Recent Posts

How many plants in a hamburger?

Help eradicate plant blindness as students explore plant biology concepts and hands-on activities related to a hamburger. This quick, classroom-ready page (PDF) is ideally suited for  middle grade students. The back of the sheet lists the plants needed to make a burger, from barley to wheat! How…

BotanyOnline: Shared learning-support resources for improving Botanical Literacy

Guest post by Rosanne Quinelle, an Associate Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Science at the University of Sydney, Australia. Proficiency in any discipline requires exposure to both breadth and depth, where “breadth” is akin to acquiring the vocabulary and “depth” is akin…

Science In Real Life (IRL) - an educational YouTube series

Science In Real Life (IRL) is an educational YouTube series that’s here to show you how textbook science concepts come to life in the lab. Since each episode revolves around an experiment that a scientist does every day in the lab or field, our viewers also get to see what being a scientist is like,…

A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA

New York Times article (July 27, 2013) by Amy Harmon that describes the bacterial disease of citrus, citrus greening disease, and its impact on producers of oranges and orange juice. One strategy to compbat the disease involves the use of GM technology; would consumers rather drink GM orange juice, or…

The Challenge of Food (video)

Ideal for flipped classrooms or as a discussion starter anywhere, this 8-minute video features a science journalist and researchers explaining specific issues and solutions for meeting the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050. GMO crops, the nature of science and the politics of food delivery…

EPSO Factsheets: Crop Genetic Improvement Techniques

An excellent set of 7 fact-sheets, produced by the European Plant Science Organisation, explaining how crop genetic improvement techniques work. Fact-sheet titles are: Site-Directed Nucleases Oligonucleotide-Directed Mutagenesis RNA-directed DNA Methylation Cisgenesis Grafting using…

It’s practically impossible to define “GMOs” - Nathanael Johnson (Grist)

"Debates rage over what to do about genetically modified organisms, but we rarely stop to ask a more basic question: Do GMOs really exist? It’s an important question, because no one in this debate can tell you precisely what a GMO is. I’ve come to the conclusion that “GMO” is a cultural construct.…

All our food is ‘genetically modified’ in some way – where do you draw the line?

In the past week you’ve probably eaten crops that wouldn’t exist in nature, or that have evolved extra genes to reach freakish sizes. You’ve probably eaten “cloned” food and you may have even eaten plants whose ancestors were once deliberately blasted with radiation. And you could have bought…

Genetically modified (GM) plants: questions and answers

What are genetically modified (GM) plants? Is genetic modification safe? Where are GM crops grown and eaten? Food security is one of this century's key global challenges, as noted in our earlier report Reaping the Benefits, and due to the scale of the challenge, we should really think carefully before…