Can viruses do good things?

Can viruses be beneficial? Did they aid the development of life on this planet? Can they be used in treating cancer? Can they protect plants against drought and cold temperatures? Can they protect against infection? Are they, in fact, essential for life on Earth? See the background and the research … Background: *Nuwer, R. (2020). Why the world needs viruses to function. BBC Future. *Quammen,…

See more

Arabidopsis: model organism in Biology

Arabidopsis thaliana is a small, annual rosette plant. It belongs to the family of the Brassicaceae in the eudicotyledonous group of angiosperm vascular plants. This family also includes related oilseed crops, vegetables and spice plants–rapeseed, brussel sprouts, various cabbages, cauliflower, garden radish, and mustard. From: eLife 2015;4:e06100, “The Natural History of Model Organisms: Planting molecular functions in an ecological context with Arabidopsis thaliana“, Ute Krämer….

See more

Bee populations declining in the United States, especially in the midwest

“Since at least the 1960’s it has been widely recognized that insecticide application can also negatively affect non-target species, including populations of insect pollinators [like bees] and natural enemies that serve to support crop production.” The development of neonicotinoid insecticides (insecticides chemically similar to nicotine) have made their effect more potent. Featured article: Douglas, M. R., Sponsler, D. B., Lonsdorf, E. V., & Grozinger, C….

See more

Cloud cover, plants, and a changing climate

“Cumulus clouds make a significant contribution to the Earth’s energy balance and hydrological [water] cycle and are a major source of uncertainty in climate projections.” Sikma, M., & Jordi Vilà‐Guerau, d. A. (2019). Substantial reductions in cloud cover and moisture transport by dynamic plant responses. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(3), 1870-1878. [PDF] [Cited by] “With an average daily occurrence of around 25% in midlatitude and tropical…

See more
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.