Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

The database: An educational resource for instructors and students

Setting something to music is a well-known method for supporting learning (think about the alphabet song that you learned as a child). Gregory J. Crowther has assembled a searchable database of science-themed songs, along with lesson plans and suggestions for how to use songs in your teaching.…

Why can't scientists be better communicators? (SciAm blog)

Author Katherine Wu highlights some of the challenges that interfere with scientists communicating. She says, "Both scientists and non-scientists must commit to not only communication, but also a drastic reassessment of how we communicate with each other. I believe mending the rift starts with…

Australia's giant parasitic Christmas tree, with blades sharp enough to cut telephone wire

Here's a fascinating plant in honor of Fascination of Plants Day #PlantDay By Tim Low, published in Australian Geographic AUSTRALIA HAS A PARASITE believed to be the largest in the world, a tree whose greedy roots stab victims up to 110m away. The Christmas tree (Nuytsia floribunda) has blades…

Plant Scientists in the Wild (#FoPD)

Guest post by Emily Larson  @erlarson_phd and Maria Papanatsiou @m_papanatsiou, postdocs at the University of Glasgow, Scotland If there is one stereotype about some scientists that contains a shred of truth it is that we are definitely indoor kids – at least professionally speaking. We spend a…

How to make a DNA Bracelet

Cross-posted from Kelsey Wood with permission. Kelsey is a PhD student at U.C. Davis. How to make a DNA bracelet, from any organism and any gene! I study plant-pathogen interactions, so I chose to make a sequence from a wild tobacco gene that is important for plant defense against pathogens. What…

Launching Botany Live! for Fascination of Plants Day

May 18th is the Fascination of Plants Day, and we want to help in this international effort to highlight the importance of plants and plant science. Therefore, we’re supporting the #BotanyLive e-event! In a nutshell, we’re asking planty folks (curious, enthusiasts, professionals) to share something…

Are GMOs good or bad? From the video series "Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell"

Amazing - over 1.5 million views in less than 24 hours - this is a popular video series! Here is a list of sources from the YouTube page: SOURCES: #What is natural: GM insulin: Genetic engineering for thousands of years: CRISPR: #…

Plant evolution and diversity word search

Botanical terms can seem obscure. Why not help your students master some terminology through a word search puzzle? Download it here:

Hunt for Plants in Your House

Help eradicate plant blindness as students explore the plants that comprise their indoor environent. This quick, classroom-ready page (PDF) is ideally suited for  middle grade students. "Plants are all around us. Plants are used for their fiber, oil and nutritional content. They help us have clean…