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Research

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…
Research

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…
Microbiology

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…
Research

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…
Biochemistry

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,…
Microbiology

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…
Nutrition

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.…
Animals

Do animals commit suicide?

A vintage Disney documentary, White Wilderness, purports to show the “mass suicide” behavior that makes lemmings famous. Masses of lemmings…
Research

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.…
Microbiology

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.…