Midnight In The Desert — plants

Plants Are Absorbing More CO2 From the Atmosphere Without Using More Water

Posted by K R on

Plants Are Absorbing More CO2 From the Atmosphere Without Using More Water

Trees, bushes, and other land-based plants are sucking up more carbon dioxide without a commensurate increase in water consumption, according to new research out of Australia that scientists claimed had major implications for modeling and preparing for climate change. Jungles near the equator, piney northern forests, and other flora are absorbing 17 percent more carbon dioxide than 30 years ago, resulting in land plants acting as “sinks” for around 30 percent of the carbon in the atmosphere, said the study published July 24 in the journal Nature Communications. The oceans absorb another 25 percent. It’s no surprise that plants would...

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New Way of Transforming CO2 Is More Efficient Than What Plants Do

Posted by K R on

New Way of Transforming CO2 Is More Efficient Than What Plants Do

By tinkering with the process that plants use to breathe in carbon dioxide, a team of German scientists has just discovered a far more efficient way to get rid of it. Biochemists led by Tobias Erb at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany, have developed a new, super-efficient method for living organisms to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere. Plants, algae, and other organisms turn CO2 into fuel. Erb and his colleagues reengineered this process, making it about 25 percent more energy efficient and potentially up to two or three times faster. The study appears in...

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Do you see a devil in this orchid?

Posted by K R on

Do you see a devil in this orchid?

Named for 'el diablo' himself, a new and extremely rare orchid species reveals a wicked heart. Some people see Jesus on their toast, a man on the moon, the Virgin Mary on a wall. For scientists in Colombia who have discovered a rare new species of flower, they’ve born witness to a devil in an orchid. Found by Dr. Marta Kolanowska and Professor Dariusz Szlachetko, both with the University of Gdansk, Poland, and Dr. Ramiro Medina Trejo from Colombia, the devilish new species is comprised of a lone population of 30 orchids growing in a small patch in a south...

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Plant spits poison in gardener's eye

Posted by K R on

Plant spits poison in gardener's eye

A woman trying to thin out a rapidly spreading plant in her garden got a painful surprise when the plant shot a stream of poisonous sap right into her eye. Pam McGaffin said the pain was excruciating even after she repeatedly flushed it with water. Finally her husband took her to the emergency room where doctors thoroughly flushed the eye and told McGaffin her cornea had been burned by the sap. The offending plant is one of a huge variety of Euphorbia plants. Poinsettias are members of the Euphoria family and can also burn skin with their sap. What seems...

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