Chestnut Blight Changes

Collaborative research conducted by scientists from U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and scientists from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), funded by the American Chestnut Foundation has found that the addition of a gene from a wheat variety to the American Chestnut’s genome produces increased resistance…

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Bladderwort Biology

Utricularia gibba, commonly known as the humped bladderwort, is a carnivorous, obligate wetland plant native to most of the contiguous United States. A study recently published in the Journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution investigates the unique genome of this aquatic plant. What sets the bladderwort’s genome apart from other plants is its ratio of…

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Wildfire Fighting Funds

A bill introduced at the beginning of January by representatives from Idaho and Oregon aims to change the way the federal government budgets for suppression, control and fighting wildfires. The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2015 (H.R. 167) would end the need to transfer funds from critical forest conservation and management programs. Florida State Forester and President of…

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Cork Tree Caution

The cork tree, a broad-leaved evergreen, found throughout southwestern Europe and into northwestern Africa in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, is actually a member of the oak family. Also called the cork oak, Quercus suber, is a unique and valuable species. The cork is actually produced beneath the thick, dark grey, knobby bark…

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American Eagle Achievement

The symbol of U.S. freedom, the American bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, has gone from the brink of extinction to a burgeoning population in under 50 years thanks to help and protection from the Endangered Species Act. This holiday week seems like a portentous time to announce that after years of decline due to habitat degradation and disappearance,…

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Building a Bionic Leaf

A collaboration between scientists at Harvard University and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering claims to have developed a bionic leaf. Using bacterium the artificial vegetation is turning sunlight into liquid fuel. Once the bionic leaf splits water into hydrogen and oxygen the soil bacterium Ralstonia eutropha consumes the hydrogen gas converting it into protons…

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