articles

A mysterious molecular sunscreen protects photosynthesis

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Change is a good thing but it can lead to problems. Like when you change your greenhouse to a nicer one – what if your plants don’t like it? Or worse, what if they like it so much that they don’t behave like you’re used to? Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, made that experience and used it to uncover a mysterious molecular sunscreen. … Read more

The hard truth about soft fruit

Reading Time: 5 minutes

During these cold winter months I long for the sensation of biting into a ripe peach or a deliciously soft strawberry. It is possible to get my hands on some fruit now, however, they are certainly not as mouth-watering as in summer. They are hard, and sour and make me miserable. … Read more

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 lot of the time, the fastest way to understand something, is to F*** that something up.… Read more

The plant that hides from human eyes

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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.… Read more

A decorative image of a sea slug and a fridge filled with chloroplasts

This sea slug steals chloroplasts and keeps them fresh

Reading Time: 7 minutes

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 contain chloroplasts, the sub-cellular plant compartments where photosynthesis takes place. Are animals on the path to become photosynthetic?… Read more

Some plants are too old for this sh*t

Reading Time: 5 minutes

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 rest assured that plants suffer from age, too. … Read more