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Talking to Learn: Why Biology Students Should Be Talking in Classrooms and How to Make It Happen

Talking to Learn: Why Biology Students Should Be Talking in Classrooms and How to Make It Happen | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Giving over even a small amount of classroom time to Student Talk has big payouts - increased attention and retention. Here are some very straightforward suggestions for how to get started. Two thumbs up!

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Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
Hooks and hot topics for university teachers and students
Curated by Mary Williams
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Winning entries of the April 2015 “Teaching Tools Proposal” competition

Winning entries of the April 2015 “Teaching Tools Proposal” competition | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Announcing the winners of the "Teaching Tools in Plant Biology" proposal competition. Congrats to all!


The three winning proposals were:
*Seed development and germination, by Daniela Dietrich

*Biogenic volatile organic compounds: Solving the puzzle of plant communication, by Csengele Barta

*Rhythms of Life - The Plant Circadian Clock, by Katharine Hubbard and Antony Dodd
Read more about the topics and the authors, and don't forget we're look for more proposals for Rounds 2 and 3 of the competition at the end of August and December!
http://blog.aspb.org/…/winning-entries-of-the-april-2015-t…/

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Assoc/Prof Ros Gleadow on Michael E. Mann - The Laborastory

Assoc/Prof Ros Gleadow on Michael E. Mann - The Laborastory | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Scientists telling the stories from the science history books. The event is held each month in Melbourne.
Mary Williams's insight:

Ros Gleadow talks about the science and public service of her hero Michael Mann (developer of the hockey-stick climate graph)

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Domestication: Sweet! A naturally transgenic crop

Domestication: Sweet! A naturally transgenic crop | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
One of the world's most important staple crops, the sweet potato, is a naturally transgenic plant that was genetically modified thousands of years ago by a soil bacterium. This surprising discovery may influence the public view of GM crops.
Mary Williams's insight:

Nature Plants News & Views by Jonathan Jones (OA)

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Children’s Rights in the Digital Age: A Download from Children Around the World | UNICEF Publications | UNICEF

Children’s Rights in the Digital Age: A Download from Children Around the World | UNICEF Publications | UNICEF | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

How do children see their rights affected by digital media and tools? In July and August 2014, 148 children in 16 countries took part in workshops to discuss the opportunities and risks associated with digital media; these discussions – and the voices of the child participants of the workshops – are reflected in this report


Via Nik Peachey
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Nik Peachey's curator insight, May 29, 4:27 AM

Well worth reading for an insight into the minds and opions of kids/ teens growing up in a digitally connected world.

Manuel Pinto's curator insight, May 30, 5:12 PM

The report here:

http://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Childrens_Rights_in_the_Digital_Age_A_Download_from_Children_Around_the_World_FINAL.pdf

 

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Vesicles versus Tubes: Is Endoplasmic Reticulum-Golgi Transport in Plants Fundamentally Different from Other Eukaryotes?

Vesicles versus Tubes: Is Endoplasmic Reticulum-Golgi Transport in Plants Fundamentally Different from Other Eukaryotes? | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I really like this approach to writing review summary. The question is, how does material move between the ER and Golgi - through vesicles or through tubes? The answer isn't simple, as there are data to support both answers, and other possibilities as well. So, "in this article, four leading plant cell biologists attempted to resolve this issue. Unfortunately, their opinions are so divergent and often opposing that it was not possible to reach a consensus. Thus, we decided to let each tell his or her version individually."

http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/168/2/393.abstract


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Interaction and signalling between a cosmopolitan phytoplankton and associated bacteria : Nature

Interaction and signalling between a cosmopolitan phytoplankton and associated bacteria : Nature | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

You all know I love cross-kingdom "infochemicals" (aka semiochemicals - "sema" in Greek means sign and is used in the semaphore language of flags).
Check out this new paper "Interaction and signalling between a cosmopolitan phytoplankton and associated bacteria". Take home message:

"A Sulfitobacter species promotes diatom cell division via secretion of the hormone indole-3-acetic acid, synthesized by the bacterium using both diatom-secreted and endogenous tryptophan. Indole-3-acetic acid and tryptophan serve as signalling molecules that are part of a complex exchange of nutrients, including diatom-excreted organosulfur molecules and bacterial-excreted ammonia."

