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Thread: Secrets of how venus flytraps close broadcast

  1. #1

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    I was reading over at the CP listserve and ran into this link to a broadcast of how VFTs close. I thought it was interesting and perhaps you will think so too.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=4467935

  2. #2
    moonflower's Avatar
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    ah beat me to it the New York Times also ran an announcement on this in today's Science Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/01/science/01obse.html

    (on page 2)
    "Seeds? Oh yeah... sometimes I forget they grow from those. I feel like they should hatch or something."

    ~a friend's observation of my CP's

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    Better run a good malware scan like Pest Patrol after you give the New York Times all the information they want to be able to register you so they can download ickies onto your computer to read their blessed free article. Sheesh, every red flag my computer could send up was going off when I went there. Is there any way you can cut and paste the article for others to read? You've already listed the source above. Just a thought.

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    Oh dear! I've just been informed that the how a VFT closes broadcast is not exactly accurate. I am told that, "How the trap closes is best explained in the series NATURE (video/ DVD) Titled: Death Traps, gave the fullest and generally accepted explanation ever, and even demonstrated it."

    I am instructed to find it and buy it. Does anyone have a copy they would be in a position to loan to me? I would gladly send a deposit. I'd only need it for about 2 weeks.

  5. #5

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    Thats right, Laura! PBS Broadcasting had the series, NATURE on in the eighties. (Still on so far as I know.) One of their shows was completely devoted to CP. The shows title was "Death Traps". Very well done!! The photography was the best I ever saw, and the utricularia were shown ingesting mosquito larva and daphnia, in 1/1000 of a second. I recommend all CP'ers to buy this one for your video libraries. I still put my olde copy in for friends, and they sit mesmerized by what they see. And leave a little smarter too.
    45 yrs. growin\'
    Founder NASC

  6. #6

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    bugweed... is there anything you don't know? Is there any resource you don't have access to? Tee he! You are too croool making this comment about people who get to see it at your house, "sit mesmerized by what they see" since I am sitting here without access to the video. I checked and our library doesn't have it.

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    moonflower's Avatar
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    i wasn't aware that NYT had so many bugs... i've been a member for years and never had a problem (then again i have virus/adware/spyware protection programs up the wazoo)

    anyway here's the text:


    The Secret Behind the Snap

    The closing of a Venus flytrap is far less violent than a volcanic eruption, but in its own way it is just as spectacular. The rapid motion - the two leaves can close on a fly or other prey in about a tenth of a second - is remarkable for a plant.

    It's also a bit mysterious. While scientists have long known that the plant starts closing when hairs within the leaf are mechanically stimulated, and while they have speculated on what occurs at the cellular level, the precise mechanism has never been fully explained.

    Now, Dr. Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan of Harvard and colleagues have shown the secret behind the snap.

    The action, they say, is a function of the changing curvature of the leaves; the plant stores elastic energy and then releases it suddenly. It's something like what happens to a curved tape measure when it is bent back on itself. It doesn't deform slowly, but quickly snaps instead.

    The researchers first studied the action by painting tiny fluorescent dots on the outside of flytrap leaves and using high-speed video to record the movement of the dots as the leaves closed. Then they created a mathematical model to describe the action.

    Their work is described in Nature.

    The researchers still don't have much to say about the cellular activity - presumably the quick movement of water into or out of certain cells - that underlies the closing. But the movement itself, they say, is determined by the leaf geometry.

    The leaf is curved in two directions, and bending in one direction causes stretching in the other. At some point the stretching gets to be too much, and the leaf deforms rapidly.
    "Seeds? Oh yeah... sometimes I forget they grow from those. I feel like they should hatch or something."

    ~a friend's observation of my CP's

  8. #8
    larry's Avatar
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    Death Traps is an excellent DVD, a must watch for all CP'ers
    larry
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigflytrap/
    Save a tree, legalize cannabis.
    Be enlightened

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