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Voldemort can’t produce a patronus

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Hello and welcome to another podcast episode. We talk about antagonistic patronuseses, thoroughly researched favourite plants and so many fun facts. Like so many, I can’t even count them.… Read more

Getting a new pair of genes

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Evolutionary progress requires genetic material to build on- building blocks that can be shaped and changed with time and selective pressure. Plants are especially good at copy-pasting large chunks of their own DNA or even entire chromosomes, and then altering them, slowly but surely, to make new functional genes.

Sometimes however, they get fresh material from the outside.

Let’s talk about horizontal gene transfer: nature’s own way of creating GMOs.… Read more

One hungry caterpillar, and the communication of vibrations.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Plants are great listeners. Your average houseplant will happily spend hours hearing about your daily troubles, and won’t bat an eye if you sing Brittney’s ‘Toxic’ out of key for the best part of an hour. Out in the wild, this ‘listening’ has a more practical side- plants listen, by feeling sound vibrations on their leaves, for signs of attack. And when they hear the angry munchings of a hungry caterpillar, they prepare to fight for their lives!… Read more

Plants and Pipettes and Pens and Paper

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For the first half, Tegan is pretty much eating ice cream and Joram is talking about plant science to himself – and to you people out there. So be kind and support Joram in his struggle and listen to his tales. You might also have ice cream to go with it.

Joram’s paper: Sun, Y., Wollman, A. J. M., Huang, F., Leake, M. C., & Liu, L.-N. (2019). Single-Organelle Quantification Reveals Stoichiometric and Structural Variability of Carboxysomes Dependent on the Environment. … Read more

The grass is greenest on the inside

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Sometimes, the world doesn’t seem to work in your favour. Your co-worker’s experiment works on the first try, everyone finds a seat on the train but you, and your lawn can’t really compete with your neighbour’s. Today we’re looking at whether the grass really is greener on the other side, a journey that takes us deep into the centre of the leaf.… Read more

GMOnstera? Would you keep a GMO houseplant?*

Reading Time: 4 minutes

*If it actually helped reduce air pollutants?

There’s a lot of talk on the internet about the ability of certain houseplants to clean ‘toxins’ out of the air. Take a deep dive into Pinterest, and you’ll see hundreds of pictures suggesting the best ‘pollutant purifier plants’. Unfortunately, so far, the scientific evidence for our chlorophyllous friends actually cleaning is pretty scant. But what if plants could be genetically modified to improve them in this manner?… Read more

the one about the climate crisis

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What is more fun than talking about molecular research? I hope you’re shouting now “diving deep into the horrors of the climate crisis!” because you’re right. In this fun and upbeat episode we wonder whether we can stop the climate crisis by planting trees. Can you guess the answer? … Read more

Your name is not on the list

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Plants can’t really choose whose pollen they get covered with. All kinds of pollinators bring all kinds of pollen to the party. And with it they bring the burden, to the plant, of figuring out which pollen to allow in and which to send away. But as it turns out, plants know just which molecular bouncers to use, to keep the party going.… Read more

I literally don’t know any words

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How not to get murdered? Will plants save you? No. If you ever get murdered, Tegan has some no legally binding advice for you. Apart from life-saving murder prevention tips we have a new paper on wheat research for you and also a favourite plant.… Read more