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Figuring out the evolved chemistry of fig trees

Furanocoumarins are small organic molecules produced by plants and known to play defense roles against pathogens and herbivores. Interestingly, some of them are also potential treatments for cancer or vitiligo. These compounds are found in specific but surprisingly distantly related plant families, such as in... click to read more

Views 3588
Reading time 3.5 min
published on May 20, 2022
How a mint turned into catmint

The plant catmint, also known as catnip, is named after its notorious effect on cats. When cats sniff or rub against catmint, it drives them to act strangely: rolling over, pawing and rubbing. Its scientific name is also feline-inspired: Nepeta cataria. The cause of the cats'... click to read more

  • Benjamin R. Lichman | Lecturer at Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK
Views 6015
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Feb 17, 2021