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Honorable mention: Detail of a pod of the flowering legume Scorpius muricatus (common name "Prickly Caterpillar"), by Viktor Sýkora, from Hyskov, Czech Republic. (Olympus BioScapes)

Honorable mention: Detail of a pod of the flowering legume Scorpius muricatus (common name "Prickly Caterpillar"), by Viktor Sýkora, from Hyskov, Czech Republic. (Olympus BioScapes)

Plant seed from freshwater pond near Moscow, by Daniel Stoupin of Moscow, Russia. (Olympus BioScapes)

Plant seed from freshwater pond near Moscow, by Daniel Stoupin of Moscow, Russia. (Olympus BioScapes)

photomicroscopy of seeds by Rob Kesseler at the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, Kew Gardens

The Magic of Seeds and the Science of Insuring Earth’s Future

photomicroscopy of seeds by Rob Kesseler at the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, Kew Gardens

Panellus stipticus is an unassuming fungus by day. It forms waves of soft beige shelves on logs. It isn’t rare at all, just overlooked. If you take a little nibble of it you’ll find it astringent and puckery (spit it out, now)– that’s where its species name comes from. It is a striking beauty by night. Its gills glow under their own power!

Panellus stipticus is an unassuming fungus by day. It forms waves of soft beige shelves on logs. It isn’t rare at all, just overlooked. If you take a little nibble of it you’ll find it astringent and puckery (spit it out, now)– that’s where its species name comes from. It is a striking beauty by night. Its gills glow under their own power!

MRSA bacteria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, red) on the microscopic fibres of a wound dressing. MRSA is a gram-positive, round (coccus) bacterium that is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics. It is carried by around 30 per cent of the population without causing any symptoms. However, in vulnerable people, such as those that have recently had surgery, it can cause wound infections, pneumonia and blood poisoning…

MRSA bacteria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, red) on the microscopic fibres of a wound dressing. MRSA is a gram-positive, round (coccus) bacterium that is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics. It is carried by around 30 per cent of the population without causing any symptoms. However, in vulnerable people, such as those that have recently had surgery, it can cause wound infections, pneumonia and blood poisoning…

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