Molecular Biology

Dolly’s Legacy: In Support of Fundamental Research

Every year, Science names one discovery or advancement as the “Breakthrough of the Year.” Sometimes the discovery or advancement contributes to biology or medicine, while other times it tackles questions about physics or outer space. Back in 1997, Science named Dolly the sheep as the Breakthrough of the Year after scientists successfully cloned her, the …

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Breaking the Rules: How Witchweed Wreaks Havoc on Sub-Saharan Crops

Lumba Lab research sheds light on germination mechanisms of the parasitic plant “We asked, ‘How does it break the rules?’ ” mused Michael Bunsick, a graduate student in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology at the University of Toronto. “By figuring out how it breaks the rules, we actually learned what the rules are.”  Bunsick …

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Dropping Acid: A Bacterial Tactic to Evade Detection and Boost Plant Growth

Beneficial bacteria lower soil pH by releasing gluconic acid to suppress host plant immune responses Plant roots are constantly interacting with various species of microbes which have varying degrees of impact on plant growth. The rhizosphere, known as the zone immediately surrounding plant roots is mostly home to harmless microbes, but some are pathogenic and …

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Washing Machines: The Overlooked Culprit for Microplastic Emissions

When we think about man-made materials polluting the aquatic environment, microplastics are often overlooked, while plastic bags, bottles and straws receive the most attention. In reality, microplastics wreak havoc on both municipal water treatment facilities and aquatic environments. In recent years, microbeads, often used in cosmetics and detergents have been banned, but they are not …

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