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 Science in Our Food - Jim Carrington

Jim speaks on the benefits science has allowed for in the advancements in growing food. He suggests that global changes will create a need for us to leave romantic visions of farming in our past. With exploding population growth and climate change, we are at an important cross roads. Jim Carrington…

Educational videos for plant biology: TED, iBiology and Gatsby Plants Summer School

We've assembled a collection of relatively accessible talks by scientists. These include: TED talks, which are directed at a general audience, the iBiology series, where speakers deliver a general talk followed by a research-focused talk, and videos of lectures at the Gatsby Plants summer school for…

Pamela Ronald: The case for engineering our food

2015 TED talk by Pamela Ronald.

Jay Keasling. Engineering Microbes to Solve Global Challenges

Filmed for iBiology 2016 Talk Overview Dr. Jay Keasling discusses the promise of biological systems to create carbon-neutral products for a range of applications, including fuels, chemicals and drugs. Keasling discusses the application of these principles to the development of a microbial platform…

Alistair Fritter. People, plants and planet

Filmed at Gatsby Summer School, 2011 Abstract: Population issues are receiving renewed attention from both scientists and policy-makers and well-founded predictions of likely global population growth have given new urgency to concerns about food security and loss of ecosystem services.  Plant science…

Robert Zeigler. Importance of rice science and world food security

Filmed at the 2011 Gatsby Plant Summer School Abstract: Rice is the most important food crop of the developing world and the staple food of more than half of the world’s population, many of whom are also extremely vulnerable to high rice prices. In developing countries alone, more than 3.3 billion…

Ottoline Leyser. Thinking like a vegetable: How plants decide what to do

Filmed at Gatsby Summer School 2015 Professor Ottoline Leyser, Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, speaking at the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School 2015.

Steve Long: Food, Feed and Fuel from Crops under Global Atmospheric Change. Could we have it all in 2030?

Filmed at the Gatsby Summer School, Leeds University, 2014 Abstract Demand for our major crops is expected to rise 30% by 2030, while we look increasingly to croplands for energy as well as food and feed. This is at a time when the rate of increase in yield seen over the past 60 years is stagnating…

Giles Oldroyd. Engineering the nitrogen symbiosis for smallholder farmers in Africa

Filmed at the Gatsby Summer School, University of Cambridge 2015 Western agricultural systems are reliant on the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilisers to greatly enhance yield. However, production and application of nitrogen fertilisers account for a significant proportion of fossil fuel usage…