Telling time seems easy enough — just look at a clock, dummy! Not so easy if you're a plant without any eyes or ears, though.
Tagged With plants
It's one of the biggest mysteries in this global experiment we're conducting by pouring 10 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere each year: What will happen to the plants? Will the relentless burning of fossil fuels prompt our leafy green friends to suck down more CO2, tapping the brakes on climate change? Or are the trees unable to bail Earth's atmosphere out this mess?
Swedish researchers say they have discovered traces of ancient red algae preserved in sedimentary rock dating back 1.6 billion years, making them the oldest plant-like fossils ever found. The discovery shows that complex multicellular life appeared in Earth's history much earlier than previously thought.
In the TV series, Star Trek: Voyager, the space ship was the first of its kind to be built with biological circuitry designed to speed up its processing capabilities. What once was science fiction, however, creeps closer to reality as researchers have successfully created a cyborg rose that functions as an electronic circuit.
In an experiment conducted on the International Space Station, two different types of naturally-occurring algae were exposed to the extreme conditions of space. Incredibly, both strains survived. It's a finding that could further our understanding of how life originated on Earth, and how colonists might be able to sustain themselves on Mars.
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.