Plants and Pipettes

we talk about plants and (used to) use pipettes

Tag: journal club

  • Werewolf roots

    Werewolf roots

    This werewolf didn’t come into being like the werewolves of other stories do. There wasn’t a bite, a fever, or rapidly sprouting knuckle-hairs. There wasn’t a dark night or a full moon or the howling call of the wild.

    But there were scientists. And there may have been some mutagenic substances.… Read more

  • Plant Scientists Stress Plants Out

    Plant Scientists Stress Plants Out

    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

  • Knowing when it’s wintertime.

    Knowing when it’s wintertime.

    Winter time can be hard for plants, and many species that live in particularly cold climates do their best to ‘opt out’. When autumn comes, leaf shedding deciduous species effectively shut it all down. They reabsorb as many nutrients as they can from their leaves, throw the remaining orange-red husks to the ground, and hunker down for the cold times.… Read more

  • CTRL-C, CTRL-V: Plants plagiarize to make new mitochondrial proteins

    CTRL-C, CTRL-V: Plants plagiarize to make new mitochondrial proteins

    You’ll probably remember this one from grade school biology. Mitochondria are ‘the powerhouse of the cell’. Which basically means that mitochondria take sugars and break them down to make energy.

    But those little powerhouses were once so much more- they were an entire organisms. A very long time ago, a certain type of proteobacteria was engulfed by a single celled host organism, but that organism decided that instead of digesting the proteobacteria, it would hold onto it. With time, the proteobacteria evolved into the modern mitochondria, a process that involved most of its very own bacterial genome being stolen away, and sequestered in the nucleus of the host.… Read more

  • P-bodies prepare plants for growth in the light

    P-bodies prepare plants for growth in the light

    As anyone living in a poorly lit apartment (or country- heyo Germany!) will tell you, plants are pretty fond of light. Nonetheless, for many plants, life begins in darkness. Seeds often germinate under several centimetres of soil, so seedlings spend the first moments of their existence struggling to escape the black. Once they do, the success of finally meeting the light comes with its own challenge: a need for the plantling to discard the tools it used to emerge from seed and soil, and swiftly develop a skill for sunbathing.… Read more

  • Mushroom Diet: The Orchids who give up Photosynthesis

    Mushroom Diet: The Orchids who give up Photosynthesis

    When we think of plants we tend to make certain assumptions. Green, for starters. Photosynthesising, for sure. But some plants have decided to throw it all away, and act like the animals do. Meet Epipactis helleborine, an orchid species that sometimes lives entirely on a diet of mushrooms.
    Read more

  • Finding fields of ‘plenty’

    Finding fields of ‘plenty’

    As a scientist who occasionally has to remember the names of genes and proteins, I’m always happy when other researchers come up with something both cute and logical.

    Enter the protein ‘PLENTY’. … Read more