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.
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.
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
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.
Cells are the units that make up life. Multi-cellular organisms like humans or plants can be millions or trillions of cells. Most cells are also specialized in function. Skin cells look and do very different things from a brain neuron. A leaf cell is much different than a root cell. Specialized (i.e. differentiated) cells started … More How (plant) cells know who they are.
If you’re a plant scientist in the UK or EU (or a scientist of any kind), please do use the comments section below to talk about what Brexit might mean for you and your career. This post can serve as a repository of accounts about how policies impact STEM and vice-versa. Though the precise nature … More Brexit, Science policy, and Unintended Consequences of Trading Lemons.
161 Years Ago In the centuries old St. Thomas Abbey– in the garden and greenhouse– Gregor Mendel tended, crossed, and tracked some 10,000 pea plants (Pisum sativum) through several generations over 7 years. The greenhouse was warm compared to the monastery where his chambers were. The monastery was constantly damp and cool, originally built as … More 150 Years After Mendel Published His Foray Into Life Science.
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.
One of my favorite podcasts is Flash Forward, created (& hosted) by Rose Eveleth. She explores a potential future and then comes back to the present to discuss how plausible it is and the implications of a future like that, and just what that future says about our present world. So with that in mind, … More Chez GMO