Winning entries of the August 2016 “Teaching Tools Proposal” competition

We had many excellent proposals submitted for the fourth round of the “Teaching Tools in Plant Biology” competition, from which we selected five for further development. We’ve added another opportunity for you to submit your ideas for consideration as a Teaching Tools, deadline March 31, 2017 (see this for more information). Feel free to contact … Read more

In Brief. Field of genes: Uncovering Environmental Gene Regulatory Influence Networks in Rice that Function During High-temperature and Drought Stress

This Research in Focus is reprinted from an In Brief by Science Editor Jennifer Lockhart in The Plant Cell, which summarizes a new article by Wilkins et al. This study explores stress response networks in rice using by combining chromatin accessibility analysis with co-expression data and network inference algorithms. Heat and drought stress greatly restrict … Read more

ASPB Press Release: White House Announces Proposed Update to the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products

Periodic review of the regulatory regime governing the use of biotechnology products is an important aspect of maintaining public safety and ensuring consumer confidence. (ASPB) appreciates the efforts of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture … Read more

In Brief. Swept Away: Protein Mobility in the Phloem

This Research in Focus is reprinted from an In Brief by Science Editor Jennifer Mach in The Plant Cell, which summarizes a new article by Paultre et al. This study explores how proteins move through the phloem. Transport of macromolecules through the phloem has received increasing interest since the discovery that FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) … Read more

New in Plant Physiology: Laticifer Function and Development

This Research in Focus is written by science writer Peter Minorsky (ASPB and Mercy College) who writes the monthly On the Inside column for Plant Physiology. This summary describes a paper by Castelblanque et al., in the October 2016 issue. Laticifers are specialized cells (or row of cells) that synthesize and accumulate latex. The latex … Read more

In Brief: A Breakthrough in Monocot Transformation Methods

This week’s Research in Focus is reprinted from an In Brief by Science Editor Nancy Hofmann in The Plant Cell, which summarizes a new article by  Lowe et al. This study uncovers a new way to transform and regenerate plants in culture, greatly increasing the efficiency. The method involves expressing genes that promote developmental transitions, … Read more

Educational Resources for plant biology. Longer accessible videos: TED talks, iBiology and Gatsby Plants Summer School lectures

Many schools and universities are embarking on a new academic year, so it’s a good time to remind you of some of the great resources available to help you teach (or learn) about plant biology. Many of these and others can be found at the ASPB’s Education and Outreach page. See also the American Phytopathological … Read more

Back to school? Educational Resources for plant biology – Activities and Short Videos

Many schools and universities are embarking on a new academic year, so it’s a good time to remind you of some of the great resources available to help you teach (or learn) about plant biology. Many of these and others can be found at the ASPB’s Education and Outreach page and at the Education and … Read more

Pushing back the dawn of life

Our understandings of the forces that have shaped Earth and the forces that have shaped life on Earth have common roots. Charles Darwin was famously inspired by the work of early geologists such as Charles Lyell, who proposed that Earth was subject to slow but gradual change. This idea recurs in Darwin’s insights about evolution … Read more

“How to Read a Scientific Paper” and “Case Study: Reading a Plant Physiology article”

One of the most important skills a young scientist needs to learn is how to read (and write) scientific papers. Some students begin to learn this in a high school biology classes, and others as they begin their university coursework. To help instructors teach these critical skills, we created two articles to introduce students to … Read more

ARPA-E Releases RFI on Waste Heat Recovery and Announces Workshop on Anaerobic Digestion

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has released a request for information (RFI) seeking input to inform future programs in waste heat recovery.  In addition, ARPA-E is hosting a workshop on anaerobic digestion in October 2016 in the Washington, D.C. area.  Those interested in working with ARPA-E on these issues … Read more

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, August 2016

Recently, we’ve been profiling first authors of Plant Cell papers that are selected for In Brief summaries. Here are the first-author profiles from the August issue of The Plant Cell. Aman Y. Husbands and Vasudha Aggarwal, featured first authors of In Planta Single-Molecule Pull-down (SiMPull) Reveals Tetrameric Stoichiometry of HD-ZIPIII:LITTLE ZIPPER Complexes. Aman Y. Husbands … Read more

Food for thought: Digital farming, Food Computers and OpenAg

There’s a lot of buzz right now about indoor farming. I’m sure you’ve seen photos of fuchsia-illuminated lettuces hydroponically growing in abandoned warehouses, airplane hangars, and disused subway terminals (see for examples here and here and here.)  One of the goals of these programs is to cut the energy costs of food shipping, and another … Read more

Developing students’ digital identity through guided Twitter networking

This is a guest post by Judith Wayte, in which she describes how she prepares her students to use Twitter professionally. Judith is based in The School of Biosciences at The University of Nottingham where she leads efforts to support students through integrated placement programmes and assessment of professional skills.  She is interested in how … Read more

Policy Update: NSF Big Ideas for Future Investment

The National Science Board (NSB) met on August 9 and 10, 2016, under its new leadership of Maria Zuber (MIT) as Chair and Diane Souvaine (Tufts University) as Vice-Chair.  During the meeting, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Director, France Córdova and a number of Assistant Directors presented an update on the ten “big ideas” for … Read more

Keeping up with the literature: Your suggestions

Last month we asked “How do you keep up with the literature?” (cross-posted on the ASPB blog and Plantae). Several of you shared your tips, thanks! Here we’ve compiled the replies we received from you. Follow specific journals One tip is to follow the Twitter or Facebook pages of your favorite journals (in case you … Read more

From Plant Biology 2016 concurrent sessions: Heterosis & “How to Negotiate Your Offer” Workshop

We put out a call for some short write ups for the minisymposia at Plant Biology in Austin, TX. We’d like to grow this kind of digital coverage in the future, so if you’re interested in doing brief write ups of concurrent session talks at Plant Biology 2017, keep that in mind. Yao Luo, Research … Read more

Rethinking Plant Science Communication

One of the highlights of the 2016 Plant Biology Conference in Austin, TX was a panel discussion about the National Academies of Science review of genetically modified crops.  ASPB had several members on this prestigious review committee, including Drs. Robin Buell, Neal Stewart, and Rick Dixon, who convened a special session to discuss the outcomes … Read more

Chemical Inhibition of Lignification

Chemical genetics is a powerful complement to conventional genetics. Rather than knocking out gene functions, protein (or other) functions can be perturbed through the addition of small molecules. One advantage is that several related proteins can be affected at the same time, avoiding the difficulties that come from genetic redundancy. Another is that treatment regimes … Read more