Biotechnology


Duckweed is a relatively simple plant with fronds that float on the surface of the water and roots that extend into the water.
Duckweed is a tiny floating plant that's been known to drive people daffy. It's one of the smallest and fastest-growing flowering plants that often becomes a hard-to-control weed in ponds and small lakes. But it's also been exploited to clean contaminated water and as a source to produce pharmaceuticals. Now, the genome of Greater Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) has given this miniscule plant's potential as a biofuel source a big boost. In a paper published February 19, 2014 in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from Rutgers University, the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and several other facilities detailed the complete genome of S. polyrhiza and analyzed it in comparison to several other plants, including rice and tomatoes.

Molecular & Cell Biology

The switch in the brain that sends us off to sleep has been identified by researchers at Oxford University's Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour in a study in fruit flies.




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