CANBERRA - Scientists in Australia say they have discovered a way to grow coloured cotton in a breakthrough which could remove the need for potentially harmful chemical dyes.

Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia's national science agency, genetically modified cotton to make it naturally coloured.

The scientists, who also aim to create a stretchy, wrinkle-free cotton to replace synthetic fibres, added genes to make the plants produce different colours after cracking cotton's molecular colour code.

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