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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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The Germ of a New Taxonomy
2 February 1998 7:00 pm
[Editor's Note: This week we feature a ScienceThen that first aired last year.]
Wednesday is the birthday of Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, a French plant taxonomist born in 1778. Candolle introduced key principles into plant classification. He adopted the scheme that plants are divided into three main groups--acotyledons, monocotyledons, and dicotyledons--based on the number of embryonic seed leaves that appear when a shoot begins to grow, or germinate. Candolle argued that the structure and form of organisms, rather than their physiology, should be the basis for classifying species. According to this principle, Candolle proposed that taxonomists look for patterns of symmetry, especially of floral organs, to determine the relatedness of plant groups. Candolle created the Botanical Conservatory and Botanical Garden in Montpellier, France, and left a 17-volume descriptive account of flowering plants and conifers.
[SOURCE: TREVOR I. WILLIAMS, ED., A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF SCIENTISTS (JOHN WILEY & SONS, ED. 3, NEW YORK, 1982).]