbera daisies and other flowers lacking blue hues might also be engineered in the color.

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Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
1 hour ago - Health

Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a September Senate hearing on COVID-19 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.

What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.

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