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Succulent chicken – Phytomining, Cyanotype, Boosted Tobacco

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After an uneventful week, our two main protagonists meet yet again to discuss the ups and downs of current plant research. Tag along as our heroes discuss the true meaning of succulent, how to mine Nickel and why blue plant outlines are so hot right now*. 

*in the 19th century… Read more

Is vertical farming the answer to all our problems?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Usually, we aim for scientific accuracy and rather neutral representation of current research. Sometimes, however, we like to give you our honest opinion on new trends or technologies. This week, Joram shares his view on vertical farming.… Read more

How to deal with stress

Reading Time: 6 minutes

When plants get stressed it tends to slow them down. Drought stress – one of the most common causes of losses in crop productivity – can result in wilting, reduce growth, and ultimately, death. And the Climate Crisis means that drought risk is already increasing.

A study by Min May Wong and colleagues, published last year, reveals new key elements that help plants respond to drought, which may have implications for the productivity of plants, in both the good times and the bad.Read more

Behold, my brilliant blue fat globules!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Despite this planet we live on being largely blue, when it comes to plants, we don’t see a lot of the colour. Violets are blue, sure, as are blueberries (it’s right there in the name). But roses are red, and daisies are yellow, and the leafy bits of plants, for the most part – tend to be green. Blue, as it happens, is just not the easiest colour for plants to make. So most of them simply don’t bother.… Read more

Phosphorylation- the Givers and the Takers

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You’ll often hear that proteins are the ‘doers’ of the cell: DNA stores and passes information across generations, RNA is a messenger middle-man, but protein is where the action’s at.

Well, let me tell you that this is overly-simplified pro-protein propaganda (although maybe because my heart belongs to RNA). Because while proteins can do things, they often need a bit of help. Just because a protein is ‘there’, doesn’t mean that it’s active. Many proteins need to be literally chaperoned into the right 3-D structure, require other co-factors to do their job (like minerals and pigments), or only work when they’re part of a multi-protein complex.… Read more

Plastic in your Plants

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Recent reports have revealed the alarming ability of microplastics to accumulate in fish and other sea creatures, with the ultimate fear being that these plastics might end up on human plates. They may also accumulate within the tissue of some plants, as further shown by two recent studies.… Read more

These two genes help rice to keep its head above water

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Think about any crop plant and what of it is important to you. You might say taste, fruit size, yield per acre – but would you consider plant height? Maybe you should! Researchers have discovered two new genes that react to flooding and control the height of rice plants – so that they don’t drown.… Read more