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The Things We Eat

fresh-melons

Melon Love: From Raphael to Tenacious D, a Brief History of Erotic Plants

As Walter Benjamin predicted would happen in “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Production,” the eroticization of plant life has become yet another ritualistic art victimized by a technology.

The Things We Eat

sick-sunflower

The Healthy Benefits of a Stressed Out Plant

The biological principle of xenohormesis suggests that organic farming advocates might very well be pampering their plants into nutritional laziness.

 

yards

Why Does Your Yard Look the Same as Every Other Yard?

If you’re looking for the homogenizing impulse in American society, you need search no further than your own lawn.

 

injection-needle

The Cheaper, Bacteria-Derived Future of Drugs

Drugs made from plants are often too expensive for the people who need them. A group of scientists may have found a solution.

 

Botanist Brings Trees to the Israeli Desert

Deep in the driest and hottest part of Israel, a California-born botanist is trying to remake the Negev Desert with productive trees that thrive on abuse.

 

Endangered Species Act Candidates Getting Prioritized

The Byzantine legal process of placing plants and animals on America’s endangered species list swallows the efforts of the agency that curates the list. A new agreement may untangle the mess.

 

Flowers Make Women More Receptive to Romance

A French researcher finds flowers really do put women in a romantic mood.

 

10 Memorable Threads from 2010

Miller-McCune’s Web editor loves all of his progeny, especially these — and these, and those.

 

Tracking Invasive Species from Riverside to Pandora

Plant physiologist Jodie Holt’s study and management of weeds has earned her kudos in Hollywood and in academe.

 

Solar on the Cheap: Thanks Purple Pokeberry!

A dye made from the purple pokeberry — a common weed — proves uncommonly effective at juicing up the prospects for solar power.

 

A Better Connection for Refugee Plants

Software used to optimize flow for jets and phone calls adds a new wrinkle in protecting plants migrating due to climate change.

 

Bamboo Houses to the Rescue

Bamboo houses combat climate change, encourage economic growth and protect the poor from natural disaster. Why aren’t there more of them?

 

The Lotus as Water Repellant

Sto Corp’s self-cleaning Lotusan exterior paint uses the plant’s micro-structural qualities to remove dirt just after a rain.

 

Something Wicked This Way Grows

Oh, sure, they look pretty, but don’t be fooled. Some flora will explode in your face, some will take over the earth if left unchecked, some could kill you or make you wish you were dead. Here is a top 10 list of the planet’s evil greens.

 

‘Inferno’ alter ego: Cogongrass

 

 

‘Sunburn’ alter ego: Blister Bush

 

 

‘Dr. Spawn’ alter ego: Ragweed

 

 

‘The Strangler’ alter ego: Kudzu

 

 

‘Toxic’ alter ego: Sago Palm

 

 

‘Smoke’ alter ego: Tobacco

 

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Levels of Depression Could Be Evaluated Through Measurements of Acoustic Speech

Engineers find tell-tale signs in speech patterns of the depressed.

We’re Not So Great at Rejecting Each Other

And it's probably something we should work on.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Brain

Neuroscientists find less—but potentially stronger—white matter in the brains of patients with CFS.

Incumbents, Pray for Rain

Come next Tuesday, rain could push voters toward safer, more predictable candidates.

Could Economics Benefit From Computer Science Thinking?

Computational complexity could offer new insight into old ideas in biology and, yes, even the dismal science.

The Big One

One town, Champlain, New York, was the source of nearly half the scams targeting small businesses in the United States last year. November/December 2014

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