Not only is this organism one of the oldest on Earth, it is also a contender for other extreme titles. (RT @m_m_campbell: #SixIncredibleThingsBeforeBreakfast: Clone alone. 80k yr old aspen grove is one clone.
A London surgeon and amateur naturalist, Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward (1791-1868) stumbled upon a solution one day when he noticed that a bulb he had moved to a glass jar, and then forgotten, was thriving in this little habitat.
For centuries, humans have been exploring, researching, and discovering how to stave off life-threatening diseases, increase life spans, and obtain immortality. Biologists, doctors, spiritual gurus, and even explorers have pursued these quests.
We've all heard examples of animal altruism: Dogs caring for orphaned kittens, chimps sharing food or dolphins nudging injured mates to the surface. Now, a new study suggests some plants are altruistic, too.
Tobacco plants bloom when they are just a few months old -- and then they die. Now, researchers have located a genetic switch which can keep the plants young for years and which permits unbounded growth.
Wolffia, commonly referred to as watermeal and misidentified as duckweed, is officially the world’s smallest flower, with each bloom weighing about as much as two grains of sand. It takes about 5,000 of these teeny-tiny flowers to fill a thimble, and they’re amazingly small when seen against the grooves in a human fingerprint. Woffia sometimes grow in colonies that form a dense-looking mat on sheltered waters. The only way to identify the exact species of a wolffia flower is to view it under a microscope.
Each wolffia flower has a single pistil and stamen and produces the world’s smallest fruit, called a utricle. It has no leaves, stem or roots, floating freely in quiet freshwater lakes and marshes. Woffia is highly nutritious, serving as food for fish and waterfowl in nature and occasionally cultivated for use as livestock feed or even human cuisine. It’s eaten as a vegetable in Burma, Laos and Thailand.
One reason to love the internets, back into which, fully refreshed, we plunge, is this comment: [T]he plant Galen mentions is the λυκοπέρσιον, lykopersion, not lykopersikon. The name means ravager or slayer of wolves, like our wolfsbane.
SeedZoo Video: Introducing Plant Explorer Joseph Simcox
In this video plant explorer Joseph Simcox talks about food biodiversity and how, through the SeedZoo project, gardeners can grow some of the world’s threatened food plants in their gardens. By growing these plants, and sharing seeds with friends and family, Simcox believes gardeners can have a real impact on saving our food plant diversity.
The mysterious inner workings of Chang Shan -- a Chinese herbal medicine used for thousands of years to treat fevers associated with malaria -- have been uncovered thanks to a high-resolution structure solved by scientists.
Marybeth Shea's insight:
Some argue about what plant this extract comes from but most say, Dichroa febrifuga, a type of evergreen hydrangea-like shrub.
Large amounts of a substitute for one of the world's most treasured fragrance ingredients -- a substance that also has potential anti-cancer activity -- could be produced with a sustainable new technology, scientists are reporting.
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