This is a re-post of a piece I wrote for the All Under One Leaf, the blog of the UK Plant Science Federation in August 2016. It is reposted here with permission. A flowering world There are around 369,000 known flowering plant species on Earth today, by far the most numerous group of plants living … More How Does a Flower Come to be?
This is a guest post I wrote for the All Under One Leaf Blog for the UK Plant Sciences Federation on 10/7/2016. It is reposted here with permission. Seeds for The Future This is a story where people died to preserve plants for future generations. Nikolai Vavilov (1887-1943) is the scientist at the center of … More Securing the Future of Plants for All
Why Genomes? Genome sequencing is routine now. Sequencing the A–T, C–G order of base pairs has gotten a lot cheaper and pipelines of software to do it have gotten better too. However, that doesn’t make it any less important. Before the era of physical (as in the actual basepair sequence structure), geneticists relied on maps … More Plant Genomes of 2016.
It was Carl Sagan’s birthday last week as well as a major election in the US that needs some perspective. And it is clear that science will need more advocacy and storytelling than ever on our pale blue dot, the only home we have ever known. Getting to Green Aroudn 3.7 billion (3,700,000,000) years ago, … More The Long Green View.
Picture a flower now, in your head. What do you see? Say it out loud even, or describe it in your mind (or in the comments below before reading on- honor system, I trust you). Picture a flower now, in your head. What do you see? Say it out loud even, or describe it in … More An Alien Flower?
Go for the sun. It’s a prime directive for most plants on Earth. Gather enough light to drive carbon dioxide, an atmospheric gas, into sugars to fuel growth. The rest of the needed ingredients to build a plant come from underground and the roots. To build more roots, however, photosynthesis has to happen. Go for … More Reach For The Sun.
This post was also posted on the SciLogs version of The Quiet Branches. Two reports released in the last month talk about the state of plants. One was the more narrowly focused National Academies report on GE crops,Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects (@NASciences_Ag, #GECropStudy; 1,420 hits on Google in the past month, 92 on … More Plants Matter. Two Reports Highlight Their State– and Ours.