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Showing posts from September, 2015

Phytoremediation of explosive

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Phytoremediation is one of the best technique to use plants to get rid of hazardous chemicals. Scientists, working on stress biology, are trying to discover the underlyinmolecular mechanism and candidate genes to engineer plants against different heavy metals and hazardous components.
For example, explosive like 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) is a worldwide pollutant, contaminating manufacturing waste sites, mines, current and former conflict zones, and military land. The U.S. Department of Defense has an estimated 10 million hectares of operational ranges contaminated with munitions constituents and rated as a class C carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. TNT has toxic effects on all living organisms: in animals, causing hepatitis, anemia, hyperplasia of bone marrow, and cataracts, and in soil, severely affecting microbial diversity and the establishment of vegetation. In plants, the majority of TNT remains in the roots, where growth and development is inhibited, reducing ov…

Vale Jan Anderson (1932-2015)

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It with deep sadness that I convey this message. Jan Anderson died tragically early, on Friday 28 August. She suffered a fall at home and while in hospital, lapsed into unconsciousness from which she never recovered. Jan served ASPS (Australian Society of Plant Scientists) as president from 1992 to 1994 and was elected to the Royal Society in 1996. I had the privilege of working in her lab as a post doctoral fellow in the mid 1980s. Her passion was the light reactions of photosynthesis, a field in which she has left an indelible mark, breaking the dogma of equal proportions of photosystem one and two, demonstrating lateral heterogeneity in their location in thylakoid membranes, to mention but two. Although she suffered arthritis in one knee, her mind was as sharp as ever and she had just returned from the UK where she had been invited to celebrate Jim Barber’s birthday. Australian science has lost a wonderful colleague, but her example should be a beacon for the rest of us to aspire t…