Plants employ a wide variety of tactics to lure pollinators, but an ornamental plant popularly known as Giant Ceropegia takes it to another level. Its flower smells like a honeybee under attack — an odour that freeloading, meal-seeking flies find absolutely irresistible.
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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.
The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology is set to take people on an educational journey through a plant cell — using virtual reality technology. The Centre will launch the Virtual Plant Cell (VPC), a unique virtual reality experience that lets its audience explore the microscopic inner world of a plant.
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.
Remember when we told you that the Venus flytrap can actually count? That's how this carnivorous plant knows the difference between the presence of prey in its trap and a false alarm. Now the same team of German scientists is back with insight into how the Venus flytrap turned the evolutionary tables to become predator instead of prey. They describe this work in a new paper in Genome Research.
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.
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.
The Bread Lab at Washington State University is a collaboration between plant geneticists and master bakers. The goal? To breed new varieties of wheat that can turn out superior breads and beers while still growing well in the cool and wet Northwest climate.
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.