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Mercedes-Benz Biome concept car is "grown from DNA-modified seeds"

Pass the tazer and straightjacket -- Mercedes-Benz may just have gone insane. It's unveiled a car that grows from genetically modified seeds and is powered by plant juice.

Rory Reid

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Someone pass us a tazer and a straightjacket, because the boffins at Mercedes-Benz may just have gone insane. They've unveiled a car they call the Biome, which the company says is grown from genetically modified seeds and is powered by plant juice. Yes, plant juice.

The Biome was designed for the Design Los Angeles conference, which took place last week during the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Sadly, it didn't win the award. It lost out to the Cadillac Aera 2+2 coupe and the Smart 452 -- presumably because it was just too damn bonkers, even for a concept car.

The Biome isn't built the same way normal cars are. Instead, its bodywork is grown from two seeds -- one for the interior, one for the exterior -- that produce an ultralight 'BioFibre', which is then harvested and knitted together to form the car. The wheels, meanwhile, are grown from four separate seeds. This may mean you have to wait 18 years for your car to grow up and become road-legal.

Merc's conceptualising envisioneers say the DNA for these seeds is engineered "to accommodate specific customer requirements". They create two Mercedes stars especially for you -- these stars are the seeds that grow into your car. We have no idea what your genetic requirements might be: straight blonde hair, perhaps, or an aptitude for dentistry.

If you thought that was all a bit Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, get this: the Biome is powered by a futuristic fuel called BioNectar4534, which isn't stored in a tank. Instead, BioNectar4534 is stored in the BioFibre material of the chassis, interior and wheels. We're not sure how you refuel the car, or if the chassis gets all dry and crinkly once you've driven a few miles, but Mercedes says the Biome's only emissions are pure oxygen.

Want more craziness? Mercedes-Benz says it's developed a technology to equip trees with special 'receptors' that can collect excess solar energy and turn it into BioNectar4534.

Also, because the Biome is made of organic matter, it can be easily disposed of when it reaches the end of its service life. It can be fully composted or used as a building material, meaning it blends seamlessly into the ecosystem from the start of its life to its ultimate end.

Weird? Wonderful? Utterly impossible? Look through our gallery above then let us know what you think (Mercedes-Benz has been smoking) in the comments below.

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