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Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Like any good Biology addict, not only do I pretend to be a scientist, but so do I love natural history museums (fondness is not even appropriate). There’s one that I would never miss the opportunity to give another visit. It is located at Lille, far North of France, where 90% of my recent ancestors lived (there’s even a wiki stub about it!).

Species in space...

Species in space...

This is a rather small museum, but then it is also one of the reasons it is lovely: having to deal with space constraints, bits and pieces are arranged in a quite dense fashion and therefore offers a feeling of completeness (no empty space left around). It is based on several natural history collections inherited over the years in the previous centuries and offers a comprehensive take into biodiversity.

Lilles Natural History Museum

Lille's Natural History Museum

The bird collection is really impressive, and it’s a decent choice to have made it available to public,  while both sensitizing people about the historical role of collections and the need to preserve endangered modern species (As you might guess, many species on display are on the verge of extinction). Since the latest tendency at Seeds Aside is gallery pixes, here is another cartoon post.

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Too cool to drop off:

(HT)

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Just published this month. But this is a small case of self promotion, since I got a somewhat low rank in authorship… But hey, that’s still counting, isn’t it?* :-p

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Another request leading here at Seeds Aside… Sexing plant.

Unlike animals, plants do not have a defined germ-line (and thus are not ‘weismannian’ organisms). So for plants that have retained sex oddities in their evolutionary history (that is, not being hermaphroditic like most other plant species), there’s usually no way to sex them before flowering. (The question is of course useless if you were thinking of ordinary hermaphroditic plants, unlike this one for example).

Unless the sexes also differ in architecture or other features (leaf shape and so on). In this case you can sex your plant some times before they decide to bloom. I think this is the case for Cannabis sativa, which is usually the plant species some internautes of the student kind care to sex. But even so, you can’t sex it at the seed stage. And I don’t know of any plant that be sexed at such early developmental stage.

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Reading good old stuff sometimes pushes you to the borders of your knowledge. So far, I’ve been learning about Liesegang rings recently. No, nothing close to blingy blingy gangsta jewelry actually. Something that has more to do with chemistry. Liesegang rings are a phenomenon of periodic precipitation resulting in circular patterns that impressed scientists a lot a while ago, to the point it came out not only as a physico-chemical process, but as an explanation for some biological phenomena as well. As far as I can tell read, no unifying grand theory of this Liesegang phenomenon made it completely yet, chemically speaking. The thing is, with regard to biology, it did not really stand as a process of any explanatory power, and it disapeared from the biological jargon.

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Increasing food production without wasting space… An idea that should merit some considerations. This idea is to have sorts of Babel like greenhouses. Here to learn more about the concept, which was invented by the same guy who thought about project biosphere 2. Reminds me of Green Vertical Walls of Michel Blanc. Will it be seen in a near future or will we have to wait some more? Why not think of vertical parcs also? We would say “I’ve been walking in the un-natural parc :-)

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Well, breaking news for me at least. Weird things happen when you’re busy searching for references. You may be stuck by some really peculiar development of scientific research, one you would barely have thought of. Like this one. Plant autophagy. Typically a nominee for the “word of the week” category.

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