Good coffee has arrived on the International Space Station (ISS). An Italian designed espresso machine designed to fill a pouch with espresso will be installed on the ISS. They do have coffee in space currently, but it is apparently the instant stuff that tastes terrible, but works. I’m by no means a coffee snob and … More ISSpresso.

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.

What is a plant?

What is a plant? And why care about them or study them? These may seem like obvious questions. They’re the green things. Some of them we eat and we’ve been selectively breeding crops for ~10,000 years. As you’re reading, I invite you to think about where plants show up in your own life. There is … More What is a plant?