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Plants and Pipettes

Join us in exploring the fantastic world of molecular plant biology! We dive deep into the cells of all green things and together we discover the mechanisms behind photosynthesis, flower development and much more!

Every family has an oddball cousin, here’s Arabidopsis’

While the rest of us were distracted by the events of 2020, a desert plant quietly announced itself as a new cousin to the plant lab rat, Arabidopsis. In a publication from early 2020, Wessel S…

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This plant survived the dinosaur end days, but so did its insect pests

Agathis trees have survived since dinosaurs roamed the earth, but throughout the ages, tiny burrowing insects have made their life hard. While the towering and often thick-trunked trees of the …

Deliberately making mistakes

Scientists, ultimately, want to understand things. And while true understanding, often comes through patience and skill – months or years of careful observation and measured experimentation – a lo…

The plant that hides from human eyes

Intense commercial harvesting of the alpine plant Fritillaria delavayi, which is used in traditional chinese medicine, may be driving the selection of duller, more camouflaged plants. High up i…

A decorative image of a sea slug and a fridge filled with chloroplasts
This sea slug steals chloroplasts and keeps them fresh

In biology class back in high school, I learned that plants do photosynthesis and animals don’t. But for some years now, researchers have been amazed by an exception to this rule: sea slugs that con…

Some plants are too old for this sh*t

I will use this post on plant biology to complain about getting old and becoming more easily irritated. Age affects us all. But if your knees are aching and your back is sore, well!, at least you can …

Why do the leaves turn red?

Autumn leaf colours have amazed the public for all of human history… and puzzled scientists for just as long. While the orange, yellow and brown hues of autumn can be easily understood, the stunning…