LIFE and a Love of Evolution

Originally posted on LIFE Apps science blogging platform...   G’day guys! My name is Jordan. I'm a graduate bioengineer and a first year PhD student researching sustainable plant-based nanomaterials at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN). I am intensely interested in all aspects of evolution, from the origins of life, to the development of … Continue reading LIFE and a Love of Evolution

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Agricultural Challenges (2)

Field Phenotyping: As agricultural output increases and there is more emphasis placed on developing drought resistance crops, the feasibility to assess crop phenotype on the farm is becoming increasingly difficult. An important component in contemporary breeding programs is not only developing genetically advanced crop varieties, but evaluating their performance when grown in the field to … Continue reading Agricultural Challenges (2)

Agricultural Challenges (1)

Gene X Environment Interaction: As discussed in a previous post, agricultural biotechnologies developed in the 1990s resulted in increased yields, but these techniques were targeted towards traits controlled by a relatively simple pathway consisting of only a handful of genes (i.e. insect and herbicide protection). However, this was not possible for complex traits such as drought resistance, which … Continue reading Agricultural Challenges (1)

Agricultural Biotechnology

As genetic fingerprinting began to develop in the 1990s, molecular breeding (using DNA markers in combination with phenotypic measures to drive the development of new crop varieties) resulted in increased yields despite the drought-inducing action of climate change. These techniques primarily involved transgenes, foreign DNA from other species that could be incorporated into the crop genome … Continue reading Agricultural Biotechnology

History of Agriculture

Origins: The inception of agriculture approximately 10,000 years ago shifted the predominant homo sapiens lifestyle from nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers, to larger social groups that 'put down roots' and formed a stable community. For the first time in history, agriculture generated a net food surplus, removing the need to follow seasonal patterns of wild plants and … Continue reading History of Agriculture

Aging

So why do we age? Aging - the deterioration of the body (soma) and diminished reproductive output over time - is a phenomenon that has puzzled evolutionary biologists for decades. Mechanistic causes show the how, through the soma wearing out from oxidative stress, cellular signalling breakdown etc., but assessing the why brings us to question … Continue reading Aging