Molecule of the Month: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

Molecule of the Month: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, a molecule commonly referred to as LSD, has been known for its recreational "benefits". Musicians write songs about it, artists draw inspiration from it, Disney makes films about it, intellectuals state they have had breakthroughs with its use, and druggies rave about it.  Is LSD really what people claim it to be or is it all just hype? 

This article delves into the facts and fiction behind this popular molecule with an aim to find out.

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Plants are Jerks: The Kamikaze of the Outback

Plants are Jerks: The Kamikaze of the Outback

Plants provide many things: shelter, food, and beauty. Some, however, are best enjoyed from a distance. This series exists to celebrate those plants who just don't seem to care much about what we think about them and choose to go about life in uniquely sadistic ways. Today, discover what happens when you cross a tree with a firebug.

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Got plastics? I hope not!

Got plastics? I hope not!

Plastic products are ubiquitous, and so are the chemicals used to make them! These products are neither safe for the environment nor us. Would you be surprised to know BPA-free products aren’t as innocuous as they are portrayed to be? Making small changes can minimize exposure to plastic chemicals and reduce your plastic footprint.

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Why are some plants red?

Why are some plants red?

A few years ago I would have been spending these snowy days in a couple of (minimally) heated greenhouses, surrounded by thousands of small growing plants. At the time, I was doing research on salad green production to see if it is feasible to do throughout a New England winter. The thing is, not all salad greens are actually green. 

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Acclimation, Adaptation, and Reaching Great Heights.

Acclimation, Adaptation, and Reaching Great Heights.

Selective pressure is powerful, our environment always changing, and how an individual or an entire species is able to change with nature reveals a lot about its ability to thrive. A recent dinner-table story of a volcanic mountain climb reminded me of the wild challenges on biology at high altitude and the specialized physiology of animals sitting cozy up there.

Whether by acclimation or adaptation, the ability to adjust is an essential part of movin' on up!

 

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How much water does your food use?

How much water does your food use?

Last week I found out it takes more than three and a half gallons of water to grow one head of lettuce. Maybe you saw this article too. I wasn’t sure if that was a lot of water or not - plants do need water to grow. But how much do they need? Digging further into the source of the article, I found a concept that I hadn’t heard about - the water footprint of a crop. 

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Drink a ton of water to get 1 oz. of food? All in a day for a coral reef sponge. You can help discover more about these amazing animals!

Drink a ton of water to get 1 oz. of food? All in a day for a coral reef sponge. You can help discover more about these amazing animals!

Sponges can filter 50,000x their own volume in a day! What does this mean for nutrient availability on coral reefs? Find out more about current research aimed at finding out how sponges are changing the water chemistry on coral reefs in the Florida Keys.

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