New research into how a plant virus assembles could lay the groundwork for future use to carry drugs into the human body. The study, by a team from the University of Leeds’ Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology and the John Innes Centre in Norwich, describes the structure of an empty version of Cowpea Mosaic… Read more

New research documents the large-scale illegal trade in hundreds of wild-collected ornamental plants, particularly orchids, in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is a widely recognized center of illegal wildlife trade— both as the source region for species ranging from seahorses to tigers, and as a global consumer of ivory carvings, wild pets, and traditional Chinese medicinal… Read more

Researchers are using nanoparticles to boost the nutrient content and growth of tomato plants. With the world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, engineers and scientists are looking for ways to meet the increasing demand for food without also increasing the strain on natural resources, such as water and energy— an initiative known… Read more

European chestnut tree leaves contain ingredients with the ability to disarm dangerous staph bacteria without boosting its drug resistance, scientists have revealed. The use of chestnut leaves in traditional folk remedies spurred the research, led by Cassandra Quave, an ethnobotanist at Emory University. The chestnut leaf extract is rich in ursene and oleanene derivatives, and… Read more

Sweetgrass keeps biting bugs at bay, new research says. The news confirms what Native North Americans have long known. North American first nations people have always decked out their homes and themselves with fragrant sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata), a native plant used in traditional medicine, to repel biting insects, especially mosquitoes. Charles Cantrell, Ph.D., who investigates… Read more