In the video series "Pimp your brain!" scientists explain techniques they use in the labs and what simple but genius ideas are hiding behind complicated science terms.
Oxygen is bad for photosynthesis!
Photosynthesis is a biochemical process and the basis of life on earth. From light, water and carbon dioxide plants gain energy. Oxygen is produced as a by-product. This in turn, disturbs the efficiency of the photosynthesis. Prof. Dr. Mark Stitt explains in this video as part of our "Pimp your brain" series why that’s the case.
In further videos of our special topic photosynthesis Mark Stitt is going to explain further interesting questions:
Why do plants make a mistake during photosynthesis?
In continuation of our "Pimp your brain” photosynthesis special, Prof. Dr. Mark Stitt explains why oxygen can be used as chemical precursor in the photosynthesis reaction instead of carbon dioxide and why this reaction is possible.
Here is another film from our "Pimp your brain" series on the special topic photosynthesis. In this part, Prof. Dr. Mark Stitt explains, what exactly plants actually need water for and what that has to do with photosynthesis.
In the last part of the series on photosynthesis, Prof. Dr. Mark Stitt explains the so-called CAM photosynthesis, which e.g. is used by cacti.
The following films are certainly interesting in connection with our film series on photosynthesis: Why we need plants and also an interview that Bob Buchanan conducted with Andrew Benson in 2012. It gives an insight into the history and developments of photosynthesis research in the last century, which led to the discovery of the Calvin-Benson cycle in the 1950s ("A Conversation with Andrew Benson").
How do you measure photosynthesis?
For a better understanding of photosynthesis in plants, PhD student Mercedes introduced a gene into a tobacco plant which is expected to improve the photosynthesis rate. She explains how she did her work at the MPI-MP in a former clip ("Pimp your brain: From greenhouse to the lab"). After testing the introduction and activity of the foreign gene into the plant genome she can check the effects of the gene onto the photosynthesis. For this she measures the photosynthetic rate of the tobacco leaves. How this is working find out in the following clip.
What plants do at night
In this pimp your brain episode Mark Stitt from the MPI-MP explains why plants have a problem at night and how they solve it.
How do plants move sugar?
Related to the clip How does water get up to the leaves? Prof. Dr. Mark Stitt from the MPI-MP is trying to explain how sugar or sugar solution is transported in plants. This transport starts in the green leaf as sugar is produced there via photosynthesis and carried in the living phloem cells throughout the whole plant.
How does water get up to the leaves?
The way of the water from the soil over the roots to the leaves can be long. How does this work regardless to the different size of plants and trees. Prof. Dr. Mark Stitt from the MPI-MP is explaining this phenomenon in the following clip out of the series ‘pimp your brain’.
Why we need plants?
Humans and animals depend on plants. Mark Stitt from the MPI-MP explains why and how.
From einkorn to wheat
We all know that wheat is used to bake bread, and durum wheat is used to make pasta. But who knows that wheat originated long, long ago from wild grass species in the Middle East? In this "pimp your brain" episode, Kathleen Dahncke explains why there are six sets of chromosomes in wheat and what they tell us about the evolution and domestication of this important crop plant.
Everything about cabbage!
Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, curly kale or turnip greens, these popular vegetables look really different, but are actually very closely related. In this "pimp your brain" episode, Kathleen Dahncke from the MPI-MP explains how this diversity evolved and which part of the plant we eat.
First Mendalian Law
The Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel who lived in Brunn in Austria is considered the "father of genetics". In the mid-19th century he established the Mendelian laws which deal with the principles of inheritance. What is meant by the "law of uniformity" and the "law of segregation"? This is explained by Kathleen Dahncke from the MPI-MP using Begonia (Begonia semperflorens) and the four o'clock plant (Mirabilis jalapa) as examples.
Second Mendalian Law
In this "pimp your brain" epidsode Kathleen Dahncke explains what is meant by the law of segregation or the Second Mendelian law which was first established as well as the First Mendelian law by the Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel in the mid-19th century.
Gel electrophoresis is a commonly used method in molecular biology, biochemistry and food analysis to separate molecules from one another.
Mercedes, PhD student at the MPI-MP explains in this "pimp your brain" episode, how gel electrophoresis works and why and how she uses this method in her research. How Mercedes proceeds in her research, she has previously explained in the film "From greenhouse to the lab".
Confocal laser scanning microscopy
In this "pimp your brain" episode Fritz Kragler from the MPI-MP talks about fluorescence microscopy, how it works and how it is used in research. In addition, he explains a confocal laser scanning microscope and shows some impressive images of his research.
Jan Lisec from the MPI-MP explains, in this "pimp your brain" episode, what bioinformatics is and why bioinformatics is so important and indispensable for biological research.
Fritz Kragler from the MPI-MP explains in this "pimp your brain" episode what RNA interference is, how plants can protect themselves against viruses by this mechanism and why RNA interference is used as a tool in research.
Markers for breeding plants
Everyone knows, what a highlight or a mark in a text is. But what is meant by a marker, when it comes to plant breeding, and what does breeders mean by marker assisted selection (MAS)? Karin Koehl from the MPI-MP gives out the answers in this "pimp your brain" sequence.
Jan Lisec from the MPI-MP describes in this pimp your brain sequence what heterosis is, why heterosis occurs and explains new approaches to identify the lines or varieties that are best suited to be crossed with each other in order to produce the highest heterosis in their progeny.
The inherited characteristics of an organism are determined by its genome, and depend on the sequence of the four bases A, C, G, and T. Genome sequencing is generating a flood of raw data about these sequences. The bioinformatician Dirk Walther explains, in an interview with Ragnar Vogt, how this data can be processed and interpreted.
Plants produce a whole variety of different substances, so-called metabolites. Lothar Willmitzer from the MPI-MP explains why he wants to know them all.
Researchers separate the molecular content of plants into columns that are only 0.25 millimetres thick, but 40 metres long: Alexander Erban from the MPI-MP explains how this process works.
Using mass spectrometry, researchers are able to measure the mass of different molecules and determine the various substances of a sample. Jessica Jüppner from the MPI-MP talks about how she does this.