Boston University News Service – Before synthetic nitrogen fertilizers existed, plants and bacteria worked together to return nutrients to the soil. A type of bacteria living in plant roots, called nitrogen-fixing bacteria or Rhizobia, enriches the soil with nitrogen from the atmosphere, making it available to the host plants. But not all plants can host Rhizobia, because the plants’ immune systems repel the bacteria. Scientists have long believed that only legumes, or plants like soybean, pea, and alfalfa, could chemically communicate, and therefore accept, the nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Video: Watch Professor Bruce Logan from Pennsylvania State University explain how microbial fuel cells, a device that can produce electricity from wastewater, work.
Boston University News Service – It was an hour of trekking in the Lincoln woods with George Davis, a retired chemist and president emeritus of the Boston Mycological Club, before I finally spotted our prey: mushrooms.
I am required to file a new 500-word story every Wednesday at 2 pm for one of my classes. Which means that usually, that new story gets written between noon and 2 pm, during my two-hour break which is also supposed to be my lunch break. So I was really, really pleasantly surprised when my professor liked the mushroom story enough to have me do some edits and get it up on the Boston University News Service website!