Botany teaching & cetera
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Botany teaching & cetera
Mostly links I want to save for teaching introductory botany, but other things of interest as well.
Curated by Eve Emshwiller
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Which came first? The Soltis Lab probes lineage of angiosperms

Which came first? The Soltis Lab probes lineage of angiosperms | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
The question of which extant angiosperm (flowering plant) lineage “came first” has puzzled biologists for centuries. This question is fascinating and important in its own right, but the answer also...

Via Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Spoiler alert...

 

 

it's...

 

 

 

 

still...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amborella.

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Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's curator insight, November 19, 2013 12:44 PM

Demonstration, based on 78 genes and 236 taxa, that Amborella is sister to all other Angiosperms, while the Nymphaeales form the next branch and are sister to the remaining species.

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Fast-Paced Evolution in the Andes

Fast-Paced Evolution in the Andes | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
The remarkable ecosystems known as Páramos are home to the fastest evolution on Earth, a new study suggests.

Via Meristemi
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Richard Feynman - Ode To A Flower

From the BBC Interview for Horizon 'The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/broadband/archive/feynman/) Animated…
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Richard Feynman on why science doesn't diminish beauty. Hat tip to Don Waller, Caitilyn Allen, and the anonymous student who shared it with Caitilyn.

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Randy W. Schekman - Nobel Lecture: Genetic and Biochemical Dissection of the Secretory Pathway

Randy W. Schekman - Nobel Lecture: Genetic and Biochemical Dissection of the Secretory Pathway | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it

My favorite slide from the Phys/Med nobel lectures was Randy Schekman showing off his 9th grade science project. Remember this image when you are next asked to mentor a young person or volunteer your time at a science fair! Most won't become Nobel Laureates, but any of them might, with a little encouragement.

 


Via Mary Williams
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Mary Williams's curator insight, December 8, 2013 2:16 AM

See the lectures and even download the slides!

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The Academic Decline: How to Train the Next Generation of Botanists

The Academic Decline: How to Train the Next Generation of Botanists | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it

The number of undergraduate degrees earned in botany has decreased by 50 percent since the late 1980s But more and more, colleges and universities are getting rid of their botany programs, either by consolidating them with zoology and biology departments, or eliminating them altogether because of a lack of faculty, funds or sometimes interest. And at the same time, many trained botanists in federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, are nearing retirement age, and those agencies are clamoring for new talent..


Via Meristemi
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Programmed cell death drives male sterility in Opuntia - AoB Blog

Programmed cell death drives male sterility in Opuntia - AoB Blog | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
SEM and histological observations of the cellular events behind anther formation and programmed cell death in anthers of both male and female flowers.

Via Luisa Meira
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Perhaps too advanced for Botany 130, but then again...

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Daylight Doesn't Matter: Native Trees Need Cold

Daylight Doesn't Matter: Native Trees Need Cold | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
Colder winters are needed to cause native Northern trees to bloom on time for spring, not increased daylight. Continue reading →
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Christian Allié's curator insight, October 31, 2013 2:44 PM

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“Contrary to previous assumptions, the increasing length of the day in spring plays no big role in the timing of budding,” said lead author Julia Laube of Germany’s Technische Universitaet Muenchen in a press release. “An ample ‘cold sleep’ is what plants need in order to wake up on time in the spring.”

Climate change may give an advantage to invaders from the south. Since the newcomers get an early start in the spring, they have more time to overgrow native trees. However, nature could take revenge on these southern species. A sudden cold spell can destroy the tender buds of trees that sprang for spring too soon ..  ...

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How Science Figured Out the Age of the Earth: Scientific American

How Science Figured Out the Age of the Earth: Scientific American | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
For centuries scholars sought to determine the earth’s age, but the answer had to wait for careful geologic observation, isotopic analyses of the elements and an understanding of radioactive decay
Eve Emshwiller's insight:
I meant to scoop it onto this page in the first place (Botany Teaching & cetera) not the ethnobotany one.
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Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, October 20, 2013 5:14 PM

Useful for lectures on the origin of Life on Earth.

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Moderating mycorrhizas: arbuscular mycorrhizas modify rhizosphere chemistry and maintain plant phosphorus status within narrow boundaries

Pastures often experience a pulse of phosphorus (P) when fertilised. We examined the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in uptake of P from a pulse. Five legumes (Kennedia prostrata, Cullen australasicum, Bituminaria bituminosa, Medicago sativa, Trifolium subterraneum) were grown in a moderate P, sterilised field soil, either with (+AMF) or without (-AMF) addition of unsterilised field soil. After 9 to 10 weeks, half the pots received 15 mg P kg-1 of soil. One week later we measured: shoot and root dry weights; percentage of root length colonised by AMF; plant P, nitrogen and manganese (Mn) concentrations; and, rhizosphere carboxylates, pH and plant-available P. The P pulse raised root P concentration by a similar amount in uncolonised and colonised plants, but shoot P concentration increased by 143% in uncolonsied plants and 53% in colonised plants. Inoculation with AMF decreased the amount of rhizosphere carboxylates by 52%, raised rhizosphere pH by ∼0.2-0.7 pH units and lowered shoot Mn concentration by 38%. We conclude that AMF are not simply a means for plants to enhance P uptake when P is limiting, but also act to maintain shoot P within narrow boundaries and can affect nutrient uptake through their influence on rhizosphere chemistry.


