Botany | Blogs
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Here Is Our Top Ten List of Science Facts Learned This Year!
Click on each item to learn more: 1. Has Luke’s Home Planet Tatooine Been Found? 2. What Is The Higgs Boson and Why Is Everyone Looking For It? 3. The Universe is Getting Bigger 4. Why Do Seahorses Look Like Horses? 5. Angolatitan Admastor Dinosaur – Eaten by Sharks? 6. I’m Atoms (Scientific Cover of Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours) 7. How To Name An Element After Yourself 8. Do Bees Have GPS? 9. Why Did The Three Kings Give Jesus Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh? 10. Where in the Solar System is Ceres? Happy New Year!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Why did the three kings give Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh?
Almost 2,000 years ago, three magi followed a brilliant star, traversing a harsh terrain to arrive in the little town of Bethlehem to honor the new born king, Jesus Christ. They carried with them treasure chests filled with gold, frankincense and myrrh as gifts for the new baby. Why these gifts and what are they? Gold, frankincense and myrrh were given to Jesus by the three magi as they were considered valuable gifts. Gold was a precious metal even in ancient times and had great monetary value. Frankincense was a perfume and used as an incense (material which releases a fragrant scent when burned) in some religious ceremonies. Myrrh was a...
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I Have a Living Fossil in My Backyard
As it is fall, I have been thinking about trees more than usual. My favorite tree is the ginkgo tree (Ginkgo Balboa) because of the unique shape of its leaves and what happens to those trees in the Fall. The ginkgo leaf has a fan shape. It is the only leaf with such a shape. No other trees on this planet have a similar shaped leaf. In the Fall, the leaves turn a bright yellow, which is not so unusual. What is interesting is how they fall -- they fall all at once within a 24 hour period. I once was walking past a ginkgo tree on my way to work and it suddenly dropped almost all of its leaves! At once! Ginkgo trees were...
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Why Do Leaves Change Colors?
We had a spectacular fall weekend here in Chicago with warm weather and the leaves just beginning to turn color. It made us think about why leaves change colors. During Spring and Summer, leaves are green because of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is used in photosynthesis - the process by which plants obtain energy from light. The chlorophyll captures the light and uses the energy with water and carbon dioxide to form sugars. The sugars provide the energy to the plants to grow. The light chlorophyll absorbs is in the blue and red portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since red and blue are being absorbed, they are not seen as...