Genes from undersea creature may help crops prosper

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Genes from undersea creature may help crops prosper. Raleigh News and Observer, April 16, 2012. The bottles of amber liquid perched on the bench in Dr. Amy Grunden’s research lab at N.C. State University don’t look like much. But floating within are billions of sea-dwelling microbes – too small to see with the naked eye – that researchers hope will one day help plants survive in space, or produce hardier crops and better biofuels in stressful environments here on Earth.

Not just for the birds: Man-made noise has ripple effects on plants, too

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Not just for the birds: Man-made noise has ripple effects on plants, too. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, March 21, 2012.  A growing body of research shows that birds and other animals change their behavior in response to man-made noise, such as the din of traffic or the hum of machinery. But human clamor doesn’t just affect animals. Because many animals also pollinate plants or eat or disperse their seeds, human noise can have ripple effects on plants too, finds a new study. Picked up by Scientific American, the Christian Science Monitor, MSNBC, National Public Radio, Audubon Magazine, the Miami Herald, BBC News, Science News, Discovery News, the New York Times and TIME Magazine.

The future of a fog oasis

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The future of a fog oasis. Scientific American Guest Blog, August 19, 2011. In a fast-disappearing desert oasis, scientists are trying to bring a forest back to life – and discovering the imprint of a lost civilization amidst the vanishing trees.

Coping with climate change

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Coping with climate change. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, May 11, 2011. Can we predict which species will be able to move far or fast enough to keep up with rising global temperatures? A new study says the secrets to success in the face of a warming world are still elusive.