Recent Posts

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

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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…

Weed to Wonder: Teosinite to Corn (e-book/app)

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The story of how humans changed corn and how corn changed human history. Topics include domestication, hybrid vigor, genome sequencing, jumping genes, and biofortification. The Weed to Wonder site is a flexible "e-book" that can be viewed as a website, an app, or a printable PDF. The site features…

NPR: An Arbor Embolism? Why Trees Die In Drought

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NPR (National Public Radio) story from 2012 discusses how drought kills trees. Read full article

The hottest place on Earth is covered in wildflowers after heavy autumn rain (Washington Post w/ Video)

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In February 2016, Death Valley in California (the place where the hottest temperature ever was recorded) had a "superbloom" as millions of seeds of desert ephemeral plants germinated, leading to a massive floral bloom. See pictures and a video of this once-in-a-decade event. View full article

SciDev.Net Podcast: Seed investment

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By Lou Del Bello If a few decades ago environmental and climatic changes were the remit of scientists and activists only, now concerns over the future of the planet have gone mainstream. Climate change and industrial pollution are now threatening the availability of food, and given the current…

Scientific American: All 2.3 Million Species Are Mapped into a Single Circle of Life

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"Researchers from a dozen institutions recently completed a three-year effort to combine tens of thousands of trees into one diagram, most readable as a circle. The lines inside the circle represent all 2.3 million species that have been named. Biologists have genetic sequences for only about 5 percent…

Living Schoolyards Month Activity Guide (2016)

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This free guide (PDF) has over forty hands-on activities for PreK-12th grade students and the public. Activities are succinctly & beautifully presented. Each one includes goals, materials, procedures, age guidelines and teaching tips useful photos on 1-2 pages. Overarching themes include: Art, Recreation,…

Short, engaging videos about plant biology

Videos are excellent ways to communicate about plant science. They can stimulate curiosity, explain a complicated idea, or make the invisible visible. Here is a curated list of some of our favorite short plant science videos. Crash Course Biology: Plant Cells (10 min), Photosynthesis (13 min), The…