Entries by Claire Pennycuick

Feeding a growing planet: respiration and ripening – protocols

These practical protocols are designed for students doing an Extended Project Qualification, Advanced Higher investigation, or IB investigation in biology. They are linked to our Feeding a growing planet: respiration and ripening project starter. Potential areas for investigation You can carry out your own practical investigations into the respiration rates of fruit and vegetables using the […]

Antimicrobials – you test the claims

Korma or madras? Pasanda or vindaloo? And what have your curry preferences got to do with the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance? Luckily for you, the IntoBiology team has been finding out. Get inside the science Antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem in the UK and globally. Led by the Department of Health and Defra, […]

Food waste – bruising and browning – protocols

These practical protocols are designed for students doing an Extended Project Qualification, Advanced Higher investigation, or IB investigation in biology. They are linked to our Food waste – bruising and browning project starter.   Possible areas for investigation How important a role does post-harvest browning play in wastage of fruit and vegetables worldwide, and what steps […]

Cutting the world’s food waste

How much of the world’s food goes uneaten? A fifth? A quarter? It looks like it’s way more than that. The Institute of Mechanical Engineers estimate that between a third and half (or 1.2-2bn tonnes) of food produced around the world never makes it on to a plate. If that sounds like a big fat […]

Medical matters – fungal infections – protocols

These practical protocols are designed for students doing an Extended Project Qualification, Advanced Higher investigation, or IB investigation in biology. They are linked to our Medical matters – fungal infections – project starter.     Possible areas for investigation Investigate different types of yeast with particular antifungals  Investigate different types of antifungals with one yeast species […]

Ripe first time – avoiding food waste – protocols

These practical protocols are designed for students doing an Extended Project Qualification, Advanced Higher investigation, or IB investigation in biology. They are linked to our Ripe First Time – Avoiding Food Waste project starter.     Areas for practical investigation You can set up investigations to follow the changes in the concentrations of these pigments […]

Prof Johnathan Napier – Fish oils for healthy foods

In this full lecture, filmed at the 2014 Gatsby Summer School, Professor Johnathan Napier talks about how his team has engineered plants to accumulate omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, popularly known as ‘fish oils’. Johnathan has a particular interest understanding plant lipid metabolism and how it can be manipulated to deliver health benefits, He talks about […]

Size matters… when you’re a leaf

A new study suggests small leaves are more resistant to drought due to closer compaction of their veins, solving a long-standing mystery as to why plants in dry environments have smaller leaves while those in wet ones are bigger. If you have ever been to a tropical greenhouse you’ll have likely encountered plants with enormous […]

Feeding sub-Saharan Africa

In the west, we’ve spent 50 years relying on increasing food yields by adding nitrogen-based fertilisers to the soils. But it’s not an approach that seems to be working for the millions of smallholder farmers across western and central Africa. Local farmers, agronomists and scientists from across the world are working together to find innovative […]

Modelling in Biology

Computer modelling is set to become one of the main methods scientists use to explain their theories and make predictions. A working knowledge of modelling and its uses is essential for research scientists today. But the rise of computer models to simulate different scenarios resulting from a given set of circumstances is one of the […]

Summer placements for 16-19 students

What’s it like to be a scientist in a research lab? What would your average day be like? How can you get work experience there? And what’s really going on at the cutting-edge of plant science? There are plenty of opportunities for A-level students to experience life in a professional plant science lab, including summer […]

Socotra – the weirdest island on earth

About 400 kilometres south of the Arabian Peninsula lies an group of islands like no other. Looking somewhat alien, it plays host to over 700 species of plant found nowhere else on the planet, leaving it only slightly behind Hawaii, the Galapagos islands and New Caledonia. Remarkably, it is less than half the size of […]

Trouble in Paradise

If Eden has a modern parallel, then arguably it is the Galapagos Islands. Famed worldwide for its diverse habitat (over 40% of its wildlife is unique to the islands), it’s the place that inspired Darwin to put forward his theory of evolution. Whilst it may be populated with giant tortoises and finches galore, the plant […]

Master of Disguise

Boquila trifoliolata is a climbing plant endemic to the swathes of temperate rainforest covering vast areas of South America. Herbivory and grazing is often intense in these areas, and being able to climb away from the prying jaws of potential predators is advantageous for a plant like Boquila trifoliolata. However, one particular attribute separates this […]

Thar She Blows: of Saharan Dust and Marine Productivity

The Sahara Desert is not something you would usually associate with abundant life and vibrant algal blooms. It is one of the most arid and inhospitable areas in the world, representing the largest subtropical hot desert on the planet. And at well over 9,400,000 square kilometres- i.e. about the size of the United States, it […]