Recent Posts

White Paper: Reinventing postgraduate training in the plant sciences (Plant Direct)

What tools and skills do tomorrow’s plant scientists need, and how can we as a community ensure that today’s students get appropriate training? The Plant Science Research Network (PSRN), a consortium of plant science organizations and societies, has organized a series of workshops and discussions…

Editorial: The challenge of the post-truth era (Nature Chem Biol)

Why do people persist in thinking that climate change is not happening, or that vaccines cause autism? Scientists need to find better ways to communicate about what we do. In this editorial from Nature Cell Biology, the authors point to the low achievement level of US high school students (and those…

Impact of Conventional and Integrated Management Systems on the Water-Soluble Vitamin Content in Potatoes, Field Beans, and Cereals ($)

J. Agric. Food Chem. Agriculture in the EU is shifting towards a more sustainable use of resources and preservation of the biodiversity. This process requires a careful assessment of the balance between economic and environmental demands. To achieve this goal, the James Hutton Institute set up a long-term…

Review: Medicine Is not Health Care, Food Is Health Care: Plant Metabolic Engineering, Diet and Human Health (OA)

New Phytol. One of the consequences of the green revolution has been the increasing dependence on few staple crops, which provide calories but often lack the right amount of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. The consequences are collectively called “hidden hunger” and concern not only…

Pursuing sustainable productivity with millions of smallholder farmers ($) (Nature)

Improving crop productivity of rural areas while addressing pollution problems is a challenge that not only depends on scientific studies and technology but also requires an effective dialog with the smallholder farming communities. This month, Nature published the results of a ten-year Chinese agricultural…

Point of View: A transatlantic perspective on 20 emerging issues in biological engineering studies

“Horizon scanning” describes the process of trying to rationally predict the future.  Wintle et al. describe the results from a horizon-scanning exercise to identify emerging issues in biological engineering. The authors used an iterative approach to identify key issues in the near and longer-term…

Temperature increase reduces global yields of major crops in four independent estimates ($)

Although future negative impacts on crop yields expected from rising temperature are well known to plant scientists, there are still some members of the broader public that need to be made aware of this problem. Zhao et al. combined four different methods of assessing the impact of increasing temperatures…

A Taste of CRISPR

This week’s blog was written by Dr Craig Cormick, the Creative Director of ThinkOutsideThe. He is one of Australia’s leading science communicators, with over 30 years’ experience working with agencies such as CSIRO, Questacon and Federal Government Departments.   So what do you think…

The Global Plant Council visits the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility

This post is republished with the kind permission of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF).  We at the APPF love visits from our global plant science community, so it was a treat to host Ruth Bastow, Executive Director of the Global Plant Council (GPC), this week. While she was…