Gardeners and Nature lovers already appreciate the botanical wonders around us, but plants are more than floral beauties. We owe the air we breathe to them, all of our food, and most of our medicine, chemicals and housing. Animals from elephants to ants depend on plant-life. And the world's flora has an equally intimate relationship with the birds, insects, mammals and humans around them. Explore these relationships and find the latest botany discoveries through the links below. Check out the categories in the menu or try the search using the magnifying glass above.
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Fireflies Help Farmers Save A Forest

For years, economic forces, including low prices for farm produce, forced rural communities like Piedra Canteada to cut down trees and sell the logs. Then, in 1990, community leader Genaro Rueda Lopez got the idea that the forest could bring tourism revenue from campers. (Click on title for full story.)

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Replacement Human Organs Grown From Plants?

Biomaterials engineers, who create stand-ins for our own body tissues, historically focus on animal species, like pigs, with organs similar to ours. Until now, the plant kingdom has been largely neglected, but it offers a vast variety of architectures, many of which can serve the needs of human physiology. It also offers an escape route from expensive, proprietary biomaterials: an open-source approach. (Click on titl for full story.)

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The Solution To Adolescent Aggression Is Parks And Nature

Many studies have found nature is soothing to adults, and a few have linked kids’ exposure to green space to enhanced cognitive abilities. But this is the first to specifically explore the relationship between abundant vegetation and adolescent aggression. (Click on title for full story.)

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Ancient Extinct Kangaroos Had Wide Ranging Plant Diets

In this second study, we have found that ancient kangaroos didn’t feed on grass like most kangaroos do today, but instead some ate leaves from trees and shrubs, while others ate a wide variety of foods. One of the new species (Gumardee springae) was found to be predominantly a leaf eater. (Click on title for full story.)

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New Plant-derived Polio Vaccine Booster May Eliminate The Disease

Collaborating with researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Penn team developed an oral vaccine booster by manipulating plants to express a protein found in the polio virus. Tests with sera from immunized mice show that the booster confers immunity against all three serotypes of polio. (Click on title for full story.)

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Looking For Ocean Plastic Pollution? Check The Mangrove Forests

This part of the island is uninhabited, yet the area is full of rubbish, and most of it is fairly new. (Click on title for full story.)

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The Limits Of Leaves: Why Are There So Few Arboreal Herbivores

“This study explains why eating leaves in the canopies of trees leads to life in the slow lane, why fast-moving animals like birds tend not to eat leaves, and why animals like deer that eat a lot of leaves tend to be big and live on the ground,” (Click on title for full story.)

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Attacking The Problem: Control Tropical Vines To Preserve Carbon Sink

Scientists advocate the temporary removal of lianas in selected areas to help tropical forests grow back. (Click on title for full story.)

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Are These The Final Days For Our Forests?

Our study shows that human disturbance negatively affects the early steps of the plant regeneration cycle, while the effects on the later regeneration processes vary greatly, Our findings suggest that conservation efforts should prioritize the protection of animal pollinators and seed dispersers to maintain the regeneration potential of forest ecosystems in the future. (Click on title for full story.)

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Did Plants Invent Alcohol To Attract Our Ancestors?

It could even be that fermentation evolved, like fragrance, to attract consumers to slightly boozy edibles. Dominy explained that if consuming more nectar or fruit benefits the plant, such as via better pollination and seed dispersal, then fermentation could bring mutual benefits to the plant and consumer. (Click on title for full story.)