Plants

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In a sense, aren’t they one and the same? 'Heads' via www.shutterstock.com

Why it’s impossible to actually be a vegetarian

When you think about it, it's a bit strange to view food through a lens of "meat" and "not meat" – especially when plants consume animals, and vice versa.
Our modern crops need some help in the immunity department. Andy / Andrew Fogg

Can we ‘vaccinate’ plants to boost their immunity?

Modern agriculture is synonymous with monoculture. That lack of diversity is bad news for plants' natural immune defenses. Researchers are figuring out how to help plants fend off microbes – without pesticides.
The national flower of Zimbabwe, the Glory Lily, is also found in Queensland where it’s more famously known as a noxious weed that’s highly poisonous to humans. JohnSkewes/Flickr

Little shop of horrors: the Australian plants that can kill you

It's not just Australia's animals that can be deadly, there are plenty of dangerous plants too.
Kisses aren’t the only magic that happens under Australian mistletoe. Margaret Donald/Flickr

Mistletoe: the kiss of life for healthy forests

In many parts of the world, Christmas and mistletoe are inextricably intertwined. But in the natural world, mistletoe has long fascinated naturalists and scientists.
Yew only live twice … Willie Angus

Can trees really change sex?

The oldest tree in the UK is flirting with a sex change after 5,000 years. The question is whether it will it go the whole hog, or this is just a passing fancy.
Photosynthesis is crucial to the ability of plants to convert sunlight into energy. N i c o l a/Flickr

PM’s Prize for Science for revealing nature’s solar power

Distinguished Professor Graham Farquhar has received this year's Prime Minister's Prize for Science for his pioneering research into photosynthesis.
Rivers in many agriculturally significant areas of Australia could lose water as the landscape grows greener. Kerry Raymond/Wikimedia Commons

River flows drop as carbon dioxide creates thirstier plants

Rising carbon dioxide levels are making plants grow faster, sucking up more water and reducing river flows in many agriculturally important areas of Australia, according to new research.
Astronaut Cady Coleman harvests one of our plants on Space Shuttle Columbia. NASA

Taking plants off planet – how do they grow in zero gravity?

Plants on the International Space Station must figure out how to grow in a completely novel environment. Their adaptability hints at how they'll react to changes here on Earth – or in future space outposts.

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