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Vascular Cambium Development

Vascular Cambium Development | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Secondary phloem and xylem tissues are produced through the activity of vascular cambium, the cylindrical secondary meristem which arises among the primary plant tissues.Despite its small size and herbaceous nature, Arabidopsis displays prominent secondary growth in several organs, including the root, hypocotyl and shoot. Together with the vast genetic resources and molecular research methods available for it, this has made Arabidopsis a versatile and accessible model organism for studying cambial development and wood formation.

Mary Williams's insight:

New review on the vascular cambium from The Arabidopsis Book

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BBC How Plants Communicate & Think - Amazing Nature Documentary - YouTube

I hadn't seen this documentary before, it's quite good!


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Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, May 29, 10:26 PM

I'll watch it too.

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Medicines from plants top trump game

Medicines from plants top trump game | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I love the "top trumps" format for teaching. Here's a set of trumps cards designed by Dr Sarah McLusky about medicine from plants, which you can find on the SAPS site. http://www.saps.org.uk/…/871-medicines-and-drugs-from-plant…. Generic instructions for Top Trumps are here http://www.toptrumps.com/how-to-play-top-trumps/
You can also have students design their own top trumps card games - the topic can be plant species, proteins, amino acids, pigments, pathogens, nutrients, etc.

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How do you stimulate curiosity and learning? Please share ideas for our new portal!

How do you stimulate curiosity and learning? Please share ideas for our new portal! | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

How are you engaging students in plant science? What hands-on inquiries, projects, POGILs, creative or dynamic approaches do you recommend? We're collecting links for all age levels including university for the new Plant Science portal. Send them and we'll share them!

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Therapeutic properties of Celastrol, a pentacyclic triterpene from Tripterygium wilfordii (Lei Gong Teng)

Therapeutic properties of Celastrol, a pentacyclic triterpene from Tripterygium wilfordii (Lei Gong Teng) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

More support for bioactive properties of Celastrol, a pentacyclic triterpene from Tripterygium wilfordii (Lei Gong Teng; Thunder god vine), used in Chinese medicine. Here's the latest, newly published in Cell (www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867415005590), and you can read more about celastrol at PubChem, my latest favorite site (http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/celastrol).

Mary Williams's insight:

I think it's fascinating to read about the coming together of traditional medicine and biochemistry. Removing the placebo effect, isolating a single compound and showing effect lends a lot of credibility to the powerful but not 100% accurate traditional lore.

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Tomorrow’s Food, Tomorrow’s Farmers - links and videos from Planet Forward "Feeding the Planet" summit

Tomorrow’s Food, Tomorrow’s Farmers - links and videos from Planet Forward "Feeding the Planet" summit | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture
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A novel highly differentially expressed gene in wheat endosperm associated with bread quality

A novel highly differentially expressed gene in wheat endosperm associated with bread quality | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Good one to read with students. The genetics and the plant biology are both easy to understand and the application is very evident.

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Is opposition to genetically modified food irrational? - BBC News

Is opposition to genetically modified food irrational? - BBC News | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Should we embrace technology that could help feed the world, or are concerns about the impact of global agribusiness and industrial food production justified?
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In Memoriam of Ian Sussex, by Vivian Irish (Society for Developmental Biology)

This is posted on the SDP page here

http://www.sdbonline.org/in_memoriam?s=in%20memoriam&ResourceID=0

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Why We Changed Our Model of the “8 Essential Elements of PBL” | Blog | Project Based Learning | BIE

Why We Changed Our Model of the “8 Essential Elements of PBL” | Blog | Project Based Learning | BIE | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
BIE’s Essential Project Design Elements contain two new items, both of which are familiar to those who know PBL. One is “authenticity,” which has to do with how real-world the project is. The other is “reflection,” which we have previously coupled with “revision” but now stands on its own; students should reflect on what they’re learning, how they’re learning, and what they have accomplished in a project.

Via Nik Peachey
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Nik Peachey's curator insight, May 27, 1:25 AM

Useful article for anyone interested in Project Based Learning.

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Ocean Acidification, Global Warming’s ‘Evil Twin’

Ocean Acidification, Global Warming’s ‘Evil Twin’ | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Since humans first began burning fossil fuels on a large scale, the ocean has increased its acidity by 30 percent. To put that into perspective, imagine biting into an apple and discovering it’s as acidic as vinegar. Worse, says Feely, the trend has been accelerating as more and more CO2 is emitted. “If we continue on the same trajectory,” he cautions, “by the end of this century we will see a 100-to-150 percent increase in the acidity of the ocean.”"

