Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Plants Do Math

Grand-Reng JPG05Plants Do Math:
Who knew that plants could perform calculations that many humans might struggle with. From Reuters:
Plants do complex arithmetic calculations to make sure they have enough food to get them through the night, new research published in journal eLife shows.
Scientists at Britain’s John Innes Centre said plants adjust their rate of starch consumption to prevent starvation during the night when they are unable to feed themselves with energy from the sun.
They can even compensate for an unexpected early night.
“This is the first concrete example in a fundamental biological process of such a sophisticated arithmetic calculation,” mathematical modeler Martin Howard of John Innes Centre (JIC) said.
During the night, mechanisms inside the leaf measure the size of the starch store and estimate the length of time until dawn. Information about time comes from an internal clock, similar to the human body clock…
[continues at Reuters]
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