Weightless plants fly on a dragon

It is a race against time for ESA’s Gravi-2 experiment following launch last Friday on the Dragon space ferry. Stowed in Dragon’s cargo are lentil seeds that will be nurtured into life on the International Space Station.

How to make ethanol without corn or other plants

Stanford University scientists have found a new, highly efficient way to produce liquid ethanol from carbon monoxide gas. This promising discovery could provide an eco-friendly alternative to conventional ethanol production from corn and other crops, say the scientists. Their results are published in the April 9 advanced online edition of the journal Nature.

Report: Some plants may not adapt quickly to future climate change

Using the largest dated evolutionary tree of flowering plants ever assembled, a new study suggests how plants developed traits to withstand low temperatures, with implications that human-induced climate change may pose a bigger threat than initially thought to plants and global agriculture.

Google builds new solar power plants

Is Google an Internet company or a renewable energy developer? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. The company on Thursday was at it again, announcing that it was joining with the investment firm KKR to buy into six solar photovoltaic power plants being built by Recurrent Energy in California and Arizona. The plants total 106 megawatts of generating capacity.

Research team sees misaligned planets in distant system

Using data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, an international team of astronomers has discovered a distant planetary system featuring multiple planets orbiting at a severe tilt to their host star.

Plants in space?!

At work on the International Space Station, researchers studying plant and cell growth in space encountered a challenge. Imaging revealed interesting spaceflight-associated root morphologies.

Understanding quantum secrets in photosynthesis

The efficient conversion of sunlight into useful energy is one of the challenges which stand in the way of meeting the world's increasing energy demand in a clean, sustainable way without relying on fossil fuels.

These apartments are powered by algae

In what may be one of the most potent recent symbols of the spirit of Earth Day in the green building movement, a new apartment complex in Hamburg, Germany, has op

Plants responding to climate change more than thought

Experiments on how plants respond to climate change may have lulled us into a false sense of security by dramatically underestimating the effects.

Climate change won't boost plant performance

Plants may thrive in the initial stages of global warming - but not for long. A study from Northern Arizona University shows that any improvements in growth caused by climate change disappear within ten years.

Arrival of plants triggered ice ages

The arrival of the first plants 470 million years ago triggered a series of ice ages.

Plant evolves to attract bats with echolocation

Like Batman is drawn to his symbol, a certain rainforest vine pollinated by bats has evolved to grow dish-shaped leaves that attract the winged creatures using echolocation.

Are plants more efficient than solar panels?

A debate rages in the scientific community over which is more efficient at harvesting solar energy: a plant or a solar cell?

Ancient "Nutcracker Man" really ate grass - d'oh!

For decades, scientists have been under the impression that the remains of Paranthropus boisei, a human from 2.3 to 1.2 million year ago, subsisted primarily on nuts mostly because of his hearty jaw and flat molar teeth.

IBM develops plant-based biodegradable plastics

Researchers at IBM and Stanford University have developed a potentially revolutionary method of producing environmentally-friendly plastic from plants.