Plants Found to Send Nerve-Like Messages 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.
Trapping mechanisms Five basic trapping mechanisms are found in carnivorous plants. Pitfall traps (pitcher plants) trap prey in a rolled leaf that contains a pool of digestive enzymes or bacteria.Flypaper traps use a sticky mucilage.Snap traps utilize rapid leaf movements.Bladder traps suck in prey with a bladder that generates an internal vacuum.Lobster-pot traps force prey to move towards a digestive organ with inward-pointing hairs. Carnivorous plant
Consciousness in a Cockroach | Evolution of Intelligence "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.
Cat Parasite Affects Everything We Feel and Do 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. Research has shown that women who are infected with the parasite tend to be warm, outgoing and attentive to others, while infected men tend to be less intelligent and probably a bit boring. But both men and women who are infected are more prone to feeling guilty and insecure. Other researchers have linked the parasite to schizophrenia.
Idle Minds and What They May Say about Intelligence 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.” The researcher would then use the brain’s activity during the “lie there and relax” period as a mere control condition; the object of scientific interest was always what “lights up” when a subject reads, makes financial decisions or performs some other task.
Evolution of Old World fruit flies on three continents mirrors climate change Fast-warming climate appears to be triggering genetic changes in a species of fruit fly that is native to Europe and was introduced into North and South America about 25 years ago. "This is a clear signal on three different continents that climate change is occurring, and that genetic change is going along with it," said Raymond Huey, a University of Washington biology professor who is co-author of a paper describing the findings, published Aug. 31 in Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science. The research deals with an Old World fruit fly species called Drosophila subobscura, which originally ranged from the Mediterranean Sea to Scandinavia. European biologists who studied the insect's genetic makeup more than 40 years ago noted that sections of chromosomes were inverted, something like taking part of a bar code from a consumer product and flipping it backwards.
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. No Fruit Fly Evolution Even after 600 Generations
Fish caught evolving into three different species - Technology & science - Science - DiscoveryNews.com The 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.
The Salamanders that Refuse to Grow Up
Sign in to read: Horizontal and vertical: The evolution of evolution - life - 26 January 2010 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.
Evolution doesn’t have to operate at a snail’s pace, even for snails. In experiments designed to simulate the evolutionary transition that produced slugs, researchers exposed baby snails to the metal platinum, causing the animals to develop without external shells. The research illustrates how a big leap on the evolutionary path of animal body plans might have occurred. Cool Evolution Trick: Platinum Turns Baby Snails Into Slugs | Wired Science
Green Sea Slug Is Part Animal, Part Plant | Wired Science SEATTLE — It’s easy being green for a sea slug that has stolen enough genes to become the first animal shown to make chlorophyll like a plant. Shaped like a leaf itself, the slug Elysia chlorotica already has a reputation for kidnapping the photosynthesizing organelles and some genes from algae. Now it turns out that the slug has acquired enough stolen goods to make an entire plant chemical-making pathway work inside an animal body, says Sidney K. Pierce of the University of South Florida in Tampa. The slugs can manufacture the most common form of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants that captures energy from sunlight, Pierce reported January 7 at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. Pierce used a radioactive tracer to show that the slugs were making the pigment, called chlorophyll a, themselves and not simply relying on chlorophyll reserves stolen from the algae the slugs dine on.
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. "Python Cave" Reveals Oldest Human Ritual, Scientists Suggest
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. This kind of designation indicates a formalized conceptualization of living space, requiring social organization and communication between group members. Modern behavior of early humans found half-million years earlier than previously thought
Modern behavior of early humans found half-million years earlier than previously thought
Erratic Sunspots Smash NOAA Predictions January 17, 2011, by 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. In fact, the current prediction model for this month of January, 2011, has it packed with between 50 and 55 new sunspots.
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. (Related: "New Lightning Type Found Over Volcano?" ) Currently, mushroom demand is so high that dealers are increasingly turning to foreign suppliers. Japan imports about 50,000 tons of mushrooms a year, mainly from China and South Korea. Lightning Makes Mushrooms Multiply
Black Fungus Eats Harmful Radiation in Chernobyl
A lightning strike in Africa helps take the pulse of the sun
Our Brains Are Shrinking. Are We Getting Dumber?
Human 'dental chaos' linked to evolution of cooking - life - 19 February 2005
Monkeys perform arithmetic as well as college students
Hearing radio frequencies « xcorr: computational neuroscience
Magnetic Microprocessors Could Enable the Most Efficient Computers Physically Possible
Researchers develop drug delivery system using nanoparticles triggered by electromagnetic field
Salmonella Spills its Secrets on the Space Shuttle
Physicists Convert Information Into Energy
'Lifeless' prion proteins are 'capable of evolution'
Rudimentary form of cellular "vision"
'Most beautiful' math structure appears in lab for first time - physics-math - 07 January 2010
'Schrödinger's Hat' Uses Invisibility to Measure Quantum World | Wired Science
'Junk' DNA gets credit for making us who we are - life - 19 March 2010
DNA Phantom Effect
Blood Cells without DNA
DNA Molecules Display Telepathy-like Quality
Neurocardiology: The Brain in the Heart
Expand Your Mind: Getting a Grasp on Consciousness
Harmonic Resonance in the Brain
Face recognition ability inherited separately from IQ