Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Some science links

From Lessons from Plants in Pain, or What We Talk About When We Talk to Ourselves (via Ed Yong's Sunday Links)
"It was in the early 1980s that a few scientists first began to report on trees that seemed to send each other stress signals. One was a zoologist named David Rhoades, at the time studying Red alder (Alnus rubra) and Sitka willow (Salix sitchensis) defense mechanisms at the University of Washington. Rhoades fed caterpillars leaves from trees their brethren had previously attacked. He found that they began to lose their appetites, and often died prematurely. Presumably this was because of some chemical compound the trees were able to release into their leaves as a form of rapid resistance—precisely the kind of thing he’d been looking for.

But Rhoades was surprised to discover that the very same thing happened to caterpillars fed the leaves of undamaged control trees, planted a little distance away. ......
At this point, the evidence that plants can receive, act on, and benefit from specific signals produced by their distressed coequals is pretty compelling."
The post also links to an article on J.C. Bose Lessons from Plants in Pain, or What We Talk About When We Talk to Ourselves

Carl Zimmer on McGurk Effect and related work The Brain Sewing Audio to Video, and Rubber Hands Onto People

Razib Khan discusses a paper on Promiscuity and vaginal bacterial diversity in mice.

From Science News Uncommitted newbies can foil forceful few

From Science Daily Major Step Forward Towards Drought Tolerance in Crops

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