Most people use instagram to follow celebs and look at highly staged photos of people enjoying their morning cup of cold brew on top of mountain in their underwear at sunset. Us plant nerds, however, like to look at plants.
And if you’re anything like us, you might have noticed a trend – marbled monstera plants, fancy ficuses with white borders, and pale or patterned philodendrons. These diverse beauties are out to show that being different from the other plants only makes them more fascinating.… Read more
Plants are better than you.
They’re better at fixing carbon (hello photosynthesis). They’re better at attracting bees. They’re generally just a whole lot prettier than you, even this guy And, relevant for today’s post, they’re better than you at surviving laser attacks… providing that the lasers only damage a few cells at a time, and the plants get given a somewhat long time to recover between each shot.… Read more
You already know that plant scientists like to do some pretty cruel things to plants. We cut out bits out of their genes, steal their metabolites to try to fix our problems, lock their cells into tiny droplets of oil… the list goes on.
But now, new research suggests that plant scientists cause plants a whole lot of stress, just by growing them.… Read more
Sometimes all you want for your research is a couple million of your favourite lab rat. No space in the green house? Try a beaker! Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is your guy – in fact, with Chlamy, you’ve got several million guys per millilitre.… Read more
With the idea of genetically modified (GM) crops, we the public were promised amazing new products. Healthier, tastier and better plant based foods to fill our plates. But now, it’s been over 30 years since people first proposed to use genetic engineering in plant breeding, and our plates mostly contain the same plant products as before.
What happened?… Read more
Ok, ok. So this blog is supposed to be about plants, and the amazing things that they do. But what we’re talking about today isn’t actually a plant. Instead, it’s a bunch of unicellular algae known as coccolithophores. Here are our four favourite facts about these fascinating not-quite-plants.… Read more
When the sun comes out, Germans and Australians have something in common: we light a fire and start cooking food outdoors. The usual barbecued suspects are sausages of questionable origin, something sitting in a red marinade, and charred but somehow-still-raw chicken breast. While this does sound mouthwatering, a new trend might bring a fresh player to the barbecues and kitchens around the world – plant based protein products.
Let’s have a look at what makes plant protein special.… Read more
Often, when trying to find out what’s going on within our favourite green friends, we scientists simply grab a plants, grind it up, and perform a range of molecular or biochemical tests. But if we’re completely honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that not all plant parts are created equal. … Read more
The other day, my friend and I were musing over the fact that many flowering plants require a third party pollinator in order to complete the fairly simple act of reproducing. And that while this sexual ‘three-or-moresome’ has some pretty great advantages, it also forces plants to spend a fair amount of energy just in attracting the middle men.… Read more