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plants

  1. Science

    1,500-Year-Old Moss Revived After Being Frozen for Centuries

    While some scientists are talking about bringing back the Wooly Mammoth, others are already reviving centuries-old plant life. Teams from the British Antarctic Survey and Reading University have thawed and revived moss that has been frozen for the past 1,500 years. Somehow, this leads to MossMan being real, right?

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  2. Science

    This Plant Can Learn And Remember Things Just As Well As Animals Can, So Don’t Mess With It

    Last week, we posted this video from ASAPScience, where they tell you that they're pretty sure plants can think. Now, a new study has been released with evidence that the Mimosa pudica, or the "touch-me-not flower" (my house sigil), actually has a long-term memory comparable to those found in animals.

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  3. Science

    Can Plants Think? AsapSCIENCE Makes a Surprisingly Compelling Argument

    Some people don't eat meat because they don't like the idea of killing and eating an intelligent creature. (*raises hand*) So this video by AsapSCIENCE that makes a case for plants having a certain level of thought might give some people weird feelings about their salad. So, how do plants think?

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  4. Science

    How Stinky Corpse Flowers Get So Stinky [Video]

    The United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. just had its first titan arum bloom in over six years. By now you're too late to see it, though; they only last for about 24 to 48 hours. Which is probably for the best, they don't call it the "stinky corpse flower" for nothing -- and Bytesize Science is going to tell you how the titan arum got that nickname.

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  5. Science

    Stinky Corpse Flower Blooms in Washington D.C., Not Quite as Stinky as Everyone Had Hoped

    The titan arum, colloquially known as the "stinky corpse flower" for its pungent odor that attracts dung beetles and other pollinating insects, is rarely found outside of its home in the Indonesian rainforest. The United States Botanic Garden has one, though, and it's blooming for a limited time only! Probably 24 to 48 hours, to be specific.

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  6. Science

    Study Suggests Plants Can Do Math, Vegetarians Left in Moral Quandary

    Plants might be smarter than we thought, especially because we thought they were just dumb plants. New research shows that plants use arithmetic division to calculate the rate at which to use up starch at night. They time their consumption to prevent starving when there's no sunlight, and they run out of starch right before the dawn. They don't even use a calculator.

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  7. Science

    Canadian Zombie Plants Return to Life After 400 Years

    In a story that is basically Encino Man but with Canadian plants, scientists have revived some once-frozen 400-year-old plants from the Canadian arctic. Bringing these plants back to life shows that certain varieties of plants may be more able to withstand extreme conditions than once thought. Keeping with the Encino Man theme, the next step will be to figure out how the scientists can use the revived plants to help pick up girls at the mall.

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  8. Science

    Different Photosynthesis Rates Show The Grass Really Is Greener Sometimes

    Researchers at Brown University have found the anatomical and evolutionary basis behind the fact that some varieties of grass really are greener than others -- or at least why they're able to produce food for themselves via photosynthesis more effectively than their cousins. According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a slight difference in the cellular structure around the veins in blades of grass can make the difference between a grass that is highly efficient and successful and one that just putters along.

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  9. Science

    Flowers Could Clean Up Polluted Land, Act As Nanoparticle Factories

    The alyssum flowers pictured above aren't just pretty -- they're good for the planet, too. A recent study from the University of Warwick suggests that the common flowers and their relatives could help restore chemically poisoned land to a more livable state by leeching toxins from the ground. As an added bonus, researchers think they could one day harvest those same toxic chemicals  -- now broken down to tiny nanoparticles -- for use in new technologies.

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  10. Weird

    There are Now 19 Species of Fern Named in Honor of Lady Gaga

    Reseachers at Duke University have named a newly discovered genus of fern  in honor of pop star Lady Gaga, because, okay, we don't really know why. Because she wore a dress that looks similar to the structure of some species of fern in this genus to the Grammys and some scientists have pretty good senses of humor, we guess? It also presumably works for Lady Gaga, because hey, no matter how big and fancy a pop star you are, it's nice to have living things named in your honor, right? We have to assume so, because no one is ever going to name anything after anyone here.

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  11. Science

    Transparent Dirt Gives Soil Researchers Best Ever Look At Root Systems

    Researchers have a new way to learn more about the rhizosphere -- the system of plant roots that is constantly at work beneath our feet, anchoring, feeding and nurturing the planet's plant life. Though roots are practically everywhere beneath us, science still has a lot of questions about how they work, as their underground placement and slow development can make root systems difficult to study accurately. That may be changing, though, as a new transparent soil substitute offers researchers a chance to watch root systems take shape in their (sort of) natural element for the first time ever.

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  12. Science

    Plants Send Chemical SOS When Butterflies Lay Eggs, Call In Wasp Cavalry

    The black mustard plant, Brassica nigra, looks about as capable of defending itself as most other pretty yellow flowers. That is to say, not very capable of defending itself at all, as all it really has going for it are the abilities to smell nice and look pretty. Sometimes, though, that's all you need. The innocent looking little flower makes those abilities into a set of secret weapons against its mortal nemesis, the butterfly. When a butterfly leaves an egg on one of its leaves, though, the plant sends out a series of chemical signals -- one to repel butterflies, preventing it from becoming a breeding ground for its own predators, and another to call in the cavalry, alerting wasps that prey on caterpillars that supper is ready.

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  13. Science

    Study: Carnivorous Plants So Polluted With Nutrients They Stop Eating Bugs

    When it comes to bug-eating carnivorous plants, nitrogen has generally been thought as the root of it all. In areas where nitrogen or other nutrients are tricky to find, some plants develop traps and pitfalls in order snag other creatures in order to make up for that detriment. Now, a study looking at the common sundew in the bogs of Sweden suggests that manmade nitrogen pollution is making these predatory plants go vegetarian.

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  14. Science

    Japanese Researchers Developing Interactive Plants That Will Wave At You

    We live in a particularly interactive age. Sometimes it seems like you're hard-pressed to find a thing that isn't interactive in one respect or another without locking yourself in a closet and sitting among the shoes in the fetal position. If researchers at Keio University in Japan have their way, yet another thing will be pulled into the wide world of interactivity: Plants. Interactive plants, which seem to serve little purpose beyond being interactive, are designed to react to and convey emotions. How? Basically, by turning into puppets.

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  15. Space

    Planets with Two Suns Could Have Black Vegetation

    The more you know: According to research presented at a meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society, two-sunned (bisolar?) planets, should they be capable of supporting vegetation, would be likely to have black or grey plants instead of green greenery. While this may sound like a needless layer of sci-fi whimsy, the optical reasoning they present seems sound enough: "To maximize energy absorption for photosynthesis, especially when the suns have vastly different colors or if at least one of the suns is dim, plants—or, more correctly, their extraterrestrial analogs—may use one or more types of light-absorbing pigments that absorb across a broad range of wavelengths, which would tend to make the plant appear black or gray." So: More suns means wavelengths means more light-absorbing pigments, and with fewer wavelengths to be bounced back at our retinae as a result, a blacker coloration would result. Not exactly the sort of research one can easily lab-test, but a fun thought-experiment either way. (Science Mag via Slashdot. pic via Wallpaper DJ)

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