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Grab a pint and join us for an evening of plants & pollinators where we will be finding out if plants can tell the time, how plants are the most underrated chemists and discover what our pollinators' genomes can tell us.
What makes a plant clock tick?
Hannah Rees (Research Scientist at Earlham Institute)
In humans, circadian clocks tell us when to get up in the morning, when we feel hungry and even affect how well we handle our beer! Most of us know the feeling of jet-lag, when our internal circadian rhythm is out of sync with what is going on outside. But what about circadian rhythms in plants? Do plants have circadian clocks too? What do they use them for? How do plants tell the time without a brain? And why should we care? In this talk, we’ll explore the answers to these questions, and discuss the implications for humans in finding out exactly what makes a plant clock tick.
How plants can be used as production plants
Guy Polturak (Postdoctoral Scientist at John Innes Centre)
Plants are the world’s finest chemists, and the secrets to their chemical mastery lie in their genes and genomes. What if we could use these genes to enable plants (and microbes) to produce life-saving medicines, invigorating fragrances, and vibrant pigments for us? I will talk about how synthetic biology has allowed us to do just that, and where might it take us in the future.
Pollinating the tree of life
Focusing on bumblebees, my talk will cover the What? How? and Why? of DNA sequencing. I will introduce the fascinating Tree bumblebee, a species flourishing in a time of extinction. What can it teach us about biodiversity loss in the UK landscape?