God’s design is evident in how the plant Brassica rapa detects changes to its environment and adapts to them. A recent study of the plant—whose subspecies include turnips, bok choy, and field mustard—found that specimens free from attacks by herbivores produced larger, sweeter-smelling flowers, which are more attractive to pollinators, according to researchers at the University of Zurich. Conversely, plants attacked by caterpillars put their resources into defensive toxic metabolites and grew smaller, less sweet-smelling flowers. —S.G.
Last week, dozens of artifacts went on display near the burial site of potentially one of the earliest Anglo-Saxon converts to Christianity. Road workers in 2003 found the underground burial chamber between a road and a railway line in Prittlewell, England, and archaeologists have been studying the contents ever since. They now believe the 1,400-year-old tomb is the most important Anglo-Saxon burial discovery in recent times. Artifacts include gold foil crosses on the head of the coffin, a gold belt buckle, the remnants of a lyre, glassware, and a Middle Eastern water jug.
No one knows who was buried in the tomb, but the luxurious nature of the contents suggests royalty. Locals dubbed the buried person the “Prittlewell Prince.” Sophie Jackson, director of research and engagement at the Museum of London Archaeology, said the significance of the find is “our equivalent of Tutankhamun’s tomb,” the burial site of Egypt’s famous King Tut.
Jackson said if she had to guess, the room is probably the tomb of Seaxa, the brother of King Saebert, who was the first Anglo-Saxon king to become a Christian. “[The Anglo-Saxons] would have been just on the transition between having pagan burials with all your gear, but also having these crosses,” she said. —Samantha Gobba