Results tagged “plants” from Sunday Mercury - Weird Science

Plants disturbed by noise

By Daniel Smith on Mar 21, 12 08:03 PM

Disturbing the peace and quiet of the countryside can be disrupting to plants as well as wild animals, a study has shown.

Man-made noise from traffic or machinery was already known to change the behaviour of many birds and other animals.

But new research shows it can also have a "ripple effect" on trees and plants that may last for decades, even when the source of the noise is removed.

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A celebrity scientist suffered blinding headaches after sealing himself in an airtight foliage filled chamber in a harrowing test designed to show the power of plants.

Professor Iain Stewart revealed the side effects after spending two days locked inside the see-through container for an experiment linked to a new BBC2 series.

The TV presenter and geologist is fronting the first programme in the channel's How Plants Made The World series.

He clambered into the transparent box, which was situated at the Eden Project in St Austell, Cornwall, on Thursday night and stayed there until Saturday night.

Plants to clean up explosives

By Daniel Smith on Sep 15, 11 03:00 PM


Genetically modified plants developed in the UK could be used to clean up US military testing grounds.

British scientists have given plants bacterial genes that allow them to thrive around TNT and RDX, toxic explosive compounds found in shells, bombs and missiles.

It allows the plants to decontaminate land polluted by left-over residues from test firing.

Black plants of other worlds

By Daniel Smith on Apr 19, 11 03:00 PM

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Black vegetation may have evolved on life-sustaining planets with more than one sun, scientists believe.

Exotic worlds in multi-star systems are often depicted in science fiction films.

But now scientists have attempted to work out what they might really look like.

Many multi-star systems contain "red dwarfs". These are cool, faint stars that are the most common star type in our galaxy, the Milky Way.

A new study into how plants adjust to having less sunlight in winter could lead to a better understanding of the impact of shift work and jet lag on people, according to scientists.

Researchers looking at the daily rhythms in plants have discovered a complex process that allows the plants' genes to respond to the times of dawn and dusk each day, and the length of daylight in between.

This system enables the plant to reset its internal clock every day in response to seasonal changes in daylight, helping it to control the timing of crucial activities, such as flowering and making frost-resistant buds.


Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith - a long time ago, in a galaxy far away just north of Watford, Daniel fancied himself as a scientist but turned out to be the worst scientist since that bloke who mapped out all those canals on Mars that turned out to be scratches on his telescope's lens. Luckily, he is now not working on the Large Hadron Collider inadvertently creating a black hole that would swallow the world but is safely behind a desk writing this blog, bringing you the fantastical underbelly of nature... weird science.

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