How plantibodies are revolutionising the world of biopharmaceuticals.

By Easha Vigneswaran The use of plants in medical technology has been exploited by scientists for many years. In the nineties, the discovery plant use to manufacture antibodies provided a new insight into how we can use plants to benefit the pharmaceutical world. Antibodies are complex molecules called immunoglobulins, responsible for the attenuation of pathogenicContinue reading “How plantibodies are revolutionising the world of biopharmaceuticals.”

The Role of Caffeine in Plants

By Ellie Fung As wild as it may sound, caffeine was not designed to be guzzled upon by sleep-deprived university students. Its stimulant activity is exploited by millions worldwide, whether it be a morning coffee or a late-night Redbull, but much less is known about its function in the plants that produce them. These generaContinue reading “The Role of Caffeine in Plants”

Will planting trees help in the fight against climate change?

By Rachel Chan Tree planting (ironically) is hot right now. In a bid to tackle climate change, countries and organisations worldwide have pledged to plant more trees. The UK government has pledged to plant a million trees between 2020 and 2024, and Ethiopia claimed to have planted 350 million trees in a day in 2019Continue reading “Will planting trees help in the fight against climate change?”

Can planting flowers save bees?

By Cara Burke Many gardening shows and magazines advocate for the planting of flowers that attract bees and pollinators. But can the simple choice of flowers make a difference to the survival of bees? It can be hard to believe that our gardening choices could make a real difference to a species’ decline, especially consideringContinue reading “Can planting flowers save bees?”

Novel viral resistance mechanism in plant meristems

By Cristina Vuolo A previously unknown mechanism of viral resistance in plant meristems has been elucidated by researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China in a new study published on October 8th, 2020. The shoot apical meristem (SAM) is a collection of stem cells in the plant tip which provides specialised daughterContinue reading “Novel viral resistance mechanism in plant meristems”

Silvopasture: The Ancient Solution to Modern Agriculture’s Problem

By Malini Williams Modern commercial agriculture remains one of the world’s largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and is incredibly destructive to the ecosystems surrounding farmlands and pastures. It is estimated that livestock produce around 20% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, through digestive processes, grazing, and food production (Hawken, 2017). These GHGs include carbonContinue reading “Silvopasture: The Ancient Solution to Modern Agriculture’s Problem”

Poaceae: shaper of the modern world

By Haobo Yuan Poaceae, commonly referred to as grasses, is the fourth largest flowering plant family and contains approximately 12000 species (Christenhusz & Byng, 2016), including domesticated cereal crops, bamboos, and grasses of natural grasslands and cultivated lawns. Due to its morphological and photosynthetic characteristics, the monocotyledonous Poaceae family is well adapted to marginal andContinue reading “Poaceae: shaper of the modern world”

Biofertilizers: future of sustainable agriculture development

By Wong Ching Nam (Jimmy) Biofertilizers are fertilizers containing microbes. When applied into the soil, plants, or seeds, the microbes in biofertilizers will colonize the rhizosphere soil around the plant, leading to increased plant growth and food yield. The growth-promoting effect of biofertilizers is usually achieved by accelerating natural microbial processes that either give plantsContinue reading “Biofertilizers: future of sustainable agriculture development”

“Tiger grass”: the next rising star of skincare or folklore?

By Jeslyn Kho  Centella asiatica is an aquatic plant indigenous to Asia and goes by many names: Gotu kola, Asiatic pennywort, or (most famously) “tiger grass”. It was named after the supposed Laotian legend whereby villagers spotted tigers rolling in it to heal their wounds leading to the discovery of its healing properties. It hasContinue reading ““Tiger grass”: the next rising star of skincare or folklore?”

Applications of artificial photosynthesis

By Lubova Dziojeva The concept of artificial photosynthesis was introduced more than a century ago by Giacomo Ciamician in a Science paper titled the “The photochemistry of the future” (Ciamician, 1912). He insisted on the importance of developing technologies that would move humanity away from the complete dependence on fossil fuels. Technologies that use sustainableContinue reading “Applications of artificial photosynthesis”