Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Vast DNA tree of life for plants revealed by global science team

In Germany, a 6 year old boy who loved Motorcycles was diagnosed with cancer. His family posted online asking if someone can ride pass their house to cheer him up. They expected 20-30 people. But in the end, nearly 20,000 bikers showed up.

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Vast DNA tree of life for plants revealed by global science team “A new paper published April 24, 2024 in the journal Nature by an international team of 279 scientists led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew presents the most up-to-date understanding of the flowering plant tree of life. 

Using 1.8 billion letters of genetic code from more than 9,500 species covering almost 8,000 known flowering plant genera (ca. 60%), this incredible achievement sheds new light on the evolutionary history of flowering plants and their rise to ecological dominance on Earth. The study’s authors believe the data will aid future attempts to identify new species, refine plant classification, uncover new medicinal compounds, and conserve plants in the face of climate change and biodiversity loss. The major milestone for plant science, led by Kew and involving 138 organizations internationally, was built on 15 times more data than any comparable studies of the flowering plant tree of life.

 Among the species sequenced for this study, more than 800 have never had their DNA sequenced before. The sheer amount of data unlocked by this research, which would take a single computer 18 years to process, is a huge stride towards building a tree of life for all 330,000 known species of flowering plants—a massive undertaking by Kew’s Tree of Life Initiative…”

Marginalian – Stunning 19th-Century Flower Paintings by the Forgotten Artist and Poet Clarissa Munger Badger

“To be a flower,” Emily Dickinson wrote in her prescient ode to the interconnectedness of nature, “is profound responsibility.” A passionate lifelong gardener, the poet had fallen under the spell of wildflowers while composing her astonishing herbarium as a teenager. But it was an uncommonly beautiful book her father gave her just before she turned thirty — not long after she wrote to an ill-suited suitor, “My flowers don’t know how far my thoughts wander away sometimes.” — that fueled her poetic passion for nature’s own garden: Wild Flowers Drawn and Colored from Nature (public library) by the botanical artist and poet Clarissa Munger Badger(May 20, 1806–December 14, 1889).”