On our Scoop It between November 29th and December 11th

These are links from our Scoop It page between November 29th and December 11th:

How would you illustrate the concept of a seedbank?

Seedbanks, like most scientific collections, can never be imaged in total. But if you need an illustration of this concept, what would you focus on? The building, its location, a curator, some machinery, a small subset of the collection, or some other aspect?

Chinese science popularization blog with much botany: 科学网—崇尚科学, 也有点迷信 – 高建国

For our Chinese-reading followers, I've just heard about this interesting blog with many botanical features from gaojianguo 的博客 ,科学网…

Plants against terrorism 植物也能反恐吗

Painting plant science 植物科学画

Tobacco is not thirsty 哮喘的烟草不口渴 精选

The Yangtze River Delta botany seminar 这次长三角植物学研讨会

Grass – good for the environment

Soil beneath grassland stores up to 70t/ha of carbon (25t/ha more than arable crops), and acts as a valuable sink for carbon dioxide, one of the gases on the climate change blacklist.

More evidence found for quantum physics in photosynthesis

Physicists have found the strongest evidence yet of quantum effects fueling photosynthesis. Multiple experiments in recent years have suggested as much, but it's been hard to be sure. Quantum effects were clearly present in the light-harvesting antenna proteins of plant cells, but their precise role in processing incoming photons remained unclear. In an experiment published Dec. 6 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a connection between coherence—far-flung molecules interacting as one, separated by space but not time—and energy flow is established.

Classical Guitar Music to complement videos and free: En la Brisa danosongs.com

“When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze” ~ Thomas Carlyle


"Here is a new Spanish classical piece in the habanera style. It consists of a few simple rhythmic chord progressions, acoustic bass and a distinct melody. It could be great background music for a nature video or slideshow. I call this En la Brisa (In the Breeze) because it sounds fun to me but also subtle. The music has an upbeat feeling while also being relaxing. You can download the MP3 for free and use it in your projects royalty free."


I've uploaded a couple of videos to YouTube this week – Seed Germination: http://youtu.be/6IOuy3ohGSc  and Fluorescing Jellyfish: http://youtu.be/q4pEaS1vhPw and I think Dan-o's music at www.DanoSongs.com  really complement the plants and animals, just as he suggests above with the apt Thomas Carlyle quotation.

Plantcellbiology.com – The Science of Christmas Trees

Ecologist Dr Markus Eichhorn talks about the different christmas tree species, how they cope with the central heating in your home and why he prefers natural christmas trees to artificial ones.

Jellyfish with blue fluorescence showing Green Fluorescent Proteins GFP

Jellyfish with blue fluorescence showing Green Fluorescent Proteins GFP in the Valencia aquarium. GFP genes from the jellfish are fused to the promoters or coding sequences of other genes and then the activity of these genes can be visualized by fluorescence microscopy, a technique that has become widespread in plant cell and molecular biology.

The Global Crop Diversity Trust: World population just surpassed the big round number of 7,000,000,000.

World population just surpassed the big round number of 7,000,000,000.

Mankind reached its first billion just as the 19th century got underway. That feat of fecundity required eons. It took us just 12 years, however, to tack on the last billion. We’re definitely on a roll.

Dormancy cycling in Arabidopsis seeds is controlled by seasonally distinct hormone-signaling pathways

Seeds respond to environmental signals, tuning their dormancy cycles to the seasons and thereby determining the optimum time for plant establishment. The molecular regulation of dormancy cycling is unknown, but an extensive range of mechanisms have been identified in laboratory experiments. Using a targeted investigation of gene expression over the dormancy cycle of Arabidopsis seeds in the field, we investigated how these mechanisms are seasonally coordinated.

Enhancing photosynthesis

In general, in many leaves, for significant periods of the day, photosynthetic activity is far below capacity. Causative factors include: closure of the stomata shutting off the supply of carbon dioxide to the leaves; reduction in the efficiency of light collection by the chloroplasts; and feedback from the accumulation of carbohydrate products of photosynthesis. The conclusion from this study is important but so far widely ignored: There is enough photosynthetic activity in the existing cellular machinery to sustain a much larger yield if only plants could be induced to perform at their full potential.

So why don’t plants perform at their full potential?