Today’s cities don’t have walls for protection like ancient ones, but they are separate from less urban and rural land. Most goods that city-dwellers purchase are brought in from rural farms and manufacturers. There is an active community of urban gardeners and landscape architects who are trying to bring more of the “country” back into the city. And for good reason. Urban landscapes combining trees and crops – urban agroforestry – can offer ecological, cultural, economic benefits and more.
It is commonly assumed that any important scientific knowledge would be available in English, and so scientific knowledge used in international studies is predominantly sourced from English-language documents. But is this assumption correct? According to new research the answer is no, and science written in languages other than English may hold untapped information crucial to the conservation of global biodiversity.
A grass commonly used to fight soil erosion has been genetically modified to successfully remove toxic chemicals left in the ground from munitions that are dangerous to human health, new research shows.
New techniques allow live-observation of forming cell walls in the vascular tissue. The so-called xylem, also known as wood, is a network of hollow cells with extremely strong cell walls that reinforce the cells against the mechanical conflicts arising from growing tall. These walls wrap around the cells in filigree band and spiral patterns. So far, it is only partly known, how these patterns are created. Scientists recently study the formation of such reinforced and patterned cell walls.
The 3D structures of these large protein assemblies – the first described for any plant species – are a step towards being able to develop improved herbicides that target plant respiration. They could also aid the development of more effective pesticides, which target the pest’s metabolism while avoiding harm to crops.
With their expertise in microbiome research, researchers were able to demonstrate how a specific bacterium inside the seeds of rice plants effectively and in an eco-friendly way inhibits destructive plant pathogens.
Researchers have gain deeper knowledge of plant growth by treating seedlings with painkillers like Aspirin and the like. For centuries humans were using willow barks to treat a headache or an inflamed tooth. Later, the active ingredient, the plant hormone salicylic acid, was used to develop painkillers like Aspirin. But what happens, if plants are treated with these painkillers? By doing so, scientists discovered an unexpected bioactivity of human pharmaceuticals in plants.
A plant used in traditional Chinese medicine has evolved to become less visible to humans, new research shows. Scientists found that Fritillaria delavayi plants, which live on rocky slopes of China’s Hengduan mountains, match their backgrounds most closely in areas where they are heavily harvested.
Climate change is a major global crisis. Despite international agreements to fight climate change, greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase and global temperatures continue to rise. The potential effects on our lives are drastic: recent wildfires in the US and Australia, floods due to heavier precipitation, and heavy losses of crops are all indicative of this. But simply reducing the production of greenhouse gases, although crucial, is not enough. The CO2that we’ve released, and are continuing to release into the atmosphere, remains there indefinitely. Climate change will thus continue to worsen unless atmospheric carbon is removed. Therefore, finding cutting-edge solutions for the active removal of greenhouse gases is crucial.
Many plant scientists rely on open access to information such as DNA sequence data to do their work. They are probably also aware of obligations to respect access and benefit sharing (ABS) rights under the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (The Treaty) and maybe the Nagoya Protocols on Access and Benefit Sharing. These arrangements have long been understood to cover the actual biological material (the plant) but international moves to extend these agreements to include associated data such as digital DNA sequence information (DSI) may impact more directly on the activities of plant scientists (Marden, 2018).