Long Live Botanical Art

I’ve always been in awe of botanical artists. Leafing through old taxonomy books yields a treasure trove of immensely skilled sketches and watercolours. I take for granted the ease with which anyone can photograph a plant, highlighting tiny details of the plant’s structure with even the more basic digital cameras. And yet, these photographs, while […]

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A CRISPR Disgrace

It’s rather disappointing to hear about this latest controversy, but sadly not that surprising. For those new to the field, one of the biggest breakthroughs in genomics in the past few years, if not decades, was the development of CRISPR/Cas9 technology. This used a system discovered in bacteria to create breaks in DNA that could […]

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Ode to a Weed

Most people are aware of so-called “genetically modified”, or engineered, foods, but the real story of genetic engineering lies with an otherwise unassuming weed. Arabidopsis thaliana, otherwise known as thale cress, has very little to distinguish itself to most people. If anything, it’s at just a weed to be pulled out by gardeners. And yet, […]

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