"Arabidopsis is like the lab rat of the plant science world. It has a short life cycle, a small genome, small size, and produces A LOT of teeny tiny seeds (which get EVERYWHERE when you harvest them!). And it is really easy to make transgenic versions of these plants. These factors make it an ideal model plant, and its use in the study of plant genetics, physiology, and biochemistry is widespread."
"Is it true your team will be working on Arabidopsis genetics? Arabidopsis is a good 'model plant,' because it is of a manageable size, flowers quickly, and has a tiny genome. Some scientists criticize using Arabidopsis because it doesn't represent other plants very well (compare it to a corn cob or a houseplant!). On the other hand, plant researchers that study Arabidopsis have opened treasure trove of plant knowledge. My view is that Arabidopsis is like a Wikipedia page: it is short, highly informative when you want the basics fast, but occasionally contains misleading information."
"Arabidopsis is like multicellular animals in possessing many genes for cell communication and signal transduction (1,900 genes out of 18,000 classified), but the specific details of these gene sets are very different, as discussed in Chapter 15."
METAMIA is a free database of analogy and metaphor. Anyone can contribute or search. The subject matter can be anything. Science is popular, but poetry is encouraged. The goal is to integrate our fluid muses with the stark literalism of a relational database. Metamia is like a girdle for your muses, a cognitive girdle.