Samphire salt marsh - St Kilda South Australia

Plant Salt Tolerance: Recent Research in Biotechnology

The health of plants is paramount for farmers, gardeners, and scientists alike. They not only provide the food we need to survive, but their overall well-being is a marker for the strength of the environmental conditions around them. And there are many things, much like with us humans, that can be a cause for alarm. […]

Hops-1

GMO Yeast Helps Produce Hops-Less Beer To Mitigate Climate Effects

The process of beer-making is complicated. The brewing process has an array of steps that need to be followed fairly precisely or you risk ruining the flavor of your concoction. A general description of the process is that brewer’s yeast, usually specially cultivated strains of the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is used along with sugars […]

Müürlooga õie stigma

Epimutagenesis Controls DNA Methylation To Reveal Hidden Plant Traits

Properly breeding a plant for the traits you want is hard. It requires hundreds of plants and hundreds of cross-breeding attempts between them to obtain desired traits, isolate them, and cross them into more vigorous cultivars with other wanted traits. That was how it was done for most of human history and it’s a long, […]

Creek and old-growth forest-Larch Mountain

The Role of Prions in Plants: An Overview

The diseases out there in the world seem limitless. Every new nook and cranny we uncover shows new lifeforms and new diseases they cause or that are subjected upon them. The Earth is just a melting pot of infection (and parasitism) of every species trying to take advantage of every other. Due to their ubiquity, […]

A thaliana seedlings (cropped)

Manipulating The Plant-Bacteria Microbiome To Optimize Growth

When dealing with plants in a lab, in a garden, or in an agricultural field, we often forget that there was originally a whole biome that those plants were involved in in the wild. We often try to simulate those conditions to the best of our capabilities, but there is still so much knowledge we […]

Scanning electron micrograph of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and a dead Human neutrophil - NIAID

9 New Bacterial Defense Systems May Herald CRISPR-Like Discovery

Going back to the beginning of CRISPR feels like traveling through a time portal. The gene editing technology has become so ingrained in our lives, in scientific literature and the news, that it feels like it’s been a decade or two already since we started using it. It comes as a bit of a shock […]

Smed

The Secrets of the Regenerating Flatworm’s Genome Are Unveiled

When studying such complex topics as wholesale body replication and regeneration of limbs, it is a heady subject to tackle all at once. And it’s unlikely that beginning on something the size of mammals, using model organisms or not, is going to reveal anything at all without a basic understanding of how regeneration is supposed […]

Neuronal explosion

Stem Cells Modified To Sensory Neurons May Help Treat Paralysis

Our nervous system directs most of our body’s mechanisms without us being away of it. Motor neurons are involved in moving parts of our body, sensory neurons give us each of our major secondary senses like our sense of pain or temperature, and interneurons connect all the other neurons together into a combined whole that […]

Cuscuta campestris

Parasitic Plants Manipulate the Genetic Expression of Their Host Plants

The arms race in the plant world is a brutal competition for dominance where failure means death. As scientific understanding of genetics has broadened over the decades, we’ve also come to realize that the organisms in nature have been utilizing even the most complicated of these mechanisms for their advantage in order to survive. Any […]