What’s so interesting about plants? At first glance they may appear a little tame, but these robust organisms are crucial to the survival of most land animals, including humans. They are vital resources that help shape our environment, provide us with food and shelter, and for centuries have been a potent source of medical and scientific discovery. Advances in biochemistry and genomics are identifying plant products that lead to new pharmaceuticals, improvements to crop yield and food security, and a better understanding of many biological processes—from gene regulation to protein folding—providing insights that may extend to humans and other species. Take a journey into the world of plant research and discover how this illuminating group of organisms is becoming a major gateway to the future of biomedicine and biotechnology.
Take a glimpse into the inner workings of a bustling greenhouse facility with Rebecca Povilus, Postdoctoral Fellow, in Mary Gehring’s lab at Whitehead Institute. Follow Rebecca through the greenhouse as she explains how the tiny water lily, Nymphaea thermarum, is being used to better understand the evolutionary history of flowering plants.
This video was created in conjunction with Whitehead Institute’s Annual Spring Lecture Series for High School Students.
Jing-Ke Weng talks with Science for the Public about the process, the discoveries, and the challenge of simulating plant chemistry for large-scale medical purposes.
The Weng Lab members discuss with Science for the Public about research to investigate plant molecules for their medical potential.
Some of the most powerful and useful things in our world come from plants. Who knew they could help us unlock some of biology's mysteries - all using an approach of mapping biological pathways!
Nature contains a secret layer of chemical diversity so vast that we barely explored it at all. Understanding it will yield new therapeutics for treating human diseases and provide sustainable solutions for energy and materials.