1. Plants

    Banana threat: Attack of the clones

    Researchers find that disease-causing fungi — all clones of one another — will continue to infect banana plants unless new steps are taken to stop their spread.

  2. Plants

    Scientists Say: Xylem

    How do trees ferry water from the soil to branches hundreds of feet in the air? This week’s word is the answer.

  3. Plants

    Scientists Say: Urushiol

    Poison ivy looks harmless, but its oil, urushiol, is not. This is the plant’s oil that leaves an itchy rash or blisters on your skin.

  4. Plants

    Plant ‘vampires’ lay in wait

    A new study shows how some parasitic plants evolved the ability to sense a potential host — and then send out root-like structures to feed on them.

  5. Chemistry

    Bacteria become source of ‘greener’ blue jeans

    Manufacturing indigo to dye blue jeans now relies on harmful chemicals. But researchers have found a less polluting way to produce the blue tint: bacteria.

  6. Chemistry

    Secret to rose scent surprises scientists

    Scientists discovered the molecular tool that roses use to make fragrance. And it wasn’t what they expected.

  7. Plants

    Using plants to solve environmental problems

    Problems in their communities suggested good research projects to three teens. Each wanted to tackle a different issue, from pollution to world hunger. To learn more about these issues, they turned to their local ponds, wetlands and gardens.

  8. Plants

    Picture This: The world’s biggest seed

    This monster seed develops on a super-slow-growing island palm. Key to that palm’s survival are leaves that funnel fertilized water to nutrient-starved roots.

  9. Environment

    News Brief: Smokin’ plants

    A new study points out how some herb teas and spices could have accidentally picked up nicotine from the smokers working around them.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Secrets of slime

    Mucus—snot—can be so gross. It’s also critical for many animals, including hagfish, snails and people. Snot can rid our bodies of nasty bacteria and viruses. In other creatures, it can smooth the road or rough up predators.

  11. Plants

    Desert plants: The ultimate survivors

    Creosote, mesquite and other desert plants rely on different adaptations to thrive, even when no rain falls for an entire year.

  12. Environment

    Cleaning with greens

    Cleaning up toxic waste is a big and expensive problem. Scientists have tinkered with the genes in some plants. Now those greens can take on this dirty work. Still, they're not quite ready for prime time.