Plants. Seeing.

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Plants lack eyes and ears, but they can still see, hear, smell and respond to environmental cues and dangers. They do this with the aid of hundreds of membrane proteins that sense microbes or other stresses. Researchers now have created the first network map for 200 of these proteins. The map shows how a few key proteins act as master nodes critical for network integrity, and the map also reveals unknown interactions. (1)

Regarding light, the proteins PCH1 and PCHL help plants adapt to their surroundings. Plants use the photoreceptor protein phytochrome B to see light and then regulate processes such as seed germination, seedling development, longitudinal growth and flower formation. (2)

We hold our senses to very high esteem.

And we tend to forget that they are just interactions.

Interactions between lifeless particles.

Meaning nothing without a conscious being interpreting them…

Touch the tree. It is not there.

Until you start singing…

Humans affecting the forest. Forest affecting humans.

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Human biomass utilization reduces global carbon stocks in vegetation by 50%, implying that massive emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere have occurred over the past centuries and millennia. The contribution of forest management and livestock grazing on natural grasslands to global carbon losses is of similar magnitude as that of deforestation. Currently, these effects are underappreciated in existing global carbon models and assessments of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from land-based production. Without full consideration of land management effects, global climate forecasts and calculations of the GHG effects of future bioenergy policies are error prone, seriously jeopardizing the robust evaluation of measures that would help achieving the 1,5°C target of the Paris Agreement. These are some of the result of a study headed by Karl-Heinz Erb from the Institute of Social Ecology, published in the scientific journal Nature on 20.12.2017. (1)

Scientists analyzing how we affect the forest.

But the forest has affected us a long time ago.

When we walked into the dark and we found our self.

When Midas chased Silenus only to discover what he didn’t want to discover.

Yes, we affect the forests today.

But only from afar. And only to destroy it.

Try to get into a forest and see for yourself.

The owls are not hollowing…

The birds are not singing…

You are deep into the forest alone.

But you know you are not…

The forest is changing you.

You were once part of the forest…

You will once be again…

Plants “deciding”. Death and Life.

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Animals facing competition have been shown to optimally choose between different behaviors, including confrontation, avoidance and tolerance, depending on the competitive ability of their opponents relative to their own. For example, if their competitors are bigger or stronger, animals are expected to “give up the fight” and choose avoidance or tolerance over confrontation.

Similar responses are documented for plant as well. Plants can detect the presence of other competing plants through various cues, such as the reduction in light quantity or in the ratio of red to far-red wavelengths (R:FR), which occurs when light is filtered through leaves. Such competition cues are known to induce two types of responses: confrontational vertical elongation, by which plants try to outgrow and shade their neighbors, and shade tolerance, which promotes performance under limited light conditions. Some plants, such as clonal plants, can exhibit avoidance behavior as a third response type: they grow away from their neighbors.

To learn if plants can choose between these responses and match them to the relative size and density of their opponents, researchers used the clonal plant Potentilla reptans in an experimental setup that simulated different light-competition settings. They used vertical stripes of transparent green filters that reduce both light quantity and R:FR and could therefore provide a realistic simulation of light competition.

The results demonstrated that Potentilla reptans can indeed choose its response to competition in an optimal way. (1)

We have named simple interactions “decisions”.

And yet, a decision is not to do what you are programmed to do. A decision is not to just obey to your genes or your… chemistry. True decisions are those made against all genetics or environmental input. True decisions are those made against the result of “laws” or rules.

Imagine a cold universe.

Full of plants. Full of interactions.

A universe dark and empty.

A lifeless universe.

True decisions are the rare moments when rules are rendered unimportant due to the sheer will to decide. True decisions are those made independently of the “interactions”. When you decide to die for what you believe, even though everything and everyone tells you the opposite. When you decide to love someone, even though everything in your brain tells you this is crazy.

Imagine a cold universe.

Full of plants. Full of interactions.

A universe dark and empty.

This universe will never be alive.

Until a person decides to die in it…

Ghost images. Glows. At the corners of the universe…

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A team of physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) has used a technique known as ‘ghost imaging’ to create an image of an object from atoms that never interact with it.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering (RSPE) said the experiment relied on correlated pairs of atoms. “One atom in each pair was directed towards a mask with the letters ‘ANU’ cut-out,” Associate Professor Truscott said. “Only atoms that pass through the mask reach a ‘bucket’ detector placed behind the mask, which records a ‘ping’ each time an atom hits it.

The second atom in the pair records a ‘ping’ along with the atom’s location on a second spatial detector. “By matching the times of the ‘pings’ from pairs of atoms we were able to discard all atoms hitting the spatial detector whose partner had not passed through the mask.

“This allowed an image of ‘ANU’ to be recreated, even though – remarkably – the atoms forming the image on the spatial detector had never interacted with the mask. That’s why the image is termed a ‘ghost’.” (1)

Atoms interacting atoms. Everywhere. From Earth to the corners of the vast universe, ghosts appear all the time. Photos and electrons from the beginning of time interact and leave their trace until the end of the cosmos. In a way, everything we see and feel is the result of what was in the beginning. Everything happening at the beginning of time were the result of things happened to the atoms of the universe at the end of its life. Quantum interactions know no limitations. They are instant and pass through any barrier we have come to believe to. Everything is interconnected, affecting everything, beyond the borders of time and space.

Look around.

There are ghosts everywhere.

This is not just quantum mechanics.

This is life. This is philosophy.

See that glow in your heart.

It is not you. It is the universe.

Born.

Dying.

Being.

More alive than ever…

Placenta, Jokes, Interactions. Funny things…

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Placenta (Gr. πλακούντας)

The placenta, once thought sterile, actually harbors a world of bacteria that may influence the course of pregnancy and help shape an infant’s health and the bacterial makeup of its gut, a new study has found.

The research is part of a broader scientific effort to explore the microbiome, the trillions of microbes — bacteria, viruses and fungi — that colonize the human body. Those organisms affect digestion, metabolism and an unknown array of biological processes, and may play a role in the development of obesity, diabetes and other illnesses. (1)

But why believe something is useless?
Why believe anything can be useless?
Why believe something exists with no reason?
Why believe something affects nothing?

At the same time Japanese scientists unveiled a robot with a sense of humour Tuesday, and claimed it was capable of knowing when its jokes had fallen flat. (2)

It seems funny.
And useless…

That reminds me of…

Funny…

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