Environment/Nature

Plants Use RNA to Talk to Neighbors

A study finds that plants sharing the same growth medium can exchange microRNAs that silence genes in the recipient, suggesting the nucleic acids may act as signaling molecules.

An Illustrated Guide to Walking Trees, Parasitic Flowers and Other Amazing Plants
An Illustrated Guide to Walking Trees, Parasitic Flowers and Other Amazing Plants

* Francis Hallé’s aims to show that “the equatorial forest isn’t the ‘green inferno’ that colonialists and adventurers have so often confronted,” but “a universe with magical allure.” * Like any good tour guide, Hallé tells stories to illustrate his facts. * In his Atlas of Poetic Botany, excerpted below, he invites readers to tour the farthest reaches of the rainforest in search of exotic – and poetic – plant life.

Ivory-billed woodpecker, 22 other species extinct, says US.
Ivory-billed woodpecker, 22 other species extinct, says US.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, a Switzerland-based group that tracks extinctions globally, is not putting the ivory-billed woodpecker into its extinction column because it's possible the birds still exist in Cuba, said the group's Craig Hilton-Taylor.