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do plants sleep

Plants wake up with the Sun just like we do, scientists say

June 8th, 2021

We don’t really think of plants as life forms that require sleep, and while it’s true that plants don’t “sleep” in the way that animals do, they operate on a circadian rhythm all the same. Researchers have long been fascinated with the mechanisms and schedules that govern the life of a plant, and new research …

space plants

The International Space Station is surprisingly lush

April 29th, 2021

You don’t become an astronaut in the hopes of getting to eat some really good food in space. The International Space Station, for example, isn’t stocked with high-end cuisine. In fact, most of the stuff that the astronauts eat comes in tiny packages that are warmed by a machine built right into the wall. It’s …

Plant to Bug

A bug acquired the DNA of a toxic plant, and now it’s running rampant

March 26th, 2021

Over the course of the pandemic, the novel coronavirus has morphed into new variants that have featured genetic changes capable of altering its behavior. Whether it’s a single-cell organism or a multi-cell being, any living creature can go through mutations that will allow it to adapt better to its surroundings. But researchers have just observed …

poison ivy

Poison ivy is more dangerous than ever, because 2020

August 25th, 2020

Poison ivy is growing faster and is more potent than ever thanks to heightened CO2 concentrations in the air. The plants are growing, on average, nearly 150% faster than in decades prior, according to researchers. Skin contact with poison ivy leads to painful rashes and even blisters. Didn’t think 2020 could get any worse? Think …

growing plants in space

Who’s going to eat the first alien vegetable?

November 7th, 2019

The crew of the International Space Station recently took delivery of a case of wine. A full dozen bottles of delicious red wine traveled from Earth, through the atmosphere, and ended up at the orbiting laboratory where six scientists have to let it sit for a year before sending it back. They can’t drink it, …

plants on the moon

China grew cotton on the Moon, if only for a moment

October 7th, 2019

China may have had to sit and watch as countries like the United States dominated space for decades, but things are a whole lot different now. China’s space agency has been rapidly catching up to the likes of the US and Russia, and in many ways, it’s even surpassed its peers and broken new ground …

china moon plants

China successfully grew plants on the Moon, but they promptly died

January 23rd, 2019

It didn’t last long, but thanks to China’s Chang’e 4 lander there was a very brief period about a week ago when mankind knew that life existed somewhere other than Earth. China’s mission to the Moon brought with it a tiny enclosed ecosystem that included tiny seeds in soil, and the country’s space agency eagerly …