How can genomics help neglected crops fight disease?

Guest post by Kelsey Wood (@klsywd) a PhD student researching the genetics and genomics of plant-pathogen interactions at the University of California, Davis. I recently attended a Plant Pathology symposium on “Genomics Strategies for Developing Sustainable Disease Resistance for Neglected Crops in the Developing World“. The symposium was held at the University of California, Berkeley and … Read more

What We’re Reading: February 3rd

Review: Cyanobacterial metabolites as a source of sunscreens and moisturizers The cosmetic industry uses many different chemicals to produce the seven or so skin care products used by the average American every day. Efforts are underway to develop renewable sources for some of these. Derikvand et al. review the chemistry and potential applications behind compounds … Read more

NSF INCLUDES Prospective Reviewer Survey for Design and Development Launch Pilot Preliminary Proposals

This is a survey to determine your interest in and availability for serving on a panel for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to review proposals for the new agency-wide initiative, NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science). NSF INCLUDES is a comprehensive national initiative designed … Read more

Scientific Community Responds to President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

Central to the global scientific and innovation enterprise is the principle of free and open scientific exchange.  Researchers need to be able to attend meetings, host international collaborators and educators, and attract the best graduate and postdoctoral trainees and job candidates.  On January 27, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the … Read more

BotanyOnline: Shared learning-support resources for improving Botanical Literacy

Guest post by Rosanne Quinelle, an Associate Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Science at the University of Sydney, Australia. Proficiency in any discipline requires exposure to both breadth and depth, where “breadth” is akin to acquiring the vocabulary and “depth” is akin to an understanding of the prevailing patterns, the rules of … Read more

What We’re Reading: January 27th

Review: The sexual advantage of looking, smelling and tasting good, the metabolic network that produces signals for pollinators ($) The interaction between angiosperms and their pollinators provides an excellent system to study co-evolution, and underpins the evolution of the biosynthesis of numerous interesting and useful specialized metabolites, from pigments to fragrances. Borghi et al. review … Read more

Travel awards for early career scientists: American Chemical Society special symposium ‘Cellulose Structure and Biosynthesis’

Thanks to support from the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) and the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), we have made available a limited number of travel awards for early career scientists to attend and present a poster during a special symposium entitled ‘Cellulose Structure and Biosynthesis’ … Read more

Announcing the 2017 ASPB Womens Young Investigator Travel Award Winners

The goal of the Women’s Young Investigator Travel Award is to increase attendance at the Plant Biology annual meeting of young female investigators who are within the first five years of their appointment in academic faculty-level positions, government research positions, or industry research scientist positions, as well as experienced postdocs. Awardees must hold positions at an academic, … Read more

Announcing the 2017 Travel Grant Program Winners

The Travel Grant Program aims to increase attendance of early career scientists at the annual meeting by providing travel funds for those in financial need. Increasing diversity among the annual meeting attendees is another primary goal. Undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and professionals beginning their careers in plant science are strongly encouraged to apply. … Read more

Call for Nominations: FFAR New Innovator Award

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) has released a call for nominations for the 2017 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award.  This is the second competition for this award, which aims to “support the next generation of food and agriculture scientists”.  While last year the award was limited to one nominee … Read more

Hearing Update: Senate Environment Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing for EPA Administrator Nominee

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – January 23, 2017 On January 18, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Senate EPW) held a confirmation hearing for President Trump’s nominee for Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.  Partisan divisions were apparent from the outset, with Senate EPW Members clashing with … Read more

Hearing Update: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing for Department of Energy Secretary

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – January 19, 2017 On January 19, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination for Secretary of Energy, former Texas Governor Rick Perry.  Although the three-hour hearing concluded without a scheduled vote, it is expected that the Committee will report a favorable recommendation … Read more

Hearing Update: Senate HELP Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of Health and Human Services Nominee

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – January 19, 2017 On January 18, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), an orthopedic surgeon by training, testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee as part of his confirmation process. The HELP Committee does not vote on the HHS Secretary nomination, but … Read more

Alternative careers in science: My experience as an informal educator

By Courtney Price, Education & Outreach Specialist,  Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center & Center for Applied Plant Sciences, and Plantae Fellow With a passion for life science, conservation and education, my academic and professional experience has taken me on a convoluted path. That unique path has led me to my current role as the Education & … Read more

What We’re Reading: January 20th

Two Reviews: CRISPR/Cas for genome engineering in plants, and Genome editing in cereal crops ($) The gene-editing technology CRISPR/Cas, which introduces double-strand breaks that are repaired by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), is best known for the promise it holds in modifying an organism’s DNA sequence without the introduction of exogenous genes. However, as Puchta describes … Read more

In Brief: More than Window Dressing: Revealing 5-Methylcytocine Patterns that Decorate Arabidopsis RNA

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org DNA is sculpted by several types of epigenetic modifications with profound effects on gene expression, development, and stress responses. Much less is known about the more than 100 chemical modifications shaping plant RNA, a topic explored in the newly emerging field of epitranscriptomics (reviewed in Burgess et al., 2016). … Read more

What We’re Reading: January 13

Editorial: Rigorous Science: a How-To Guide Casadevall and Fang set out several proposals for research training to help ensure scientific “rigor”, which they define as promoting confidence in the truth or accuracy of the findings. The authors propose and elaborate on five foundations for scientific rigor: Redundancy in experimental design, recognition of error, intellectual honesty, … Read more

What We’re Reading: January 6th

Review: Transport and homeostasis of K and P ($) Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are the three macronutrients required in highest amounts for plant growth. N is abundant in the atmosphere, therefore plentiful if we overlook the energetic costs of converting N2 to usable form. By contrast, K and P are present in … Read more