Plant Genomes of 2016.

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.

Plant Biotechnology, black boxes, and the Complex World.

The Quiet Branches is joining the SciLogs network. I’m excited to be a part of it! I’ll continue to crosspost here too. I look forward to continuing to share the world of plant science and the picture of the plant world revealed by plant science there. This first post will discuss some thoughts on communicating … More Plant Biotechnology, black boxes, and the Complex World.

Labels and information.

It’s no accident that a lot of things humans have build resemble natural systems. The internet is a decentralized network of networks, a distributed system. There are networks in nature that are similar. Like packets of information on the internet, information in the form of genetic info is shuffled throughout nature as time goes on. … More Labels and information.

Small surprises and a new feedback loop.

Say you write something and submit it for editing. Your editor sends it back with comments. And you create a new version and re-submit and so on. it’s a feedback loop. With editor/writer, it’s a loop of iterative improvement resulting in something publishable (ideally). Feedback loops in biology are also quite common. A recent paper … More Small surprises and a new feedback loop.

Norman Borlaug.

Quiet Branches started off with a broad definition of how plants show up in our lives. Two weeks ago, I wrote about translating research into practical products. And highlighted the many ways biotechnology shows up in our lives every day, in some critical (feeding the world) and fun ways (color changing petunias!). The video from … More Norman Borlaug.

From nature to product.

Einstein’s theories of relativity enables out modern global positioning system (GPS) to work because the satellites have to correct for the distances between the satellites and Earth. This was not the intent when Einstein derived the mathematics of the relativistic universe. At least I don’t think it was. He was playing around with figuring out how … More From nature to product.

Cytokinins, Part 2.

Cytokinins: Part 2. Last week, I told the story about how cytokinins as a factor that induced cell division and new shoot formation. The first in the class of molecules was the adenine derivative Kinetin. Kinetin is a synthetic molecule, or the product of rearranging natural ones when DNA sits out for many months. Carlos … More Cytokinins, Part 2.