Quantcast

Latest Erika Edwards Stories

Image 1 - How Drought-tolerant Grasses Came To Be
2011-11-25 04:28:54

New grass family tree reveals C4 photosynthesis is an evolutionary 1-way street If you eat bread stuffing or grain-fed turkey this Thanksgiving, give thanks to the grasses – a family of plants that includes wheat, oats, corn and rice. Some grasses, such as corn and sugar cane, have evolved a unique way of harvesting energy from the sun that's more efficient in hot, arid conditions. A new grass family tree reveals how this mode of photosynthesis came to be. The results may one day...

9da9a828e640291a30a40cb61c09b155
2011-05-04 06:40:00

Between 5 and 10 million years ago, the landscape on Earth changed dramatically. Brown University biologists and colleagues have determined that cacti exploded onto the global scene then, about the same geologic time as other succulent plants and tropical grasses. The trigger: A global period marked by cooling and increased aridity, possibly with lowered atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels. Their findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The cactus, stalwart of the...

27f93ca3dea46c112baf65d4661649eb
2010-02-08 16:22:54

Around 30 to 40 million years ago, grasses on Earth underwent an epic evolutionary upheaval. An assemblage capitalized on falling levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide by engineering an internal mechanism to concentrate the dwindling CO2 supply that, like a fuel-injection system in a car, could more efficiently convert sunlight and nutrients into energy. The rise of C4 grasses is not disputed. They dominate in hot, tropical climes and now make up to 20 percent of our planet's vegetational...


Word of the Day
monteith
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'
Related