Plants

  1. thale cress
    Agriculture

    Plants engineered to always be on alert don’t grow well

    Scientists bred a type of weed to lack proteins that help stem the production of bitter chemicals used to ward off insect attacks.

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  2. dandelion floof
    Life

    Dandelion seeds create a bizarre whirlpool in the air to fly

    Researchers have deciphered the physics underlying dandelion flight.

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  3. Silene stenophylla
    Plants

    50 years ago, a 550-year-old seed sprouted

    Old seeds can sprout new plants even after centuries of dormancy.

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  4. red-bellied lemur
    Life

    Lemur study suggests why some fruits smell so fruity

    A new test with lemurs and birds suggests there’s more to fruit odors than simple ripening.

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  5. Ground cherries
    Plants

    Gene editing can speed up plant domestication

    CRISPR/Cas9 replays domestication to make better ground cherries and tomatoes.

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  6. Mimosa pudica plant
    Plants

    Smart plants can teach us a thing or two

    ‘The Revolutionary Genius of Plants’ challenges the brain-centered view of intelligence.

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  7. Koolau mountain range
    Agriculture

    How plant microbes could feed the world and save endangered species

    Scientists have only scratched the surface of the plant microbiome, but they already believe it might increase crop yield and save species from extinction.

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  8. poppy flower
    Life

    How the poppy got its pain-relieving powers

    Analyzing the poppy’s genome reveals the evolutionary history of morphine.

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  9. a baobab tree
    Plants

    The most ancient African baobabs are dying and no one knows why

    Scientists aren’t sure what’s killing the oldest African baobabs, nine of which have lost big chunks or died in the last 13 years.

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  10. wasp and leafworm
    Animals

    A caterpillar outwits corn defenses by gorging on fattening ‘junk’ food

    The crop plants defend themselves with zombie-maker wasps, but one pest has a desperate work-around.

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  11. venus flytrap
    Plants

    Meet the speedsters of the plant world

    Researchers have recently uncovered a diverse array of mechanisms that allow plants to move — often faster than the blink of an eye.

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  12. heirloom rose called Old Blush
    Plants

    New genetic details may help roses come up smelling like, well, roses

    A detailed genetic look at China roses and an old European species shows that there’s a built-in trade-off between color and scent.

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