Two of the ten most important scientific discoveries of 2021 are from the IRBV

Every year, a jury comprising researchers and scientific journalists publishes their top 10 most important discoveries of the year in Québec Science magazine. For the year 2021, two of these discoveries were made at the IRBV!

The first of them belongs to Eszter Sas, a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Frédéric Pitre and Michel Labrecque. She has found that besides being efficient at decontaminating wastewater, willows produce a significant quantity of biomass that can be used to produce special molecules with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are useful in the prevention of cancer. As if that wasn’t enough, they can also be used for the production of biofuel. This research, which took place in Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan, also involves many other members of the IRBV.
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The second of these important discoveries belongs to Simon Joly from the IRBV, in partnership with Daniel Schoen from McGill University. They have confirmed Darwin’s 150-year old hypothesis on cleitogamous flowers. The latter flowers, said to be “invisibles” as they never open, allow the plants to reproduce in the absence of pollinators. The researchers have found that this type of flower is more frequent in species with bilateral symmetrical flowers. Why? Because these species are pollinated by fewer insects and henceforth less likely to get pollinated. The cleitogamous flowers they bear give them this assurance that they will be able to reproduce.
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You are invited to vote for your favorite discovery on the Québec Science website.