Plants

  1. Microbes

    Recycling the dead

    When things die, nature breaks them down through a process we know as rot. Without it, none of us would be here. Now, scientists are trying to better understand it so that they can use rot — preserving its role in feeding all living things.

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  2. Tech

    Plants ‘listen’ for danger

    Scientists used lasers to show that plants can “hear” insect pests. Those leafy plants then mount a chemical attack in response to the bug’s chewing sounds — but not toward harmless noises such as a gentle breeze or a bug’s mating call.

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  3. Plants

    Saving the banana

    A number of diseases threaten the world’s most popular fruit. Scientists are working to fight these blights. But if they don’t succeed, the sweet banana that’s a breakfast staple could disappear.

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  4. Plants

    Taking a long look at lichen

    Lichens may not look like much, but they play a vital role in our ecosystems. ISEF finalist Madeline Handley decided learn more about the lichens in her native Alaska.

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  5. Animals

    Mosquitoes, be gone!

    An extract of local seeds in Puerto Rico may be the key to keeping mosquitoes away. It kills the larval insects and repels the biting adults.

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  6. Plants

    Wily bacteria create ‘zombie’ plants

    Scientists have discovered how some plant pathogens ensure their own survival by transforming flowering plants into strictly leaf-producing ones. These green ‘zombies’ attract insects that the parasites need to help them spread to other plants.

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  7. Life

    Caught in the act

    Scientists observe some evolutionary speed demons as they adapt over the course of just a few years to new environmental conditions.

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  8. Plants

    Gold can grow on trees

    Australian researchers found leafy nano-evidence pointing to rich deposits of the precious metal deep below ground.

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  9. Plants

    Old, cold moss grows again

    Mosses are mini but mighty: Even after centuries buried beneath a glacier, some of these small, flowerless plants can regrow.

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  10. Chemistry

    A plant enemy’s enemy

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  11. Agriculture

    Cool Jobs: Green Science

    In parts of the Arctic, entire forests are creeping northward. Luckily, ecologist Serge Payette is hot on their trail.

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  12. Animals

    Flower power

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