Scientists discover plants have ‘brains’ that decide when to sprout

June 8, 2017 by  
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Researchers are quickly learning that plants are far more complex than once thought. Not only has it been determined that plants are capable of sensing and preparing for drought conditions, a team from the University of Birmingham recently learned that a cluster of cells in seeds act like a brain that decide when they should germinate. As a result of this finding, crop yields may be improved. The study, published in the journal  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) , explains that the researchers worked with a species called thale cress to determine whether or not plants have human-like “brains.” After locating the group of cells in the seed that are responsible for controlling decision-making processes, they discovered something interesting. Reportedly, the group of cells is made up of two competing types: one promotes germination and the other promotes dormancy. The scientists describe the relationship as a “tug of war” match, as hormones are swapped back and forth in a process that’s very similar to mechanisms in the human brain when someone decides whether or not to move. The team says the separate competing cells are key to the decision-making process in both humans and plants . The mechanism serves an important purpose in vegetation, because germinating too early may result in death due to frost. Alternatively, germinating too late will result in growing complications due to the wrong climate conditions. Said George Bassel, lead author of the study, “Our work reveals a crucial separation between the components within a plant decision-making center. In the human brain , this separation is thought to introduce a time delay, smoothing out noisy signals from the environment and increasing the accuracy with which we make decisions. The separation of these parts in the seed ‘brain’ also appears to be central to how it functions.” Related: Seed-Planting Tumbleweed Robot Draws From Nature to Fight Desertification After creating a mathematical model of how the separate cells work to control how sensitive the plant is to its environment , the researchers concluded that the more variation there is in environmental conditions, the more seeds will sprout. This sounds counter-intuitive, but the results were confirmed when the team tested it in a laboratory. “Our work has important implications for understanding how crops and weeds grow,” said Bassel. “There is now potential to apply this knowledge to commercial plants in order to enhance and synchronize germination, increasing crop yields and decreasing herbicide use.” + Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Via New Atlas Images via Pixabay

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Scientists discover plants have ‘brains’ that decide when to sprout

Austrian Scientists Grow Mini Human Brains in a Lab

August 29, 2013 by  
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Image via Shutterstock After years of using mice to study the inner workings of the brain, Juergen Knoblich of the Institute of Molecular Biology in Vienna, Austria decided he’d had enough . Mouse models just weren’t close enough to human brain tissue to give him the detailed information he needed for his research and he certainly wasn’t going to experiment on the brains of a human subject. So instead, he grew his own mini human brain models from stem cells. Check out the video footage of the mini-brains in action after the jump. Read the rest of Austrian Scientists Grow Mini Human Brains in a Lab Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: animal testing , Austria , human brain tissue , human brains , Institute of Molecular Biology , Juergen Knoblich , lab mice , lab-grown brains , mini brain models , neuroscience , scientific research , stem cell research , vienna        

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Austrian Scientists Grow Mini Human Brains in a Lab

Sustainable Day-lit House in Greenwich Boasts Enviable Panoramic Bay Views

August 29, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Sustainable Day-lit House in Greenwich Boasts Enviable Panoramic Bay Views Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: australia , Daylighting , eco design , green design , green roof , House in Greenwich , natural ventilation , panoramic windows , rainwater collection system , sustainable design , thermal insulation highlight windows , Volpatohatz SA , Volpatohtaz        

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Sustainable Day-lit House in Greenwich Boasts Enviable Panoramic Bay Views

McDonald’s Canada Launches First Vegetarian Option in 10 Years

August 29, 2013 by  
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McDonald’s Canada is trying to turn over a new leaf, or at least draw in an unlikely vegetarian crowd with their new menu. For the first time in ten years the fast food chain will be offering vegetarian fare alongside its “ pink slime ” Chicken McNuggets and Big Mac. The Canadian counterpart will soon be offering two meat-free options, the Mediterranean Veggie and Sante Fe Veggie McWraps. Read the rest of McDonald’s Canada Launches First Vegetarian Option in 10 Years Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , green design , McDonald’s Canada , McDonald’s Vegetarian options , McDonalds Mediterranean Veggie McWrap , McDonalds’ Santa Fe Veggie Wrap , sustainable design        

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McDonald’s Canada Launches First Vegetarian Option in 10 Years

7 Green Gadgets for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

August 29, 2013 by  
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Summer is almost over, which means it’s high time to hit the road on an outdoor adventure while you still can! Fortunately, thanks to the latest green gadgets , you can delve into the wilderness without giving up modern convenience — whether you’re hiking, biking, climbing or camping. From portable and powerful Energizer® LED Lights to an energy-generating stove and a space-age water-filtering bottle , read on for our top green gadgets to bring modern convenience to the great outdoors. Read the rest of 7 Green Gadgets for Your Next Outdoor Adventure Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 7 Green Gadgets For Your Outdoor Adventures , clean tech , Earl tablet , energizer , flashlight , gadget charger , green camping , green camping gear , green design , green gadgets , green technology , LED , led flashlight , led lamp , LED lamps , LED lantern , led light , light fusion , off-grid gadgets , outdoor gadgets , portable energy generator , renewable energy , Solar Backpack , solar power backpack , sustainable design , sustainable technology , Voltaic , Voltaic Backpack , water filtering bottle , water filtering water bottles        

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7 Green Gadgets for Your Next Outdoor Adventure

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