I guess most people reading this blog already know about the role of CFCs in the thinning of the ozone layer and its extreme manifestation the “ozone hole”. (If not you will find explanations here and here and ozone depletion maps here, and information on the Montreal protocol here and here.)
However, what fewer people know is that CFCs are potent “greenhouse gases”, and a recent article discusses why of all measures taken up to day, what has most significantly contributed to slowing-down global warming is the Montreal protocol. In my view, to a large extent this just shows how little progress has been achieved in reducing emissions of other “greenhouse gases” like carbon dioxide. A recent article in The Economist highlights this.
I guess most of you have seen this poster tacked on the elevators walls and on the front door of Biocenter 3. If you are a student, or a researcher and you aim at understanding science, then the events organized by the society will surely broaden your view. At least from time to time, we all need to stop, and spend some time pondering the deeper questions about Biology. This helps in many ways: 1) it will make us think about things and assumptions we normally take for granted, 2) it will allow us to put our own research in a much broader context, which could reveal either unsuspected implications or logical flaws, 3) hopefully they will lift to some extent our blindness to the “logic” behind research in other disciplines, allowing us to see new patterns and connections. The current group of participants comes from several different disciplines and have different research backgrounds which should make the discussions particularly interesting for everybody.
I will myself participate, and chair one session some time in November.
This layman’s introduction to plant-plant communication in Quanta on-line magazine is interesting both in relation to the phenomena studied and how science works. Nowadays that plants communicate with each other is widely accepted, but several types of communication are still controversial and not all available evidence is as strong as one would wish. Consequently, it is a very exciting field and time to do research about plant-plant interactions, including communication!