Green is back for a few months in the northern hemisphere as winter is slowly giving way to spring. Living cells that have slumbered are now awake and starting to divide, forcing green buds and colorful petals to grow. Dormant genes are being turned on and active genes being switched off. New growth above and … More 🌱
Sparking wonder and promoting curiosity is something I think and write a lot about. For instance wrapping up AAAS 2016, AAAS 2017 and SciComm Camp. Curiosity sparks internal motivation to explore out the world, or one small part of it, at least. We’re here for too little time to experience it all. A curious culture – open to … More In Defense of Curiosity and Science.
There are 400,000 known species of plants on Earth. 350,000 are flowering plants. How do we know? How does plant go from unknown to known? Someone, a person, has to notice. To think it matters. There have been countless botanists throughout human history observing the natural world. Plant collection and documentation got to be big … More Uncovering what’s there.
Orchid species (Orchidaceae) have colonized every part of the world, as humans have. Though, humans are one species and orchid species number in the tens of thousands. And of course, describing a group of plants with global reach and varied life strategies is an impossible task, like capturing all of humanity in one image. Collectively, like … More Finding your Fungus.
That small things can have a huge impact comes to no surprise to most modern scientists. After all, invisible (to our naked senses) things make up the universe. Pathogens of both humans and plants have devastated civilizations before we knew what bacteria and viruses even were. Similarly, a lot of small things can interfere with … More Cellular Sand in the Gears
Climate change is a problem humanity is currently causing and facing. Along with the rest of life on Earth, including plants. 2017 was one of the hottest years on record. The arctic is our early warning of a potential future. Policy changes and action on climate are fundamentally selfish – it will maintain the conditions … More Telling stories of plants in a world of unchecked climate change.
Recently, Evolutionary biology PhD candidate and science communicator Sally LePage discovered that 10 of 12 water companies in the UK use divining rods. It was picked up by The Guardian amongst other places. Phantom Sense Divining rods, or dowsing objects, do not work. They are no better than chance and Le Page cites the evidence … More Finding water.
Yes, some spoilers of Stranger Things, the popular Netflix series are enclosed within. If you don’t want to know, come back once you’ve watched. The Duffer Brother’s series Stranger Things has an eeriness to it, that there is something else to the world just beyond human perception. It took Eleven, a girl who is forced by the … More Welcome to The Real Upsidedown.
The Google Doodle on July 10 honored Eva Ekeblad’s 293rd birthday. Her story is illustrative of how new foods get adopted and spread, in this case, the potato in Europe. Countess Eva Ekeblad, at 22, became a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (founded 1739 and since the late 19th century awarders of Nobel … More Eva Ekeblad and Potato Adoption in Europe.
Give up on that riddle? Well, you’re right in thinking there’s not a lot in common between them. All life is connected, however, some is just further apart on the evolutionary bush than others. One is an animal, one is a plant. A lot of evolution and an endosymbiont (the chloroplast plants have that animals … More How is a Naked Mole Rat Like a Plant?