Tagged With plants

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When farmers spray their crops with pesticides and other treatments to help ensure their survival, 98 per cent of those chemicals bounce right off the plants and end up in the groundwater as pollution. It's a waste, and harmful to the environment, so researchers at MIT came up with a cheap but effective way to instead make those chemicals stick to crops.

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Sunflowers may look like the sun if you squint your eyes a bit, but they also do this weird thing where they turn to face the sun, hence the name. But how and why these plants move over the course of a day has stumped scientists for over a century.

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Video: Meet the Drosera Capensis, also known as the Cape sundew. It's a deadly little thing that looks like some sort of alien finger trap, but it's actually a carnivorous plant with sticky tentacles that basically entomb bugs that come across its way. It's incredible to see how it traps the bug as if it were hugging it to paralyse it, and then folding vertically to trap it forever.

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Video: We stamped out nature in New York City with people and the grid, leaving behind only tiny patches and bits of green. But eventually, and especially after the zombie apocalypse hits, Mother Nature and her wild plants will take New York back from us. This animated short, Wrapped by Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, shows a glimpse of that happening. It's pretty awesome, like a vision of an untamed city far off into the uncertain future.

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The Venus flytrap is perhaps the best known of carnivorous plants — those that get essential nutrients from trapping and consuming insects, particularly when they can't get enough from the soil. Now a team of German scientists has discovered that the flytrap can actually count, and this ability is the key to knowing the difference between the presence of prey and a false alarm.

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The first flowers to ever grow in space are blooming on the International Space Station today. Despite fears of over-watering, the crew coaxed the zinnias into a burst of colour in their zero-g vegetable garden.

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Australia is so famous for its dangerous creatures that visitors often arrive fearful that everything that moves is out to get them. In a land where snakes, spiders, shells and even one of the iconic mammals — the platypus — can bite or sting, should we all be worried about plants as well?

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Electricity doesn't grow on trees — but it can, perhaps, be generated with their help. A new energy recovery system harnesses electrons from the microorganisms imparted into soil by growing plants, producing enough electricity to power a lamp.

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Video: When flowers bloom — over the quick span of a time lapse, at least — they totally look like they're living, breathing beautiful monsters. The one above looks like a peacock showing his feathers. Or that spraying dinosaur from the old Jurassic Park. Or those piranha plants in Mario. It's an awesome, almost alien view of something beautiful.

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It sounds like a bizarre video game mashup, but farmers have reported "zombie" plants since the early 1600s: plants that took on a sickly yellow look and grew strange leaf-like structures or bushy growths instead of flowering and reproducing.