Why can’t we just talk about it?

Agri-Tech East's mission to get farmers and researchers communicating Getting two groups of diverse people talking is always difficult, even more so when they are both driven by different goals. Farmers and agriculturalists focus on innovative technology in order to achieve good harvests to try to maximise their returns. Plant scientists however want to understand…Read more Why can’t we just talk about it?

International Undergraduate Summer School

From working with top researchers in the field of plant biology to living with other students of such fun, character and like-mindedness, the John Innes Centre International Undergraduate Summer School was an unforgettable experience. Not only did it confirm my desire to study beyond my degree to PhD level, it has opened my eyes to how research…Read more International Undergraduate Summer School


Spring has sprung: four floral signs that winter is over

The weather is getting better, and signs of growth can be seen outside. Lots of flowers will be growing during spring in the hope of being pollinated and producing seed. Tulips and daffodils are well-known spring flowers, but what about others? Here are four flowers to look out for now and over the next few months.…Read more Spring has sprung: four floral signs that winter is over

Photo: Skånska Matupplevelser/Flickr.

EU’s rules on genetically improved crops a ‘threat’ to developments in agriculture, say MPs

A report out today is calling for the equivalent of Nice – the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence – for developments in crop technologies. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee also says the government should encourage more public debate around developments in crop technologies It recommends forming a ‘citizens council’ for…Read more EU’s rules on genetically improved crops a ‘threat’ to developments in agriculture, say MPs

Photo: Niels Kliim/Flickr.

Five answers to the question ‘why plants?’

This month, Erica wrote about the growing presence of science in the public domain, and how this can only be a good thing. However, although chemistry and physics – traditionally considered ‘geeky’ subjects – have grown in popularity, the plant sciences are lagging behind. Personally I think plants are fantastic and I could talk about them all day.…Read more Five answers to the question ‘why plants?’

Peas in pods

150 years of Mendelian genetics

Last Sunday, the world celebrated its musicians and film stars in flashy ceremonies. But another celebration was due at the same time. 8 February 2015 marked 150 years since the first of Mendel’s lectures where he presented his results on pea breeding for the first time. These lectures, based on his paper Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden…Read more 150 years of Mendelian genetics

Alice Roberts, Brian Cox, Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Greg Foot

Science has taken the world by storm. Now it’s plants’ turn.

Growing up, science was always seen as a nerdy subject. If you liked science, the kind of science that didn’t revolve around setting fire to things in chemistry, then you were a bit weird. Then something changed. Science became cool. The portrayal of science in the media first began to shift during the late 1990s…Read more Science has taken the world by storm. Now it’s plants’ turn.

Mustard seeds (Dennis Wilkinson/Flickr)

Conserving our crops’ genetic diversity

More than 22 years have passed since the Convention on Biological Diversity was signed. It called for international efforts to conserve the world’s biodiversity, which had long been suffering the effects of human activities. Since then, there has been a lot of debate over what the best way of securing this biodiversity is. But really, there…Read more Conserving our crops’ genetic diversity

2015 International Year of Soils

2015: International Year of Soils

All our food comes from soil, either directly or indirectly. And there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye!  Did you know … There are more microorganisms in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on Earth! A quarter of all described living species are soil animals – mostly insects and arachnids. Soil…Read more 2015: International Year of Soils