Being falsely accused by his neighbours of genetically engineering sweet corn plants (because his plants grew faster in the greenhouse than theirs did in the garden) is the fate of plant biologists such as Jerzy. Jerzy studies how the genome of Arabidopsis can be modified without changing its DNA sequence to bring about new characteristics in its offspring. Such modifications allow plants to adapt in a reversible manner to an ever-changing environment. As Jerzy explains, ‘plants cannot run away,’ so they must be able to adapt to survive.