The mighty oak tree is an invader from the North, like the sometimes fearsome Vikings commemorated in Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’. North American oaks trees evolved first in the temperate zone, diversified into red and white oak groups, and then moved south into Mexico. There, oak species diversified further, with more than 150 extant species … More The White & Red Oaks From the North
Voyager 2 launched on August 20th, 1977. Voayger one followed on September 5th, 1977. In between that, I was born. So I’ve always sort had a fondness for these missions that I grew up with. As I did, the Voyager missions are 40 and though largely finished with their mission of exploring the outer … More The Voyager Generation
The world (the United States at least) seems utterly divided and the neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville last weekend as well as other events this week has made me despair and wonder if there’s a bright future or not, and so I’m going to write a story. And it is the story of us – of … More The Dynamic and Unifying Force of Science.
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.
Humans are inspired by nature in all sorts of ways. A substantial part of that natural world is the plants surrounding us. Some common, most rare, and many found medicinally useful to humans. Even some “useless” plants like Arabidopsis, thale cress, a mustard weed, has contributed human health through its place as a research organism. … More The State of The World’s Medicinal Plants
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?
This is a guest post by Kimberly McCoy. If you’ve ever seen a tree trunk frothing like a dog with rabies, don’t worry, it won’t bite. I recently came across a tree that had a white, bubbling liquid oozing slowly from its bark, and no idea what it was. I saw these two oozing river … More Odd Oozing From The Trees
One of the hats I’m wearing these days is as the resources editor for The Annals of Botany. As part of that, for Fascination of Plants Day (FoPD), we are launching Botany Live (#BotanyLive), a global event to celebrate plants starting May 18 and going through the weekend. Live broadcasts of plant scientists talking about plants for … More Botany Live
The professor that got me into plant biology, taught me plant physiology, and in a many ways helped me develop my technical writing ability is retiring this year. Gary Tallman, PhD is retiring from being the Taul Watanabe endowed Professor of Biology at Willamette University in Salem, OR, but has had a long career in … More Guard Cells Tolerating Heat
A New Phase Two years ago I planted the seed that grew into what this blog has become today. It’s gone better than I thought and has provided opportunities to write for other blogs, a society magazine, and been an integral part of my growth as a science writer, and re-awoken my love of science … More Changes at The Quiet Branches.