This cross section of an oleander (Nerium oleander) leaf reveals two beautiful mineral crystals inside. Leaf cells are stained red. Adapted to dry conditions, this leaf possess three epidermal layers to prevent water loss, below which there are tightly packed palisade mesophyll cells that are specialized for harvesting light and loosely packed spongy mesophyll cells allowing efficient gas exchange. These calcium oxalate crystals are deposited by specialized … Continue reading Diamonds in the Leaf
Plants, like animals, require a circulatory system that allows water and nutrients to move throughout them. While animals do this by a pump (the heart), plants do this by a system of tubes, found within the stem. This image is a cross section of a Lily of the Valley plant that depicts these systems. The purple and yellow raised structures seen on the right constitute … Continue reading Shoots and Ladders
Presented by Mike Goldman, Joey Goodknight, and Tansu Daylan What do the interior of an atom, the bottom of a volcanic caldera, and the center of the sun have in common? Mike will begin with an introduction to quantum mechanics, which explores its relationship with our everyday world. Some aspects of the quantum world seem perfectly sensible but other concepts, like superposition, are deeply counterintuitive. … Continue reading Exploring the Quantum World: From Plants to Pulsars
Presented by Leonora Bittleston The idea of a plant eating an animal is very strange. Scientists were ridiculed when they originally suggested plants could be carnivorous. But now we know that carnivory has actually evolved multiple times in plants, in a pattern called convergent evolution. My lecture will discuss how pitcher plants are perfect examples of this, as their particular form has evolved three separate … Continue reading Investigating Symbiosis in Carnivorous Pitcher Plants
As the daylight hours lengthen and the first signs of spring abound, farmers markets are popping up from coast to coast. With so many tasty edibles ranging from fresh produce to baked goods, it’s no wonder people flock to their local farmers market to spend the afternoon strolling among the displays. It can be easy to set out for a few veggies and to come … Continue reading Farmers Market Finds: Do you really know what’s in your basket?