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Collaboration is key in modern biological discoveries

 

Narrator:            This is Science Today. Understanding just how crops survive drought was discovered by plant cell biologists at the University of California, Riverside. Sean Cutler says other labs were working on the same receptor genes that his lab discovered, but they lacked a few critical pieces of information that Cutler's lab had. So, they collaborated.

Cutler:            Our findings are built upon the work of a large number of labs, so there's probably about 1,000 labs that work, or at least 1,000 investigators that work on the organism I worked on, Arabidopsis. And those investigators have built all sorts of resources that are valuable for studying biological problems and working on stress tolerance. And so we took the approach of identifying these people and asking them if they wanted to collaborate with us and try and coordinate effort so that we could say we've solved this problem. And I would say that's a theme in modern biology that researchers share materials and information so that everyone can make more progress, more quickly.

Narrator:            For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.