Fluorescent Coral

Corals Light Up

Corals light up as fluoro symbiosis found, according to Nature News 5 July 2017, Nature Middle East 20 July 2017 and Proceedings of the royal Society B doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0320, published online 5 July 2017. Coral reefs have long been known as a classic example of symbiosis, consisting of a combination of coral polyps and algae. […]

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Warm Flowers for Beetles

Happiness is a warm flower, if you’re a beetle, according to a report in Nature, vol. 426, p243, 20 November 2003. Roger Seymour of the University of Adelaide, Australia put temperature sensors in the flowers of a tree dwelling philodendron from French Guyana. He found that during the night the flowers generated heat and maintained […]

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Sweet Smelling Birds’ Nests

Sweet smelling birds’ nests keep chicks healthy, according to a report in Nature Science Update 22 July 2002. French ecologists studied blue tits on the island of Corsica and found they gather aromatic plants such as lavender, mint, yarrow and other scented herbs for their nests and regularly replenish them as they lose their fragrance. […]

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Super Molecular Blue

Super molecular blue found, as reported in Nature vol 436, p791, 11 August 2005. For many years scientists have known that the same pigment, anthocyanin is found in roses and also in cornflowers, but as the old saying (almost) goes, roses are red and cornflowers are blue. A group of Japanese scientists have worked out […]

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Squirrels and Spruce Boom and Bust

Squirrels and spruce boom and bust. According to a new study published in Science on 21 December 2006 (DOI: 10.1126/science.1135520), spruce trees in the Canadian Yukon, and parts of Belgium and Italy, have evolved a synchronized boom and bust approach to seed production in an attempt to thwart Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus,) that feed on […]

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Spikey Watering System

Spikey watering system described in About the Garden, Australia, Spring 2005. An article on the spines on cacti and succulent plants reminded us that they are generally claimed to have evolved to protect plants from being eaten. However the author brought out a positive side to the spines existence in that “their main function is […]

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Smart Seeds

Smart seeds described in ScienceNOW 12 June 2009 and Science Roundup 2 July 2009. David Lentink, a zoologist at Wageningen University, the Netherlands and colleagues have studied the way maple seeds are able to ‘fly’ long distances away from their parent tree. Seeds need to be able to move away from the parent tree so […]

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Single Origin for Rice

Single origin for rice, according to articles in ScienceDaily 2 May 2010 and BBC News 3 May 2010. Although there are thousands of varieties of the Asian rice plant Oryza sativa, they are grouped into two subspecies: indica and japonica. Scientists had believed these were domesticated separately from wild rice plants in India and China, […]

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Single Chemical Links Orchid and Wasp

Single chemical links orchid and wasp, as described in Science, vol. 302, p437, 17 October 2003. Some orchids are pollinated by male insects that try to mate with the flowers. This bizarre behaviour occurs because the flowers produce chemicals that are the same as chemicals emitted by female insects. Usually a mixture of common chemicals […]

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Self-Cleaning Lotus Leaves

Self-cleaning lotus leaves inspire chemists, according to a report in Nature Science Update, 20 November 2002. Ten years ago University of Bonn botanist, Wilhelm Barthlott discovered that lotus leaves have very bumpy surfaces which cause water droplets to roll off them rather than slide, as they would do if they landed on a smooth surface. […]

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