Biology Botany Physics 

How Do Plants Know Which Way to Grow?

By Shayna Keyles (@shaynakeyles) How do plants know which way is up and which way is down? No matter which way you put a seed in the soil, it will always send its roots down and its shoots up. (Unless you’re in space–we’ll get back to that later.) The answer lies in tropism: motion in response to external stimulus. This is pretty amazing, considering that in the traditional sense, plants can’t move. Specifically, plants are affected by geotropism, phototropism, and hydrotropism. In other words, plants move toward gravity, light, and water,…

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Biology Citizen Science Environment 

Strengthening the Endangered Species Act

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Have you ever heard of the Ōlulu plant? What about the vernal pool tadpole shrimp or Fender’s blue butterfly? These are the lesser known species among the almost 1,600 currently listed in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that require long-term intervention strategies to ensure their survival. Despite numerous success stories, it is becoming more difficult to recover species. The ESA is beset by persistent and pervasive threats to species, pressures from climate change, uneven distribution of funding among species, and a rapidly growing list of species…

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autumn leaves Biology Photos 

Autumn Leaves: Last, Loveliest Smile

By Steven Spence Going Out in a Blaze of Glory Autumn … the year’s last, loveliest smile. (William Cullen Bryant) Fall is my favorite season for many reasons, but foremost among them is the joy I feel when surrounded by thousands of patches of light in a cacophony of colors all rustling in the wind. There are only a few special weeks each year to enjoy this transition from the searing heat of summer to winter’s icy grip. Whenever something captivates my imagination (or optic nerves) I want to learn…

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