Tag Archives: plant

Hide and Seek with the plants around you

The plants in your pot are ready to interact. A plant starts its life from seed, maybe from a spore, etc. So, can it talk to us if it is living? It can but not directly when we don’t water a plant, and it does dry up, indicating it requires to be hydrated. Do you know the oldest tree was the Prometheus, but it was cut down in 1964 when the tree aged about more than 4900 years? Another name on the list is the Pando, located in Fishlake National Forest in the US, which may be around a million years old.

A tree is outshining in the hill with full glory.

In the era of technology, plants also get advanced by smart gadgets, like using a moisture sensor, know if the soil is moist and does it require water or not. Also, many nature enthusiasts do find creative ways of plant saplings in a plastic bottle, reusing it rather than cluttering up in the ecosystem. The noticeable fact is that trees are being relentless cut for the development of a new area, timber production, and the ecosystem air quality is decreasing day by day. Now, let’s know what the actual matter is.

Dewdrops on the grass.

Researchers at a reserve tropical forest in Chamela-Cuixmala, Mexico from Europe and North America investigated around 28 different species of insects, 20 varieties of plants. They concluded that the plants hide with their chemical secretions to protect themselves from insects. The plants are already vulnerable due to human intervention and now evolved itself to protect from other intruders too. The actual working which got noticed was that the plants try to smell like the neighboring plant by its volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A herbivore may not be able to distinguish the favorite plant by its smell. This phenomenon happens because plants are at the lowest level of a food chain, it cannot fulfill all expectations, even the plants can vanish all of a sudden, but this won’t happen in reality until some worse scenarios do pop up in the environment.

A deer feeding on the grass.

Similarly, the smell emitted by the plants also works for insects such as caterpillars that eat plants. They distinguish between edible and toxic plants and try to avoid feeding them to themselves by the sense of their smell. In 2018, during the rainy season, the scientists searched up for hatchlings on leaves of target plants alongside leaves gathered from host plant species. The plants changed and camouflaged to prevent itself eaten by insects.

The ants are moving around on the leaves.

There’s a complicated relationship between the plants to nature. It won’t be able to demystify it very quickly. There are more than 300 thousand different species of plants and growing every day. Instead of such changes in nature, we can protect the plants by keeping it pest free, although not all insects are harmful to a plant. Like the bees helps to pollinate the flower, you may also notice the ladybugs. They help to get rid of other insect pests without damaging the plant they grow on. There are lots of miracles to be disclosed by nature.

In search of a new life: The Mars planet

Life has been existing over for 3.5 billion years ago. There were significant events in the past, like the extinction of dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. We also know about the start of agriculture, human-made tools used for several purposes. Now in the 21st century, we’ve accomplished a lot of achievements. Still, yes, we are slowly destroying the planet Earth. The nature around us earlier was so satisfying maybe a decade or before that. Suddenly, humanity started constructing buildings, complexes, resorts, artificial reservoirs, etc. This list never ends. They are even cutting down the trees to get more residential areas leading to deforestation. After all, this will all lead to a concrete jungle in the future, there will be no oxygen for survival, the animals will start disappearing, and soon everything will come to an end. This sequence of incidents can be a nightmare for someone, but this can turn into a reality. It’s in our hands to save the planet.

A dinosaur statue.
A dinosaur statue.

On the other side, they’re positive things going around the globe. Scientists and researchers have continuously been looking for existence in life in the other planets. Several space programs have been successfully executed and are still in progress. We know our solar system consisting of eight planets, but we’ve been more interested in the planet Mars. The first mission on Mars on 14th July 1965, Mariner 4, followed by Mariner 9, entered into the orbit. Though the first landing was by Mars 2 but crashed due to a malfunction which later on 2nd December 1971, Mars 3 became the first spacecraft to land on the Mars surface, that too interrupted after 14.5 seconds after its signal transmission failed.

A Mars rover.
An animated Mars rover.

Now in search of water on Mars, there are several types of research claiming that it is in the form of ice caps and many more theories. Still, of these findings, scientists, namely John G. MacDonald, Karien Rodriguez, and Stephen Quirk, developed something unique by which plants can be grown. You heard it right, a polymer through which it can deliver oxygen for the germinating sprout. They claim that regolith has nutrients for plant growth, but not oxygen, the prior requirement of a sapling as 95% of the Martian atmosphere is carbon dioxide. They described two methods of extracting oxygen, either from the metal oxides pre-existing in the regolith and electrolysis, but both processes are time-consuming. The proposed idea is that when the polymer combines with sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide, it becomes an oxygen infused foamed hydrogel. It has the potential to deliver controlled amounts of gaseous oxygen. The foamed matrix, along with regolith, can form the base or be directly coated around the seed to grow plants.

A plant is in a hand.
A person is holding a plant.

The most crucial mission among them was MOM, an interplanetary mission by ISRO, India called Mangalyaan, orbiting since 24th September 2014, becoming the 4th space agency to reach the planet Mars with the lowest cost. This mission has fascinated the kids in India, it got picturised in a movie called “Mission Mangal” in the Hindi language, premiered on 13th August 2019 in theaters. Imagination never ends, everything has a route, and hence it becomes a success, a part of the movie’s storyline. I hope you adhere the same in reality.

For more details about the research, you can visit the site mentioned below:

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ast.2019.2056