In Hannover, Germany, the natural rubber used for treads has been replaced by a new product, an extract of dandelion (to be precise of the Russian dandelion, Taraxacum kok-saghyz), then renamed “taraxagum”. The new tyres that Continental is planning to launch on the market in the next five-ten years, have been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute of Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology together with the centre for agricultural research Julius Kühn-Institut and the Aeskulap GmbH, a company specialized in medical and technical research.  In order to grow this plant, which is already growing spontaneously in many parts of the countryside, many inactive fields in European temperate regions will be used.  But why should we produce rubber from such an unconventional sou...