What’s New About How Plants Work? – Some “Tasty Tidbits” From 2013 (First Course)

Nibbling On The Year Past

As I get ready to replace the calendar on the wall with the 2014 edition, I decided to peruse my HowPlantsWork Twitter posts from the past year and rediscovered some interesting botanical discoveries reported in 2013.

I thought it would be fun to share a few of these morsels here.

Rather than stuff ourselves with the entire year in review, I’ll serve them up month by month, in twelve courses, starting with January 2013.

Although these stories may not be considered the “most important” plant science “breakthroughs” of 2013, I found them especially “tasty”. (Hope you do, too.)

  • Since the last post concerned potential immortality in plants, these tidbits from January 2013 seemed apropos: Studying seemingly immortal lichens, in a place for the dead and Giant tobacco plants stay young forever?.
  • Why are plants immune to most of the diseases surrounding them in the environment? That’s a question a Washington State University researcher has been wrestling with most of his career. Here’s the story: Why aren’t plants sick more than they are?
  • I once had an introductory physics class in which the instructor declared that physics was the basis for all sciences. Maybe it’s true, even for plant science. Simple physics may limit the size of leaves and Tree physics limits height and leaf size, study shows.
  • Of course there were reports in January 2013 regarding climate change and plants. Here are some that I found interesting: An early sign of spring, earlier than ever: Unprecedented flowering follows record warmth and Spring may come earlier to North American forests and Unlocking sorghum’s gene bank – Adapting agriculture to a changing climate.
  • More highlights in plant news from February 2013 tomorrow….so, “stay tuned”.

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