Arabidopsis thaliana (Mouse-Ear Cress) as Model Organism for Research
The choice of a “star” model organism for plants is simple: Arabidopsis thaliana easily beats out all others. This tiny…
Are Weed Killers Safe?
No plant can survive for very long in the dark. One low-tech way to kill an unwanted plant, therefore, is…
Bacteriophage Lambda as Model Organism for Research
Although viruses are not organisms, they have nevertheless contributed enormously to the scientific understanding of life. This box focuses on…
Caenorhabditis elegans (Nematode) as Model Organism for Research
Two invertebrates, a roundworm and an arthropod, share the spotlight in this box. Both have the characteristics common to all…
Definition of Good and Bad Cholesterol
You may know someone who is concerned because a blood test has revealed higher-than-normal cholesterol levels. To understand the problem,…
Dictyostelium discoideum (Cellular Slime Mold) as Model Organism for Research
Slime molds have such an unappealing name that it may seem hard to imagine why anyone would study them. But…
Difference between fruits and vegetables.
Botanically speaking, tomatoes are fruits because they contain seeds. Any seed-bearing structure produced by a flowering plant is a fruit.…
Do animals commit suicide?
A vintage Disney documentary, White Wilderness, purports to show the “mass suicide” behavior that makes lemmings famous. Masses of lemmings…
Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly) as Model Organism for Research
Drosophila melanogaster is only about 3 mm long, but like C. elegans, it is a giant in the biology lab.…
Escherichia coli as Model Organism for Research
Of all the model organisms profiled in this unit, Escherichia coli, commonly called E. coli, may be the best understood.…