Pollen allergens: Are plants trying to kill us?

Rice flowers

Here's the good news. They’re not.

Pollen allergies have long been a major pandemic health problem for humans. Asthma and allergic rhinitis, the most common issues. How annoying is all that sneezing, wheezing and itchy and watery eyes?

Plant molecular geneticist Deborah Devis is investigating the evolutionary events and biological function of pollen allergens in plants. She’s finding that pollen isn’t out to ‘get us humans’, it plays a vital role in the reproductive process.

Deborah, from the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, is predicting how grasses use pollen proteins in her PhD research.

Find out more in the ScienceNews article about the science behind pollen allergens and how it’s crucial for plant health.

Full story

Tagged in Research, School of Agriculture Food and Wine, School of Biological Sciences, Agriculture

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high school students are invited to submit a short video about one of Australia’s big science challenges.

Video competition