In order to help our favourite lab plants and microorganisms grow fast and strong, we aim to provide them with the conditions and nutrients they need. To do so, we often rely on media mixes that are both complex and expensive to make. Now, researchers show that an important fungus species, that acts as a model for plant-fungal symbiosis, can be grown better than before on a very simple diet that contains just two ingredients. And one of them can be found at your local store.… Read more
Serendipitous discoveries are my favourite reoccurring tale in biological research. You may have heard about Alexander Fleming, the 20th century microbiologist who left some bacteria on open plates with growth medium overnight only to find them in the morning being killed by a strange fungus. Thus Penicillium (and its product penicillin) was discovered.… Read more
aka- ‘Making the moss’t of the rain’
Syntrichia caninervis is a moss. Personally, when I think of mosses, I mostly tend to picture them clinging to the moist side of a tree, or snuggling in amongst the undergrowth. You know, kind of damp and earthy places.
But unlike whatever-that-moss-that-is-growing-all-over-my-back-patio-is, Syntrichia caninervis is not found primarily in a overwatered and underloved boggy English garden. Instead, it’s found across the North – including the the Mojave desert in the US, and the Gurbantünggüt Desert of Northwestern China.… Read more
According to the ever-wise wikipedia, today- the second Friday of March- is ‘Solar Appreciation Day’.
There doesn’t seems to be much information about this one around, beyond the fact that the day is suppose to highlight the possibility of using Solar energy, and other renewable energy sources, to power this planet. Which generally seems like a pretty good idea.
Of course, we tend to be a little obsessive with our own planty narrative, so when we think of appreciating the sun, we tend to go straight back to our green friends.… Read more