Archive for February, 2015

Can Plants Feel Pain?

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Silent suffering

Silent suffering

Clearly, plants can communicate. But does that mean they can feel pain?

According to researchers at the Institute for Applied Physics at the University of Bonn in Germany, plants release gases that are the equivalent of crying out in pain. Using a laser-powered microphone, researchers have picked up sound waves produced by plants releasing gases when cut or injured. Although not audible to the human ear, the secret voices of plants have revealed that cucumbers scream when they are sick, and flowers whine when their leaves are cut [source: Deutsche Welle].

There’s also evidence that plants can hear themselves being eaten. Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that plants understand and respond to chewing sounds made by caterpillars that are dining on them. As soon as the plants hear the noises, they respond with several defense mechanisms [source: Feinberg].

For some researchers, evidence of these complex communication systems — emitting noises via gas when in distress — signals that plants feel pain. Others argue that there cannot be pain without a brain to register the feeling. Still more scientists surmise that plants can exhibit intelligent behavior without possessing a brain or conscious awareness [source: Pollan].

As they grow, plants can alter their trajectories to avoid obstacles or reach for support with their tendrils. This activity stems from a complex biological network distributed through the plants’ roots, leaves and stems. This network helps plants propagate, grow and survive. Trees in a forest, for instance, can warn their relatives of insect attacks.

One scientist injected fir trees with radioactive carbon isotopes and saw that within a few days the carbon had been sent from tree to tree until every tree in the 30-meter-square area was connected. The scientist learned that the mature trees “communicated” to the network to share nutrients through their root systems to feed nearby seedlings until they were tall enough to take in light for themselves.

Simultaneous And Coordinated Decisioning

Sunday, February 8th, 2015
A neighborhood phenomenon

A neighborhood phenomenon

I was observing a tree in my neighbourhood which didn’t have any leaves over last 4 weeks. Yesterday I saw lots of flowers springing from almost every branch on the same day. The whole tree filled with flowers in just 2 days.

How does this phenomenon of Simultaneous decisioning happens in plant without any central control system (Like brain) ?

If I extend this observations for spring even all the trees in spring flower almost in the same week. How do they orchestrate and synchronise among themselves without any governance structure?

Possible example of TOTAL EMPOWERMENT by nature from decision making to perfect execution.