To kill and to cure, to make and to mend, to bewitch and beware, discover
The Power of Plants
as the Botanic Garden hosts first Fascination of Plants Day on
Saturday 19 May 2012
On Saturday 19 May, plant scientists, biochemists, horticulturists and
representatives from the plant science industries will gather at the Botanic
Garden to share with visitors the power of plants for the first international
Fascination of Plants Day. Demonstrations and activities will run from
10.30am: science experiments will include balloons inflated by gases released
by fermenting plants, children can dress up as bees to collect nectar from
giant flowers to learn about pollination and there’ll be quizzes to match the
product to the plant. Plus the chance to test a laser remote sensing system –
the latest tool in forest conservation.
The living world is a rich source of chemicals with many medicines, dyes,
flavourings and foodstuffs having their origins in compounds produced by
plants. Ampika Ltd, an ethical enterprise spinout of the University of
Cambridge, will be bringing a display about medicinal plants, including a new
anaesthetic gel derived from a plant found in the Peruvian rainforest, which is
currently under trial as a pain-relief treatment for toothache. The Botanic
Garden and Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre will also be launching a
new Chemicals in Plants trail that identifies some of the poisonous, beneficial
(and occasionally both!) chemicals produced by plants.
Launched under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation,
the Fascination of Plants Day held at the Botanic Garden on 19 May will be a
day of interactive plant fun and demos that will also highlight the critical role
plant science plays in the social, environmental and economic landscape now
and into the future. The event is co-organised by the Cambridge Partnership
for Plant Science, a consortium that connects cutting-edge research
undertaken in the region with the business community that develops plants for
application in food, energy and other material uses.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Z. Jeff Chen, the D.J. Sibley Centennial Professor in Plant Molecular Genetics at The University of Texas at Austin and his colleagues, including David Baulcombe at the University of Cambridge, provide the first genetic evidence that seed development is controlled by maternally inherited "small interfering RNAs," or siRNAs.
Read the publication.
Read the publication.