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Plant Perfume Manipulates Pollinator Behavior

You’re a plant, stuck in the ground.  Around you are organisms with wings flitting freely about.  You need to get them to land on your flowers, but not linger too long.  How do you do it?  Attract them with sweet smells, but send them away with a bitter aftertaste.  That’s how the tobacco plant manipulates […]

Leaf Assumption Challenged: Affects Climate Modeling

A reasonable-sounding assumption has been overturned, leaving climate models in upheaval.  The assumption was that leaf temperature stays in equilibrium with air temperature.  It doesn’t.  Leaves are hotter than assumed during active periods of growth, such as at midday in the growing season.  They maintain a relatively constant temperature through their own biological air conditioning, […]

Mangrove as Metaphor

The mangrove – that shoreline tree with the salt-tolerant roots that grows into dense thickets – is the fulcrum of two unrelated news stories.  It never met a force it couldn’t handle.  It also provides metaphors for evolution and creation.     PhysOrg reported that the mangrove is a key to saving lives.  “The replanting […]

Leaf Vein Patterns Are Not in Vain

The vein patterns in a leaf approach perfection.  If the requirement is to reach every cell with the shortest and most efficient paths, leaves do it just right.  A team of scientists at Cornell, “inspired by plant leaves,” tried to build a network in a polymer substrate that would maximize distribution of fluid with evaporation-driven […]

Long Live the Seed

A seed buried under the rubble of Herod the Great’s fortress took root and is now growing into a palm tree.  Science Now reported this as verification of claims that ancient seeds can still grow.  See also the National Geographic News report that added this record beats out the previous verifiable claim of ancient seed […]

Evolution Out of Sync

Evolutionary theory explains everything but the kitchen sink, but what if things get out of sync?  According to Darwin’s tree of life, things happen in a particular order.  The same complex trait should not emerge on separate branches independently.  Findings contrary to the tree pattern could sink the theory – or at least give some […]

Cell Electronics Is High-Tech

To describe a living cell these days, you have to borrow electronics lingo.  Notice how two recent articles described cell specs: Ham radio immunity:  What acts like a radio dial, a signal amplifier, and a precision rheostat?  Your immune system, according to Science Daily.  Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital described how the cell […]

Sweet Solutions from Nature

Human engineers continue to look at plants and animals for inspiration.  Biomimetics – the imitation of biology for design technology – shows no sign of running out of ideas. Sweet gas:  A spoonful of sugar in the gas tank?  Science Daily reported on progress in converting plant sugars into clean-burning hydrogen – using biological enzymes.  […]

Orchids: Epitome of Plant Evolution

“Orchids might be considered the epitome of plant evolution,” said David Roberts [Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew] and Kingsley Dixon [Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Australia] in a primer on orchids in Current Biology.1  Yet some of the facts they shared about these amazingly diverse and well-adapted plants are puzzling for evolutionary theory.     First, […]

The Root Route

Why don’t roots push a plant right out of the ground?  It’s a question only a scientist or an 8-year-old kid would ask.  The answer is more amazing than either would have realized.  Root hairs feel their way around obstacles and find the openings, in the dark, by means of a complex interplay of proteins […]

A Pitcher of Health, and Reasons to Love Slime

Pitcher plants contain chemicals that just might help medicine and agriculture, reported PhysOrg.  A Japanese team found a myriad of interesting proteins in this “evolutionary marvel,” a plant that eats insect meat.     Now for some slimy good news.  PhysOrg said, “You know algae.  It’s the gunk that collects on the sides of a […]

Quality Control Ensures Accurate Cell Division

Cell division (mitosis) is a very complex process in which every part must be accurately duplicated and sent to the proper destination.  Picture a marching band where each flute player or tuba player is able to clone itself.  The players congregate at the center in two lines, divide, and move apart, forming two marching bands […]

Evolution: Demonstrated or Assumed?

Michael Behe wrote in The Edge of Evolution that Darwinists tend to forget the difference between what is assumed and what is demonstrated, and fall into the habit of attributing even the most elegant of biological features to evolution without demonstrating how it could be so (see quote, top right of this page).  Some examples […]

What Mean These Bones?

Fossils found in unusual conditions and strange locations tell a silent story.  Humans often cannot resist making up their own versions of the plot.  Consider the following discoveries.  Listen to the stories told about them, and ask: what is the probability the stories are true?  How could we ever know?  Who is qualified to be […]

Flowering Plants Do Big Bang in Darwin’s Face

There’s a big bang in botany.  The flowering plants, reported Science Daily, “evolved very quickly into five groups.”     The claim is based on the investigation of plant genes by scientists in Florida.  Their work “showed that a stunning diversification of flowering plants they are referring to as the ‘Big Bang’ took place in […]
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