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Remarkably, seeds such as soybeans containing very high levels of protein can undergo desiccation, yet survive and revive after water absorption. Carl Leopold, son of Aldo Leopold, began studying this capability at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University in the mid-1980s.

If the seed coat is cracked, the seed will not germinate.

The scar, visible on the seed coat, is called the hilum (colors include black, brown, buff, gray and yellow) and at one end of the hilum is the micropyle, or small opening in the seed coat which can allow the absorption of water for sprouting.

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Depending of the soybean variety, node growth may cease once flowering begins.

Strains that continue nodal development after flowering are termed "indeterminates" and are best suited to climates with longer growing seasons.

The beans contain significant amounts of phytic acid, dietary minerals and B vitamins. includes the cultivated soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr., and the wild soybean, Glycine soja Sieb. Like some other crops of long domestication, the relationship of the modern soybean to wild-growing species can no longer be traced with any degree of certainty.

Soy vegetable oil, used in food and industrial applications, is another product of processing the soybean crop. It is a cultural variety with a very large number of cultivars.

Patents were awarded to him in the early 1990s on techniques for protecting "biological membranes" and proteins in the dry state.