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PLANTS, unlike animals, have no nerves, so scientists have been jolted by the discovery this month that the tomato plant uses an electric signal to alert its defense system against grazing caterpillars. A team of researchers from England and New Zealand reported in the Nov. 5 issue of Nature that when a leaf on a tomato seedling is chewed by insects it sends out electrical warning signals, alerting the rest of the plant to the danger. As undamaged leaves receive the signal, they begin producing defensive chemicals that make them difficult to digest.
Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients (but not energy ) from trapping and consuming animals or protozoans , typically insects and other arthropods . Carnivorous plants have adapted to grow in places where the soil is thin or poor in nutrients, especially nitrogen , such as acidic bogs and rock outcroppings. Charles Darwin wrote Insectivorous Plants , the first well-known treatise on carnivorous plants, in 1875. [ 4 ]
"You can use these flickers," van Swinderen tells me, "to extract what the fly is attending to. At the moment," he says, "it's paying attention to the X." Van Swinderen has inserted an electrode into the fly's brain to monitor its neural activity. The jagged brain waves percolating through the electrode scroll across a computer screen. Buried deep in the jumble of jagged peaks are two tiny signals: one wave rising and falling 12 times per second and another rising and falling 15 times per second. Those two waves are emanating from thousands of brain cells responding to the two flickering objects.
Aug. 9, 2006 Kevin Lafferty is a smart, cautious, thoughtful scientist who doesn't hate cats, but he has put forth a provocative theory that suggests that a clever cat parasite may alter human cultures on a massive scale. His phone hasn't stopped ringing since he published one of the strangest research papers to come out of the mill in quite awhile. The parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, has been transmitted indirectly from cats to roughly half the people on the planet, and it has been shown to affect human personalities in different ways.
Mind & Brain :: Mind Matters :: January 5, 2010 :: :: Email :: Print When smarter people's brains are scanned while "at rest," long-distance connections appear stronger By Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli and John Gabrieli Image: iStock/Amanda Rohde. For many years now, neuroscientists have been telling the subjects of experiments something like this: “Please lie in the MRI scanner and relax. When you see the task instructions come onto the screen in front of you, do your best.”
Aug 31, Biology/ An image of an Old World fruit fly, Drosophila subobscura, is superimposed over chromosomes from the species. Credit: Raymond Huey
Many Americans believe that the big-picture story of evolution, as biology professors routinely expound it, is false. 1 Basically, they haven't bought into the concept that all life descended from one common ancestor that miraculously sprang into being millions of years ago. And that makes sense, considering there are no real examples of that kind of evolution. If evolutionary biologists could document such evolution in action, they could vindicate their worldview and cite real research to support their surreal claims. In 1980, this search for proof led researchers to painstakingly and purposefully mutate each core gene involved in fruit fly development.
Fish caught evolving into three different species - Technology & science - Science - DiscoveryNews.comThe King demoiselle is not just one type of fish, but three distinct groups that recently split from each other, according to a new study. By essentially catching one species in the process of turning into three, the study suggests that conservation efforts might be failing a variety of species that have yet to be identified. "This work, along with others, is starting to show that there is a lot more biodiversity in the oceans then we previously thought," said Joshua Drew, a marine conservation biologist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. "We really are in a situation where we are losing things before we even know they exist." The King demoiselle is a variety of damselfish that lives in the Indo — West Pacific, from the Solomon Islands to the Philippines and through central Indonesia. The area is known for its spectacular diversity, but the region also faces serious threats, including pollution, blast fishing, and oil spills from the shipping industry.
JUST suppose that Darwin's ideas were only a part of the story of evolution. Suppose that a process he never wrote about, and never even imagined, has been controlling the evolution of life throughout most of the Earth's history. It may sound preposterous, but this is exactly what microbiologist Carl Woese and physicist Nigel Goldenfeld, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believe.
<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-38432" title="marisa-cornuarietis-snail-goethe-university" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2010/10/marisa-cornuarietis-snail-goethe-university.jpg" alt="Marisa cornuarietis snail" width="660" height="509" /> Evolution doesn’t have to operate at a snail’s pace, even for snails.
<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-16639" title="green_sea_slug" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2010/01/green_sea_slug.jpg" alt="green_sea_slug" width="660" height="440" />
December 22, 2006 A team of archaeologists has discovered what it says is evidence of humankind's oldest ritual. Africa's San people may have used a remote cave for ceremonies of python worship as much as 70,000 years ago—30,000 years earlier than the oldest previously known human rites—the team says. "The level of abstract thinking within the peoples of [this period] and the continuity of their cultural patterns is proving to be astonishing for such an early date," said Sheila Coulson, an archaeologist at Norway's University of Oslo.
Dec 22, Other Sciences/Archaeology & Fossils These are stone tools discovered at the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov archaeological site in Israel. Credit: Photos by Gonen Sharon for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Evidence of sophisticated, human behavior has been discovered by Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers as early as 750,000 years ago - some half a million years earlier than has previously been estimated by archaeologists. The discovery was made in the course of excavations at the prehistoric Gesher Benot Ya'aqov site, located along the Dead Sea rift in the southern Hula Valley of northern Israel, by a team from the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology. Analysis of the spatial distribution of the findings there reveals a pattern of specific areas in which various activities were carried out.
Situational Awareness for Emergency, Disaster and Survival January 17, 2011 Ken Jorgustin Permalink The current solar cycle (solar cycle 24) has confounded many observers, perhaps even the NOAA Solar Cycle Prediction Panel who had come to a consensus that the solar cycle presently underway would peak sometime during early 2013.
For generations, Japanese farmers have welcomed storms over their fields based on the belief that lightning strikes provoke plentiful harvests of mushrooms, which are staples of Japanese cuisine.