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Tag Archive 'Nature'

Can Chemically Inducing Dormancy Help Plants Cope With Stress? This was a very bad year for wheat in Russia because of an extraordinarily hot and dry summer. And many climatologists believe this may be only a glimpse of the not-too-distant future in many parts of the world. If so, then it is of critical importance […]

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YES! Here’s How (And Why): Although “Global Warming” is to some people a controversial subject, the one thing that’s not controversial is that the level of atmospheric CO2 has significantly increased in the past 100 years and will likely continue to increase – at least until humans stop burning fossil fuels. OK, so atmospheric CO2 […]

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And The Winner Is………. At the beginning of this series, I wondered if the impressive array of sensors in the new iPhone rendered it “smarter” than the average plant, at least when it came to sensing and responding to its surroundings. A summary of my comparison is shown in the table below. Briefly, the iPhone […]

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Why They Call It A “Smartphone” Arguably, the new iPhone 4 is the most advanced smartphone currently available. But is the iPhone 4 so smart that it’s actually smarter than the average flowering plant? (At least when it comes to sensing and responding to its environment.) This is the question I posed way back here, […]

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3D Motion Sensing – iPhone Versus Plant If an iPhone can sense its surroundings better than a plant can, does that make the iPhone more “intelligent”? To try to answer this question, in previous posts, I compared the iPhone’s light and proximity sensors and the geomagnetic sensor to the equivalent (if it existed) in plants. […]

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Is the iPhone 4 More Aware of Its Surroundings Than a Typical Plant? That’s the question that I posed in my previous post. Because of the array of sophisticated sensors included in the new iPhone, could this inanimate object actually be better at sensing its environment than a living plant? Last time, I started with […]

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Is the New iPhone More Aware of Its Environment Than a Typical Flowering Plant? Today I was watching a bit of Steve Jobs’ recent WWDC keynote address introducing the newest iPhone. (Click on image below to view part of his presentation.) About half way through his talk, Steve enumerates the sensors (see the list above) […]

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p5rn7vb Sadly, A Timely Topic You’ve likely heard about microbes with the ability to “eat” crude oil (a.k.a., petroleum). That is, some bacteria have the ability to metabolize most of the the organic compounds present in petroleum. (For excellent scientific coverage of the oil spill see “The Science of the Oil Spill”.) Interestingly, most of […]

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Moving Genes Around A recent report that a species of aphid can make carotene thanks to a gene it apparently acquired from a fungus got me to thinking about whether genes can flow between different plant species. When an organism incorporates genetic material from another organism without being the offspring of that organism, this is […]

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First, What’s a C4 Plant? I could answer this question here, but instead I’ll refer you to an excellent introduction provided by Dr. Colin Osborne. Or you can read the Wikipedia entry. (I’ll wait until you come back….) OK….now you know that C4 plants – such as the crops maize, sorghum, and sugarcane – add […]

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