What’s New About How Plants Work? – “Tasty Tidbits” From 2014 (Third Course)

From Bionic Plants To Plant Resurrection

From March 2014 come reports from quite a range of places: MIT, the Rocky Mountains, and even Antarctica.

  • A team of researchers wants to make plants even more useful by augmenting them with nano-materials. Crazy idea? See why not at: Bionic Plants: Nanotechnology could turn shrubbery into supercharged energy producers or sensors for explosives.
  • Scientists can learn a lot by hacking a plant’s internal timepiece.” See how “adjusting” a plant’s biological clock may improve its chances of survival in changing environments at:
    How the tick-tock of a plant’s clock could help fight the effects of global warning.
  • A unique 39-year study of wildflower blooms in a Colorado Rocky Mountain meadow shows more than two-thirds of alpine flowers have changed their blooming pattern in response to climate change.” Can this be attributed to global warming? See the answer at: Wildflower season lengthens by more than a month.
  • Even though the plant hormone auxin has many critical roles in plants, we have much to learn about how auxin works. Two new advances in auxin-research reported in March 2014 are: (1) Scientists find a molecular clue to the complex mystery of auxin signaling in plants and (2) Hormone causes dividing plant cell to rebel.
  • Previously it was thought mosses, which are known to live in environmental extremes, could only survive for up to 20 years.” See how scientists have brought back to life moss plants that were frozen in Antarctic ice for over 15 centuries at: Moss brought back to life after 1,500 years frozen in ice.

    Next-time: From plant zombies to spying on plants from outer space.

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