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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: Broken Pump Turns Petunias Blue
2 January 2014 12:15 pm
The flowers that line most nursery shelves flaunt petals in what seems like all shades of the rainbow: yellows and whites, pinks and purples, reds and greens. But one color is—like a blue moon—more unusual in the flower world. Now, scientists have discovered what causes some petunias to grow blue petals, rather than the typical red or purple that breed is known for. Blue petunias, they found, have genetic mutations that make two pumps inside the plants’ cells malfunction. The pumps normally ensure that large compartments inside flower petal cells remain about as acidic as a cup of coffee. Without the pumps, these compartments become less acidic and the altered chemical composition of the petals changes the way light reflects off the flowers, giving them their blue hue. The discovery, published online today in Cell Reports, could lead to new ways to engineer other plant breeds, like roses or orchids, to have the elusive blue flowers.
*Correction, 8 January, 12:30 p.m.: The original photo posted was of a morning glory, not a petunia. The photo has now been replaced. Science regrets the error.