Jun 302012

You’d be amazed at how much you can learn from a plant.

In a paper published this week in the journal Science, a Michigan State University professor and a colleague discuss why if humans are to survive as a species, we must turn more to plants for any number of valuable lessons.

“Metabolism of plants provides humans with fiber, fuel, food and therapeutics,” said Robert Last, an MSU professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. “As the human population grows and nonrenewable energy sources diminish, we need to rely increasingly on plants and to increase the sustainability of agriculture.”

However, Last and co-author Ron Milo of the Weizmann Institute of Science point out that despite decades of plant genetic engineering, there are relatively few types of commercial products originating from this body of work.

“This is in part because we do not understand enough about the vastly complex set of metabolic reactions that plants employ,” Last said. “It’s like designing and building a bridge armed only with satellite images of existing bridges.”

The authors say that perhaps the best approach is to bring together a variety of disciplines — not just plant scientists — to study how plants operate.

They also suggest looking hard at what brought plants to the place they are today — evolution.

“We think that understanding design principles of plant metabolism will be aided by considering how hundreds of millions of years of evolution has led to well-conserved examples of metabolic pathways,” Last said.

One of the amazing aspects of plant metabolism is this: It must continuously strike a balance between evolving to meet an ever-changing environment while maintaining the internal stability needed to carry on life as it knows it.

Read more . . .

via Science Digest

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  One Response to “Scientists Urge New Approaches to Plant Research”

  1. Hello ladies and gentlemen,
    I am Mr. Mohammed Abdel-Hakam sediq of Egypt, in fact, I love science and I have ideas of good scientific and I’m currently working on the research is very important is to find an effective way to eliminate rot disease White onions and garlic through the biological control of the fungus that causes the disease is (Sclerotium Cepivorum Berk And was able to isolate a group of soil fungi and now seek to isolate the pathogenic fungus specifically for intensive testing Using the micro-organisms Micro – organisms have the ability to contrast with the causative organism by direct parasitism or the secretion of toxic substances has a lethal or materials analyst for the cells or by competition with him on the carbohydrates and oxygen. Ways better than traditional methods that have been applied to local and international level also But I suffer from the lack of possibilities I have no laboratory or money was absolutely certain if I have had these possibilities came across the positive results in a short time thanks to God and my determination to serve the environment and human resources.
    I want you to help me and support me so that I would bring my dream, which will increase the productivity of a high yield of onions increased after the eradication of the disease, which causes damage to 42% of the total cultivated area, especially here in Egypt.I hope you can help I am poor but ihave a dream I just want a convenient place to hold my experiences and I want my research lab, or better to go to you in the form of a scholarship or mission

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