Plants

  1. South American maize varieties
    Archaeology

    Corn domestication took some unexpected twists and turns

    A DNA study challenges the idea people fully tamed maize in Mexico before the plant spread.

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  2. scientists with hybrid rice plants
    Plants

    Hybrid rice engineered with CRISPR can clone its seeds

    New research has created self-cloning hybrid rice, raising hopes of higher food production.

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  3. cactus spine poking a finger
    Plants

    Cactus spine shapes determine how they stab victims

    The shapes of cactus spines influence how they poke passersby.

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  4. researcher holding sockeye salmon
    Ecosystems

    How researchers flinging salmon inadvertently spurred tree growth

    Scientists studying salmon in Alaska flung dead fish into the forest. After 20 years, the nutrients from those carcasses sped up tree growth.

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  5. cacao beans
    Archaeology

    Ancient South Americans tasted chocolate 1,500 years before anyone else

    Artifacts with traces of cacao push back the known date for when the plant was first domesticated by 1,500 years.

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  6. Radula perrottetii
    Plants

    Liverwort plants contain a painkiller similar to the one in marijuana

    Cannabinoids found in liverwort plants could spell relief for those suffering from chronic pain.

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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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