FLOWER POWER: The insignificant little plant, Arabidopsis thaliana or thale cress, is a boon to biological research. And even the most ordinary flower looks beautiful through the eyes of a microscope, does it not?
• Those of us focused on understanding human disease don’t pay much attention to research in plants. But plant biologists have taught us about micro RNAs, transposons, active demethylation, ‘decoy’ RNAs, and more. The wonderful world of genetics was first revealed through the patterns of inheritance of sweet peas, by one Austrian friar named Gregor Mendel.
• That’s why I go to a plant conference once every few years. I never know what I may pick up and plant biologists are gracious enough to listen to our animal work.
Image: Mendel’s Dream Arabidopsis flower captured with confocal microscopy by Heiti Paves, Centre of Excellence ENVIRON, Estonia.