Via Jean-Michel Ané
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PlantGrowthQuiz - Daily quiz on plant growth and development. Tweet me your answers! | Wisr

PlantGrowthQuiz - Daily quiz on plant growth and development. Tweet me your answers! | Wisr | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
Wisr teaches anything from Chemistry to Algebra through Twitter/chat/SMS/email. Learn by answering questions in the communication channel where you are most comfortable.
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

I wish I could copyedit some of the questions, but this could be useful to some students for quizzing themselves.

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Mary Williams's curator insight, September 12, 2013 3:01 AM

I haven't seen twitter used in this way before - very nice to know about!

Mary Williams's comment, September 12, 2013 3:03 AM
There's a Daily Photosynthesis quz also! http://wisr.com/feeds/32575
mindlesspeduncle's curator insight, September 12, 2013 2:03 PM

nice

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#SaturdaySchool: Advice for New College Students

This week we are sharing useful resources for new and returning college students and their professors. Undergraduate and Graduate students are returning to campuses across the country. Help us help them by sharing your knowledge.

What did you wish you knew when you stepped foot on campus?Are you a non-traditional student? How did that affect your first semester?Were you a single parent when you began your graduate program? What resources would you share with someone in a similar situation?

We have collected a few resources below to get you started, but we’ll be adding more from our #SaturdaySchool discussion later.

Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Here's the link for this week's topic on Advice for new College students in #SaturdaySchool. The group of links on this topic that appear below were all contributed by people joining in the conversation today.  Many thanks to you all, and to @ProfRagsdale for convening the conversation.

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6 things you should say to your professor | USA TODAY College

6 things you should say to your professor | USA TODAY College | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it

You’re in a bind or you’re totally confused. What should you say to your professor?

Everything you read about speaking to professors warns that you shouldn’t tick them off, ruin their impression of you or say something to sink you further.

But should you keep your mouth shut? No!

 

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9 Awesome Study Tips For College Students

9 Awesome Study Tips For College Students | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it

Since grade school, most students have been taught the "right" way to study: Dedicate yourself. Memorize. Lock yourself in a quiet room and don't leave until you know the material. Recently, however, the New York Times reported that many of these habits are scientifically unsound, and that some strategies that seem counterintuitive actually do work. Below are some of the methods the Times sheds light on, plus ones that we have found to be tried and true.

Eve Emshwiller's insight:

A few more morsels of advice for students.

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Asking the right question - AoB Blog

Asking the right question - AoB Blog | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
Why are there so many kinds of plants?

Via Luisa Meira
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Perché studiare le piante? ¿Por qué estudiar las plantas? (Why study plants, in Italiano + Espanol)

Perché studiare le piante? ¿Por qué estudiar las plantas? (Why study plants, in Italiano + Espanol) | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it

Find them here, along with many other languages

http://www.plantcell.org/site/teachingtools/TTPB1.xhtml


Via Mary Williams
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Planting a seed with songs: Botany students try out musical sides | College of Letters & Science

Planting a seed with songs: Botany students try out musical sides | College of Letters & Science | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Great job by Botany 130 students in writing and singing songs about plant life cycles!

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Christian Allié's curator insight, December 14, 2013 2:22 PM

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Baum, who estimates he’s offered the optional assignment for the past eight years or so, awards points based on the accuracy of the biological details in the songs’ lyrics, the completeness of the description of the life cycle, the use of proper terminology, the rhyming and scansion of the song, and the choice of tune. And he provides a suggested procedure for the songwriting process: choosing a tune, picking out its patterns, determining the key points and terms that need to be included, writing a chorus and then filling in the rest of the life cycle while maintaining the song’s rhythm.

“They need to work through the plant life cycles in a linear way, and when you write a song, you kind of do that,” Baum says. “Of course, it adds a bit of entertainment and fun. We want botany to be fun.”

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Understanding and Teaching Genetics Using Analogies

Understanding and Teaching Genetics Using Analogies | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it

I really enjoyed this little article from the American Biology Teacher (http://www.nabt.org/websites/institution/index.php?p=30) that suggests a few simple analogies to explain possibly confusing genetic concepts.

The article and the nice drawings are available freely at the website of the "Fast Plants (self-compatible)" program, which develops hands-on activities for teaching genetics and plant science.

http://www.fpsc.wisc.edu/publications/analogies.shtm

Kudos to Scott Woody and Ed Himelblau for a useful set of resources!


