Plants

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. sweet wormwood plant
    Plants

    Genetically modified plant may boost supply of a powerful malaria drug

    Using a DNA study and genetic engineering, researchers tripled the amount of an antimalarial compound naturally produced by sweet wormwood plants.

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  9. field experiment of CO2 levels
    Climate

    Rising CO2 levels might not be as good for plants as we thought

    A 20-year experiment spots a reversal in the way two kinds of plants take up extra carbon from the atmosphere.

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  10. Science & Society

    Why it’s great to have a geologist in the house

    Editor in Chief Nancy Shute enthuses about learning how ancient plans may have helped make Earth muddy.

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  11. umbrella liverwort
    Plants

    Liverwort reproductive organ inspires pipette design

    A new pipette is inspired by a plant’s female reproductive structure.

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  12. Plants

    These petunias launch seeds that spin 1,660 times a second

    One species of petunia spreads its seeds explosively, giving them a rotation of 1,660 times per second.

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