• Question: was it hard studying plants?

    Asked by anon-351120 on 30 Mar 2023.
    • Photo: Alison Tidy

      Alison Tidy answered on 30 Mar 2023:

      I think working with plants has lots of benefits, you don’t need to worry about ethical concerns of working in human or animal research, you also don’t have the danger of working with microbes. Plants are generally easy to grow, study and transform to allow understanding. Also research in plants can be used to help research in other species, RNA silencing was first discovered in plants and is also found in humans, animals etc. Science itself isn’t easy, sometimes things go wrong or there is lot of work involved, but it is fun and interesting and I love learning new things which I know could benefit the world in the future.

    • Photo: Sam Mugford

      Sam Mugford answered on 30 Mar 2023:

      Plants present a few challenges to studying them. They have tough cell walls, so breaking open plants to study the genes, proteins and chemicals inside can be quite difficult. We usually freeze plants in liquid nitrogen and then smash them up with a pestle and motar.

      Also the genomes of plants are very complicated. Would you belive that the genome of the wheat plant is about 5 times larger than the human genome. Do you think wheat plants are more complicated than us? Their genetics certainly is and that makes them quite challenging to study.