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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Experience Climate Change As Music

With data sonification, you can handle a lot more dimensions if you’re listening to data than looking at it, It’s useful for scientists on the one hand but on the other hand, the fact that you can take something like the data from 2,000 trees in Alaska and give someone a 20-second description of what that song is portraying and they pick it up (means) it has huge potential to share these narratives with people. (Click on title for full story.)

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Beyond Pollen And Honey: Bees Receive Vital Gut Bacteria From Flowers

What we’re learning is that … flowers are not just for food, but also transmitting bacteria that we think might help us,. We want to see how we can use those microbes to protect pollinator populations in the future. (Click on title for full story.)

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Coffee Can Remove Lead And Mercury From Water

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the U.S., which makes for a perky population — but it also creates a lot of used grounds. Scientists now report an innovative way to reduce this waste and help address another environmental problem. They have incorporated spent coffee grounds in a foam filter that can remove harmful lead and mercury from water. (Click on title for full story.)

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Can Algae Fill Our Voracious And Destructive Appetite For Shrimp?

A technique for making fake, plant-based shrimp out of algae. The algae turns the shrimp red and is a powerful antioxidant. The srimp are shaped like regular shrimp, and even have the rubbery texture and faintly fishy taste of real shrimp. They are vegan, kosher, have zero cholesterol, and are safe to eat for people with shellfish allergies. (Click on title for full story.)

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The Most Unusual Plant You Never Heard Of Is Disappearing. And So Is Its Habitat.

“They’re the canary in the coal mine, If they disappear, there is something wrong. And they have disappeared.” Not only the lake balls, but most of the algal mat at the foundation of the lake food web—all victims of the encroaching scum. (Click on title for full story.)

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Surprising Victims Of Climate Change: Ghost Forests

As seas continue to rise they seem certain to continue killing coastal forests, leaving only the specters of logs behind. In New Jersey, as elsewhere, that will mean less forestland — unless humans or nature find ways of fostering seedlings in fields currently used for farming. (Click on title for full story.)

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Is The Solution To Antibiotic Resistance In Your Local Park?

In southern Italy, Quave discovered that healers use elmleaf blackberry to treat boils and abscesses. She gathered a few bags of blackberry roots, sliced and dried the samples, vacuum-sealed them in plastic bags and shipped them back to her lab in Atlanta, where her colleagues ground them to a powder in a mill and extracted organic molecules using various solvents. When they added different combinations of blackberry molecules to brothy wells of MRSA — a particularly antibiotic-resistant species of Staphylococcus bacteria — the botanical extracts did not kill the microbes as typical antibiotics do. Rather, they prevented the bacteria from forming slimy, intractable mats called biofilms, which allow them to adhere to living tissues and medical devices like catheters in hospitals. (Click on title for full story.)

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Might Selfies Save Forests?

Social media can be used to explain why some protected lands get more use than others, the findings suggest. Analyzing photo locations, the researchers identified eight key factors that drive the use of conserved lands, including forest cover, trail density, and opportunities for snow sports. These factors can inform investment decisions, researchers say. (Click on title for full story.)

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How Did African Forests Become Savannas? The Acacias Blame The Antelope

A study that includes a group of South African scientists has found that the arrival of browsing medium sized antelopes was probably what turned Africa’s ancient forests into the open savannas. (Click on title for full story.)

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That Dandelion May Be A Unique Microspecies

So when pulling out dandelions, think … you don’t have to head into impenetrable jungle to discover potentially new species. You may find one while doing the weeding. (Click on title for full story.)