How Plants Beat the Heat: Lessons from a Hairy Cactus

How Plants Beat the Heat: Lessons from a Hairy Cactus

It's summer time, and that means temperatures are heating up. While humans are migrating to swimming pools or air-conditioned movie theaters, plants are still stuck outside without the luxury of beach umbrellas or some mediocre fiction to keep them entertained. While there's not much they can do about boredom, plants have evolved plenty of innovative ways to keep cool in harsh environments, and that's the topic of this new series. 

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Plants are Jerks: False Advertising

Plants are Jerks: False Advertising

Many plants rely on animals to pollinate them. In exchange for ensuring another generation, those pollinators are frequently rewarded with food. Some plants, however, have decided that rewarding pollinators is for chumps. In this post, learn about the con men of the plant world and how they fool pollinators. 

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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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What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

Fungal taxonomy may not be the world's most exciting subject, but those whom it does interest approach it with a passion. Over centuries of identification, classification, intense debate, and re-classification, even the most obscure fungi can end up with colorful histories that raise important philosophical questions about how we deal with the problem of naming things. Take a journey into the past with a shelf fungus called Ganoderma applanatum and see biology evolve from a gentleman's hobby into a complex science.

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How to Travel Through Time With DNA

How to Travel Through Time With DNA

An organism's genome is much more than a blueprint for its development. All along the double helix lie remnants of its ancestors, the half-buried and weather-scarred bricks of the evolutionary road its lineage traveled. In this post, learn how genes from modern fungi were used to determine the origin of the white rot group, which was responsible for solving an ancient environmental crisis.

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