In Biology we have to make an analogy for Plant Cells using everyday things like factories or cities. Since I don’t go outside, I thought Tumblr was more of an “Everyday thing” for me. So far I have: Cell Wall: Log in Page. (Helps keep everything together) Cell Membrane: CAPTCHA while making your…
It is with great pleasure that I can announce a new category on this blog: Plant Cell Alumni!
This series will feature interviews with people who at one point were active plant cell researchers, but are now doing something different. I hope to highlight the vast variety of possibilites open to plant scientists, no matter if they decided to change fields, to work in a science-related job or left science completely. If you would like to participate, please drop me an email and I will send you further instructions.
I am incredibly lucky in that our research group is not only tolerant of my crazy science outreach ideas, but whole-heartedly embraces and develops them. When we started thinking about activities for the “International Fascination of Plants Day“, our PhD student Alessandra told me this funny story. She had gone to bed and just before falling asleep suddenly got the idea for this project. She sat upright and thought “I have to tell Anne immediately!” But her computer was already switched off and her mobile phone was too far away. So she decided that it had to wait until the next day. Just for her enthusiasm I wanted to give her a hug! When I heard her idea, I immediately got excited as well.
We had been thinking about hands-on activities to engage children with plant cells. Alessandra came up with the idea of a plant cell marble maze. Or, to be correct, a plant endomembrane system marble maze.
Working together with the Didcot Girls’ School Science Club was one of the best experiences I have had so far in my research career. Their enthusiasm and excitement was infectious and it forced me take a step back and look at my research with different eyes. All of them want to go to university and I am absolutely sure that each of them would be a great scientist if they wanted to pursue that career direction.
Tau is one of several types of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) which regulate the assembly and stability of microtubule networks. Although microtubule networks exist in all kinds of animal and plant cells, Tau is present only in neurons and predominantly localized in axons. This unique feature suggests that Tau may have neuron-specific functions.
Visiting the many different flower shows whilst researching The Flora, I was struck by the way the pansies were displayed – they are arranged separately in trays, not as the usual bunch of flowers in a vase, but just the heads placed poking out of a board on a tray – why? I like to think that it really makes you look carefully at the difference in each wonderful flower head; but I suspect it may be because one of the criteria for a show pansy is to try to grow the petals to form a perfect circle. Then “heads” and “pansy faces” came together in my mind, so I started to photograph the trays at all the shows I visited, as you can see below the standard of presentation is often patchy and there seems to be no attempt at colour co-ordination!
So you want to do a science communication project? | Plantcellbiology.com
Yesterday I participated as facilitator in the Science Communication Training Day 2012 for doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers, which was organised by the Biochemical Society, Society of Experimental Biology and British Ecological Society. It was a brilliant day and Antonia Desmond wrote a lovely summary about the day for the BiochemSoc Blog. I won’t repeat this but rather comment on some of the key points and questions we discussed and add my own thoughts.
Have you ever wondered how to pen a piece of arboreal balladry? How to get under the skin of a 4,800 year old Californian bristlecone pine? Well now you can, with this handy tutorial, recorded with student of treesong Hayley Bennett from Geek Pop.
Biologists have developed a technique to measure internal cell temperatures without altering their metabolism. This finding could be useful when distinguishing healthy cells from cancerous ones, as well as learning more about cellular processes.
"In short, Aris and Leblanc report results which are mechanistically implausible because protein in the diet rarely enter the body as intact molecules, and which which are highly likely to just represent low-level noise in their complicated assay system.
They should have at least explicitly recognised the limitations of their assay in their paper and warn against the misinterpretation highly preliminary and non-specific signal, because such misinterpretation is obvious to anyone with experimental experience in these assays, or a good training in biochemistry.
The author of this post has that kind of experimental experience and has developed assays using the same kind of technology for other biological components, and even published and patented discoveries made using this technology.”
Just a few more days until the threatened destruction of a field trial of GM wheat in England. At this point it’s not certain if the demonstration will include vandalism, but should it, what happens next?
My fantasy is to take the vandals (and the people who encourage them, like her http://tinyurl.com/83v6me2) to a quiet place for four years.
During that period, they’d have to pass courses in chemistry (general, organic, and physical, because without understanding chemistry you know nothing…), statistics, economics, ecology, environmental science, genetics, cell biology, biochemistry and plant physiology. Oh, and they’d have to spend a year doing experimental work (something really hard, like proteomics or electrophysiology, or whole-organismal physiology) AND come up with a publication-quality figure. If that fail the last task, a year in a refugee camp where people know what it means to really worrry about their food could substitute…..
At the end of their four years, I’d let them go. What do you think the chances would be that they’d rush off to destroy someone’s experiment? I think ZERO.
Blood tests convey vital medical information, but the sight of a needle often causes anxiety and results take time. A new device developed by a team of researchers in Israel, however, can reveal much the same information as a traditional blood test in real-time, simply by shining a light through the skin.
This optical instrument, no bigger than a breadbox, is able to provide high-resolution images of blood coursing through our veins without the need for harsh and short-lived fluorescent dyes.
Today is the first ever Fascination of Plants Day and I am very excited, as my Twitter friends will be able to testify (tweet ALL the plants!). All over the world there will be plant-related activities today, in Botanic Gardens, universities and research institutes. Our group will be at Oxford Botanic Garden from 10-7 pm and show people what plant parts and cells look like under the microscope!
Students equate plant biology, for the most part, to celery—bland and unappetizing. Dab some peanut butter and raisins on that celery, and though you may run the risk of sounding very corny, the students will have at least remembered why that celery was green.
Life on Earth is easy. It can be boiled down to three sentences. “The mitochondria and the chloroplasts are, in a fundamental sense, the most important things on Earth. Between them, they produce oxygen and arrange for its use. In effect, they run the place.” Lewis Thomas wrote this in his award winning book, The Lives Of The Cell: Notes Of A Biology Watcher, in 1975.
Will humans one day live on other planets than on Earth? I don’t know the answer to that. But I know that if humans attempt to settle on extraterrestrial land, we will want to take plants with us to provide us with food and make our air breathable
Flowers and leaves are made up of thousands of tiny little blocks we call plant cells. Those cells have a very strong, rigid wall that keeps all of the contents inside. Inside each of the building blocks are chemicals called …