Mary Williams's insight:

This article is from Earthzine which I hadn't seen before but it is the blog of IEEE (pronounced "I-triple E", Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and it is full of interesting science as it applies to the earth, from Agriculture to Weather.

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Volatile Glycosylation in Tea Plants

Volatile Glycosylation in Tea Plants | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Volatile Glycosylation in Tea Plants: Sequential Glycosylations for the Biosynthesis of Aroma β-Primeverosides Are Catalyzed by Two Camellia sinensis Glycosyltransferases
"Tea, manufactured from Camellia sinensis, is the most popular beverage in the world and is classified as black, green, or oolong tea based on the manufacturing process, which affects the composition and quantity of aroma compounds. Tea plants store volatile organic compounds (VOCs; monoterpene, aromatic, and aliphatic alcohols) in the leaves in the form of water-soluble diglycosides, primarily as β-primeverosides. Here, we identified two UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) from C. sinensis, UGT85K11 (CsGT1) and UGT94P1 (CsGT2), converting VOCs into β-primeverosides by sequential glucosylation and xylosylation, respectively. Our findings reveal the mechanism of aroma β-primeveroside biosynthesis in C. sinensis. This information can be used to preserve tea aroma better during the manufacturing process and to investigate the mechanism of plant chemical defenses."
http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/168/2/464.abstract

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"Meet the GMO that could feed one billion people: C4 rice explained in 7 minutes" - YouTube

C4 rice (http://c4rice.irri.org) is a genetically modified crop projected to save one billion people by 2025. It'll give us up to 50% more rice "for free" - ...
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You Draw It: How Family Income Affects Children’s College Chances

You Draw It: How Family Income Affects Children’s College Chances | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Nice illustration of how to engage through action - this story is making the rounds. It's not very surprising or particularly interesting, but it's getting a lot of shares because it asks the reader to make a prediction about the data before reading about it. See how easy it is to make people want to read / learn? Note that the question and data refer to families in America.
http://www.nytimes.com/…/you-draw-it-how-family-income-affe…

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Clips from "Botany a Blooming History"

Clips from "Botany a Blooming History" | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I loved the 2011 BBC series "Botany a Blooming History", but I don't think it's available on DVD. Correct me if I'm wrong!

I did find this page of clips from it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011vf07/clips

(Can you view them from outside the UK?)


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NY Times: A Proposal to Modify Plants Gives G.M.O. Debate New Life

NY Times: A Proposal to Modify Plants Gives G.M.O. Debate New Life | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Terrific - Gina Kolata, science writer for the New York Times, looks at the new paper by Michael Palmgren's group out in Trends in Plant Science. They propose a new term, Rewilding, for introducing ancestral genes into today's crop to increase their resiliance to stress. Several other esteemed plant scientists are quoted in this very good story too.

The TIPS article is here: "Feasibility of new breeding techniques for organic farming"  http://www.cell.com/trends/plant-science/abstract/S1360-1385(15)00112-0


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Collaboration: Strength in diversity

Collaboration: Strength in diversity | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Richard B. Freeman and Wei Huang reflect on a link between a team's ethnic mix and highly cited papers.
Mary Williams's insight:

So what do you think? There are lots of ways to explain the finding that papers with greater ethnic diversity among authors are more highly cited. Multi-institution labs are pretty common on "big" papers in plant science, which often indicates a greater diversity in methods and approaches and stronger science. It's an interesting finding, that's for sure, and building cross-cultural bridges is always rewarding.

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The Art of Science Communication: William Zinsser on How to Write Well About Science

The Art of Science Communication: William Zinsser on How to Write Well About Science | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
How to master the inverse pyramid of transmuting information into wisdom.

I have always considered writing a way of organizing reality --
Mary Williams's insight:

Yes - this is really good. Lots of gems here, including good suggestions for how to write about science, and the dangers associated with making writing "too easy"

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"The case against inquiry-based learning" | Education in Chemistry Blog

"The case against inquiry-based learning" | Education in Chemistry Blog | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Good topic for conversation. There is no doubt that some students find inquiry-based activities frustrating sometimes, but that's not cause to eliminate them, just improve them. In my opinion, students need good access to appropriate reference resources, a well-framed, guided question to explore, and an attentive teacher to support them.

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