Tag Archives: plants

How the Venus Flytrap ‘Remembers’ When It Captures Prey

SCIENTISTS ARE CONTINUING to tease out the mechanisms by which the Venus flytrap can tell when it has captured a tasty insect as prey as opposed to an inedible object (or just a false alarm). There is evidence that the carnivorous plant has something akin to a short-term “memory,” and a team of Japanese scientists has found evidence that the mechanism for this memory lies in changes in calcium concentrations in its leaves, according to  a recent paperpublished in the journal Nature Plants.

10 common plants that can hurt you

Plants aren’t out to harm you. On the other hand, they don’t seem to mind if they do. Even the most harmless shrub won’t go out of its way to prevent you from scratching, bleeding, or, in rare cases, dying from respiratory paralysis. And some plants, including all 10 of the ones listed here, are well equipped to make your life miserable if you mess with them. You can learn all about this by donning a Speedo and racing through thick underbrush. Or you can just read on.

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Parasitic plants dwell in darkness, feeding on mold and mushrooms

You might be under the impression that plants photosynthesize—using energy from the sun to turn carbon dioxide and water into delicious and nutritious sugar—and you’re mostly right. Even carnivorous plants like the Venus flytrap practice this process to some extent (though nutrient-poor environments and inefficiency often lead them to supplement their diets with something a little bloodier). But not all flora are capable of feeding off of the sun. Some long ago abandoned this ability, having evolved other ways of gathering nutrients.

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CEMENT MIGHT NOT BE AS BAD FOR THE PLANET AS WE THOUGHT

City sidewalks and brick buildings look a little greener today, thanks to new research showing that cement can soak up CO2. That’s not the only good news to come out this week. A team of German scientists engineered photosynthesis to be faster and more efficient. And a team of Americans buried 1,000 tons of carbon pollution underground.

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