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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!

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…

What happens when you put a plant in the dark?

Plants rely on light to survive- without it, they can’t photosynthesise. Of course, like us, plants are used to normal light-dark cycles. But what happens when the lights just don’t come back on? …

Arabidopsis battles insects before they’re even born

Plants are great at recognising what’s going on around them. They have built in temperature sensors and timers, they know what is up (and what is down), and they’ve worked out how to reach for and f…