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endangered plant species

Australian cycads, marine algaes, native mints and human expansion

Four scientists at the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens have won important research funding to study cycads, marine algaes, Australian mints and a carnivorous bladderwort plant. Cycads, the descendants of the giant ferns we associate with dinosaurs are now menaced by human population growth, expansion and activities in Australia and elsewhere. Dr Oliver Sachs made cycads famous in The Island of the Colorblind, in his study of one species' association with a fatal neurological disease that became a leading cause of death in Guam, but world-wide and in Australia, cycads need humans to start caring about them.

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