Medicago italica root nodules 2

Phylogenetics Shows Nitrogen-Fixing Plant Symbiosis Was Lost Repeatedly

Nitrogen fixation is a crucial part of plant growth and agriculture. Because the element nitrogen is a critical ingredient for proper development of plants, they need a steady supply of it in order to grow healthy and have a high yield of offspring seeds. For most plants, this is done by relying on nitrogen already […]

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Key Gene Discovered For Resistance Against Fungal Rice Blast

Learning about plant immune systems is one of the first steps toward finding ways to improve their defenses against pathogen attack. The difficulty is that, much like the immune system found in animals, the processes involved are highly complex and also completely different from other kingdoms of life. Finding out about the human immune system […]

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The Origins of Model Organisms and Their Impact on Biotechnology

From the start of things, science has always relied on the organisms that can be made to be a representation of more complex systems. They were a model for either humans themselves or to show in their own simplicity how life builds up to larger formations of cells and processes. That has long been the […]

Spotted-wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) male (15359228246)

Medea Gene Drive Developed To Target The Summer Fruit Fly

The worldwide migration of insect pests has only become more of a concern as plants, animals, and materials have begun being shipped or flown to places around the globe. Ways to control these pests through providing resistance to plants or by killing off the insects directly has proven effective, but only to a point. Many […]

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The Sweet Potato Migrated To Polynesia Before Early Human Arrival

Defining the history of early mankind has long been a desire for archaeologists and others who study ancient artifacts of civilization. How we spread over time and to where and how our cultures interacted with each other proves a source of fascination and knowledge on when we developed technologies and especially agricultural techniques. The trip […]

Corn earworm

New Hybrid Swarm Combines Deadly Agricultural Pests Into Mega-Pests

Protecting farmers and their agricultural output around the world is a daunting task. Each region has its own trials and tribulations related to their temperature, rainfall, soil consistency, and of course, their pathogens. An unfortunate side effect of the otherwise hugely beneficial impact of international trade is that the pathogens faced in one corner of […]

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. […]

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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, […]

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 […]

CSIRO ScienceImage 11085 A scanning electron micrograph of a female dust mite

Evolutionary Rewiring of Dust Mite Genome Made Unique RNAi Silencing

Parasites are a common theme of biological research due to the impact they have on people’s lives and their ubiquity in organisms around the world. It is practically impossible to find an organism that doesn’t have some sort of parasitic pathogen on or inside them. Even many of the parasites themselves have parasites inside of […]