Category: Science Page 2 of 15

Letting the robot do its job

Having got together two plates of tubes with little bits of plant and lichen tissue in them, and pulverised them with tungsten beads in a TissueLyser for a…

What’s the story when there’s no variation?

Enigmatic and isolated although it is, it seems that our Australian colleagues have now “got their eye in” for complex thalloid liverwort Monocarpus sphaerocarpus – after many years…

Cornus capitata – FED 331– a botanical phoenix

In previous Botanics Stories I have written about the joys of Herbarium Angling, but fusty old botanists do occasionally emerge into the glare of daylight and take a…

A short film on Hugh Cleghorn: Indian Forester, Scottish Laird

A short film on Indian Forester, Scottish Laird and the personalities behind it.

Dealing with DNA extraction protocol changes

It’s a horrible and unwelcome upheaval to have to change a protocol that works, but that’s the situation in which we have found ourselves with our semi-robotic DNA…

Santos & Stech’s phylogeny of Octoblepharum

As far as our 2013 RBGE MSc project proposal to generate a phylogeny of Octoblepharum goes, Juan Carlos Villarreal, Noris Salazar Allen and I were clearly not the…

Losing the story with a moss from Panama City

Spring Break’s a big thing in the US, and spring of 2005, Juan Carlos Villarreal and I spent ours on a road-trip down through Louisianna, looking for the…

Panamanian mosses from the back of the freezer

Several years back, I postdocced in Barbara Crandall-Stotler’s lab in Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. In the late Autumn of 2003, Panamanian bryologist Noris Salazar Allen spent a few…

Only 12 Seconds To Poop – But Enough Information To Understand An Ecosystem

It may only take a mammal 12 seconds to poop – but poo contains a treasure trove of information about the animal and its environment that can take…

Botanics Nearby: Privacy Policy

Botanics Nearby is an iOS and Android app that helps you learn about the things around you on a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. This page…

Original Darwin specimen – Tiquilia darwinii

The Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh dates back over 150 years to the mid-19th century and there are new and exciting specimens still to be discovered…

Cleaning the Schistidium PCRs

Once we realised that most of our plate of Schistidium ITS2 amplifications had been successful, it was an easy decision to process them all for DNA sequencing. If…

Gel electrophoresis of Schistidium ITS DNA

  Once the polymerase chain reaction is over, it’s time to Run The Gel; this is make-or-break time, when we find out if our PCR amplification has actually worked….

Copying moss DNA in the molecular lab

After we extracted a plate’s worth (12 columns by 8 rows, or 96 samples) of Schistidium DNA, the next step in our process is to copy a preselected…

The trials and tribulations of a moss in the lab: DNA extraction

Just over a week into our current Synthesys-funded Schistidium project, and Wolfgang has picked through piles of packets of mosses, selecting the 96 that we would most like…

Campylopus introflexus, an invasive alien on the glasshouse roof

The moss Campylopus introflexus, native to the southern hemisphere, is now considered an invasive plant in parts of Europe and North America. While it occurs on some natural…

Volunteering at the Botanics – bryophytes in our living landscape

There are very few bryophytes growing in the living collections of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. What I mean by this is that there are very few bryophytes…

Building on building mosses, a return to Schistidium in the built environment

Monday 27th March was the start of a month-long visit to RBGE by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics‘s Dr Wolfgang Hofbauer, funded by the EU Synthesys Access…

Devil’s Advocate: Let Them Eat Potatoes

Thanks to the tireless work by Wikileaks an interesting letter has come to light addressed to the Devil himself from one of his advocates in our world. It…

Actionable, long-term stable and semantic web compatible identifiers for access to biological collection objects

Happy to see our paper on the use of internet technologies to mobilise specimen data finally in “print”. We are hoping this will add traction to the adoption…