Alien Life-Forms

They’re All Around Us. They are green, mostly. They don’t eat, pee, or defecate. Some are male. Some are female. Many are both male and female, i.e., hermaphrodites. Some engage in asexual reproduction, that is, they can clone themselves. Some may be smaller than your little fingernail, but others may…

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Plant “Social Networks” – Is This Why Companion Planting & Inter-Cropping Work?

Plant Networking Many neighboring plants may be interconnected by an underground fungal network known as mycorrhizae. (See a previous post on the subject.) These soil fungi, called arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), are found in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems, and they form symbiotic relationships with a wide variety of plants. The…

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“Farmaceuticals” and “Plantibodies” – Using Genetically-Engineered Plants to Produce Drugs and Vaccines

New Meanings For “Medicinal Plants”? Plants have been used by humans for thousands of years as a source of medicines, some effective, many not so much (except perhaps as placebos). The first botanists were likely shaman herbalists who possessed the knowledge of which plants would kill and which plants would…

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Plants That “Remember” (Part 2) – “Secret Life of Plants” Redux

A Brief Stroll Down Memory Lane Previously, we delved into the subject of “long-term” (weeks to months) plant “memory” by exploring what’s new on the subject of vernalization, that is, how some plants “remember” that they have experienced winter. In this case, a “cold” treatment of some plant species over…

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