Tag Archives | plants


Lab study suggests mad cow disease can be transmitted by plants

A study appearing in the latest issue of Cell Reports suggests that grass plants can bind, uptake, and transport infectious prions. The researchers, from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, say that plants may play an important role in environmental prion contamination. Prions are protein-based infectious agents responsible for a group of […]

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Aphrodisiac plants put under the microscope

The scientists who examined findings from recent research into the aphrodisiac properties of plants say that both ginseng and saffron appear to enhance sexual function, while there is evidence that other plants increase sexual desire. The meta-study of natural aphrodisiacs conducted by University of Guelph researchers will appear in the journal Food Research International. “Aphrodisiacs […]

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“Profound” plant water cycle changes add new wildcard to climate change guesstimates

Botanists from Indiana University (IU) and Utrecht University (Netherlands) have discovered that rising carbon dioxide levels over the last 150 years have reduced the density of the pores (known as stomata) that plants use to breathe by 34 percent, dramatically lowering the amount of water vapor the plants release to the atmosphere. Writing about their […]

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Academics Mull Flow-On Effects Of Climate Change

Climate change may ultimately lead to wars and population decline, says a new study in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The new work is based on data from a period called the Little Ice Age, which occurred around 400 years ago. “Even though temperatures are increasing now, the same resulting conflicts may occur […]

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Plant-Methane Brouhaha Put To Bed

The suggestion that plants may be a prodigious source of the greenhouse gas methane has finally been put to the sword by Dutch scientists. Reporting in New Phytologist, Tom Dueck and co-researchers concluded that methane emissions from plants are negligible and do not contribute to global climate change. The researchers executed a novel experiment that […]

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Plants’ Capacity To Soak Up Carbon Limited

Plants do much less than previously thought to soak up carbon dioxide, say Bruce Hungate of Northern Arizona University and Kees-Jan van Groenigen of the University of California Davis. Their paper, appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that plants are limited in their capacity to clean up excess carbon dioxide […]

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Researchers Slam Media Over Wrong-Headed Plant-Methane Hype

The researchers who found that plants emit significant quantities of the greenhouse gas methane have come out swinging at what they believe is widespread “misinterpretation of the findings” by worldwide media. The original study in Nature, conducted by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development […]

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