Via Mary Williams
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Diversity in plant red pigments: anthocyanins and betacyanins - Online First - Springer

Diversity in plant red pigments: anthocyanins and betacyanins - Online First - Springer | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it

Plant pigments are of interest for research into questions of basic biology as well as for purposes of applied biology. Red colors in flowers are mainly produced by two types of pigments: anthocyanins and betacyanins. Though anthocyanins are broadly distributed among plants, betacyanins have replaced anthocyanins in the Caryophyllales. Red plant pigments are good indicator metabolites for evolutionary studies of plant diversity as well as for metabolic studies of plant cell growth and differentiation. In this review, we focus on the biosynthesis of anthocyanins and betacyanins and the possible mechanisms underlying the mutual exclusion of betalains and anthocyanins based on the regulation of the biosynthesis of these red pigments.


Via Jean-Pierre Zryd
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Culprit in Mysterious Elk Deaths Found

Culprit in Mysterious Elk Deaths Found | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
The investigation, which finally homed in on a tiny killer, was hampered by the state of the elk: Scavengers ate most of the bodies, with maggots and blowflies helping to reduce the elk herd to an eerie scattered sea of skeletons in the desert.
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Cyanobacteria can make water very toxic!.

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Desert Blooms and Marathon Moths - Plants are Cool, Too! - Episode 4

Giant hawk moths fly for miles each night in search of flower nectar -- and are thus critically important as pollinators of desert wildflowers. with Dr. Chris Martine.


Via Mary Williams
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Another fine episode from Dr. Chris Martine and friends.

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Peter Buckland's curator insight, October 21, 2013 11:46 AM

Another fascinating video in this excellent series

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New fossils push the origin of flowering plants back by 100 million years to the early Triassic

New fossils push the origin of flowering plants back by 100 million years to the early Triassic | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
Drilling cores from Switzerland have revealed the oldest known fossils of the direct ancestors of flowering plants.

Via Nanci J.
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Shh . . . the plants are thinking - Life, Science, Science & Technology ...

Shh . . . the plants are thinking - Life, Science, Science & Technology ... | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
Groundbreaking research shows that plants keep time, count and know themselves.

Via Nanci J.
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Nanci J. 's curator insight, September 18, 2013 1:38 PM

Challenging our paradigm: what is evidence for "thinking"? Just because plants have no brain or central nervous system, they behave and react in many ways like animals...so, is that thinking?

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Wonderful Things: The Hidden Beauty of the Horse Dung Fungus | The Artful Amoeba, Scientific American Blog Network

Wonderful Things: The Hidden Beauty of the Horse Dung Fungus | The Artful Amoeba, Scientific American Blog Network | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it
Note: This is the third installment in the in the “Wonderful Things” series.

What you are about to see is a truffle-like (although it seems to fruit above-ground) fungus called Pisolithus tinctorius. It has many names, but in the United States it sometimes goes by “dyemaker’s puffball”. From the outside, it sits on the ground like an unassuming horse biscuit (it is called “the horse dung fungus” in Australia). But on the inside, it is a work of art"

Eve Emshwiller's insight:

These mycorrhizae doing amazing things above ground as well as below.

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An undergraduate student’s guide to Twitter in higher education – Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD

An undergraduate student’s guide to Twitter in higher education – Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it

While my research blog was primarily designed to write my thoughts about policy issues that are of interest to me (and discuss my current research agenda), I’ve also found that my students needed a lot more guidance on how they can use Twitter. I encourage (read: quasi-force) my undergraduate (3rd, 4th year for the most part) Political Science students to use social media, and I figured I should write a guide on how to use Twitter in higher education. Primarily, because I do believe in the power of social media to advance academic pursuits. And of course, you can follow me on Twitter here (@raulpacheco).

There are a number of social networking sites, but I find the microblogging platform Twitter the most useful of them all (I am also on Google Plus, LinkedIn and Facebook). This past week, I found at least 3 different ways in which you (my undergraduate students) can use Twitter:

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Freshman Year Survival Guide: 15 Tips for Your First Year of College

Freshman Year Survival Guide: 15 Tips for Your First Year of College | Botany teaching & cetera | Scoop.it

Welcome to college! Here are 15 ways to get through the first year with flying colors. 

 

Freshman year can be one of the most confusing and exciting times of your life. All of a sudden, you are completely surrounded by members of the opposite sex, have almost total freedom, and your only responsibility is to make good grades. There are things you can do to make the transition into college smoother, but there are going to be bumps in the road regardless.

There is no avoiding them, but if you follow these tips, you should be able to come out ahead. And by ahead, I mean not having a dismal GPA that you have to work to bring back up for the next three years.

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Macy Preston's curator insight, August 28, 2015 4:23 PM

I can totally relate to this!!