What’s New About How Plants Work? – Some “Tasty Tidbits” from 2012 (Third Course)

3280964804 9781345082From Plant Hunters to Plants in 3D

The third installment of my look back at the plant sciences news in 2012 includes some career advice – yes, you, too, can be a professional plant hunter – to David Attenborough in 3D.


  • It may seem old-fashioned, but plant collecting is still a scientifically valuable job.
    Plant Hunters – plant collecting is still an important scientific endeavor.
  • DICER proteins are enzymes that “dice” or cut into pieces RNA. A DICER protein, known to produce tiny RNAs in cells, also helps complete an important step in gene expression in plants.
    Plant research reveals new role for gene silencing protein.
  • Plant researchers have also identified the genetic “switch” that triggers the flowering process in plants as they respond to warmer temperatures.
    Study sheds light on plants’ “spring switch”.
  • Scientists at the University of Nebraska have provided evidence that plants subjected to a previous period of drought “learn” to deal with the stress thanks to their “memories” of the previous experience. The findings could lead to development of crops better able to withstand drought.
    Scientists find plants ‘remember’ drought, change responses to survive.
  • In 1993, when Monsanto asked the U.S.D.A. to approve Roundup®-tolerant soybeans, it dispensed with the issue of potential resistant weeds in two modest paragraphs. It told the agency that “…glyphosate is considered to be a herbicide with low risk for weed resistance.”
    Why Monsanto didn’t expect Roundup-resistant weeds.
  • And for “dessert”:
    It was filmed over the course of a year at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Kingdom of Plants 3D provides a fascinating new look at plant life using stunning 3D time-lapse filming techniques.
    David Attenborough’s Kingdom of Plants 3D
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