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13 March 2014 11:08 am ,
Vol. 343 ,
In the shadow of the crisis in Crimea, Ukrainian legislators are weighing a pair of science and education bills that...
Researchers dependent on government funding would face a flat future under the White House's $3.9 trillion budget...
Reservoirs of cells that harbor HIV DNA woven into human chromosomes have become the bane of researchers trying to cure...
Geochemists have now incorporated in their models some details of the way naturally acidic rainwater dissolves rock...
Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder that afflicts about 1% of the world's population at one time or another...
Surface tension is a force to be reckoned with, especially if you are small. It enables a water strider to skate along...
- 13 March 2014 11:08 am , Vol. 343 , #6176
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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).]