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 […]

Chromatophores

A Variant Optogenetics Technique Allows For Greater Genetic Control

When studying the impact or function of particular genes, sometimes just being able to have them be expressed isn’t good enough. An always on state can be just as frustrating and produce just as useless data as an off state would. This is especially true for signaling and transportation genes, where the entire point of […]

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 […]

Stem rust close up

A Decades Old Once Thought Eradicated Scourge Returns To Europe

As we have seen so often in recent years when it comes to human pathogens, eradicating a disease from a major population, country, or continent does not mean those results will be permanent forever. Any sort of laxity in preventative treatment and strict efforts against global spread can result in the re-emergence of a deadly […]

Restoring an urban stream (after) (7557277790)

Bioremediation: The Biology of Cleaning Environmental Pollution

Contamination of the environment is a topic oft spoken of in an incredibly broad sense. That the actions of some governments or organizations are damaging to their surroundings comes as no surprise, but discussions on the specifics and what can be done to fix the issues rarely comes up in the public societal consciousness. The […]

Funaria hygrometrica (d, 153418-482420) 4917

Lead-Adsorbing Moss May Help Treat Heavy Metal Contaminated Waters

Human activities often have a number of consequences. In addition to the pollution that our industries and general course of living and expanding bring about, even more minor activities can cause significant environmental contamination. The mere act of digging a deep hole can expose materials and metals that are then able to get into the […]

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 […]