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Biologists Say Breeding Better Soil Microbes Can Help Grow Bigger Plants

It may be possible to grow better, healthier crops with just a syringe and some careful observation. That’s all you need to breed better soil microbes, which can have a big effect on how well plants grow, according to new research.

This Gene Could Help Plants Survive Drought

We’ve talked a lot about the drought — the worst in 500 years in California. Scientists are wondering how plants could survive a hotter, dryer planet in the future. A team of researchers at Oxford may have found an answer by tinkering with a gene used for photosynthesis.

Taking Plants Off Planet -- How Do They Grow In Zero Gravity?

Gravity is a constant for all organisms on Earth. It acts on every aspect of our physiology, behaviour and development — no matter what you are, you evolved in an environment where gravity roots us firmly to the ground.

Here Is A Cactus Bribing A Bat To Help It Have Sex 

The deep, bell-shaped flowers of the saguaro cactus use a strong melony scent to tell the bats that pollinate them they’re open for business, but they hide the nectar the bats want to lick up deep inside their base. If the bat wants to eat, it has to shove its face into the dozens of pollen-covered anthers inside the bloom.

The Plan To Feed The World By Hacking Photosynthesis

With the world population projected to soar past the 11 billion mark by 2100, we’re going to need to find some creative new ways of putting food on the table. The latest science-powered plan to feed the world? Hacking photosynthesis.

The Way We Name Species Was Invented By A 'Botanical Pornographer'

The Age of Exploration brought Europeans riches, a broader view of the world, and a hell of a lot of new plants and animals to describe. That was heaven for Carl Linnaeus, a young Swedish doctor with a passion for plants.

Seeing Plants Naturally Explode Like Bombs Is Pretty Freaking Gross

Imagine you’re taking a walk and trying to enjoy Mother Nature for all her beauty when you brush up against a squirting cucumber and have it explode like a bomb and spew its seed and guts all over you like a blown up, shooting fire hydrant. These things are like a ticking time bomb, when they blow they GO.

A Tower PC For Your Less Than Legal Hobbies

Gardening can be a relaxing and rewarding hobby. But sometimes, depending on your choice of crops, you need to keep that hobby under wraps. And that’s where The Server Farm comes in. It looks like a vanilla desktop PC, but inside you’ll find grow lights, reflection panels and a compact watering system.

Gorgeous Microscopy Images Are Actually Pictures Of Sexual Biology

The Cell Picture Show has collected 10 images of sexually significant science from labs around the world: the resulting slideshow (summarised in their image above) takes you on a walk through sex systems across many types of living things.

This Shrub Uses A Moonlight Beacon To Signal That It's Ready For Sex

When it’s time for sex, many plants literally tap into animal appetites, attracting them with the promise of sugar and smearing them with pollen while they eat. But if you’re going to rely on a third party for sex, you need some really good advertising. One recent study has identified a plant that makes a beacon out of moonlight.

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