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Infected Poplar

Scientists studying a valuable, but vulnerable, species of poplar have identified the genetic mechanism responsible for the species’ inability to resist a pervasive and deadly disease. Their finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to more successful hybrid poplar varieties for increased biofuels and forestry production and protect native trees against infection.

Methanogen_mercury_study3.jpg

Biologists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have confirmed that microorganisms called methanogens can transform mercury into the neurotoxin methylmercury with varying efficiency across species.