Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




FLORA AND FAUNA
Probing the mystery of the Venus fly trap's botanical bite
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 26, 2012


File image.

Plants lack muscles, yet in only a tenth of a second, the meat-eating Venus fly trap hydrodynamically snaps its leaves shut to trap an insect meal. This astonishingly rapid display of botanical movement has long fascinated biologists. Commercially, understanding the mechanism of the Venus fly trap's leaf snapping may one day help improve products such as release-on-command coatings and adhesives, electronic circuits, optical lenses, and drug delivery.

Now a team of French physicists from the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Aix-Marseille University in Marseille, France, is working to understand this movement.

They will present their findings at 65th meeting of the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) in San Diego, Calif.

The work extends findings by Dr. Yoel Forterre and researchers from Harvard University who discovered several years ago that the curvature of the Venus fly-trap's leaf changes while closing due to a snap-buckling instability in the leaf structure related to the shell-like geometry of the leaves.

Mathieu Colombani, Ph.D. student in Forterre's laboratory is now conducting experiments to elucidate the physical mechanisms behind this movement.

"The extremely high pressure inside the Venus fly trap cells prompted us to suspect that changes with a cell's pressure regime could be a key component driving this rapid leaf movement," he notes.

The Colombai team uses a microfluidic pressure probe to target and measure individual cells. This is a tricky experiment because it requires the living plant to be immobilized with dental silicone paste while the probe is inserted using a micromanipulator guided by binoculars. They take pressure measurements before and after leaf closure.

They also measure cell wall elasticity by injecting or removing a known amount of liquid and recording the cellular responses, as well as take other measurements.

"By measuring osmotic pressure and elasticity of leaf cells we hope to come closer to explaining the snapping mechanism," Colombani explains.

.


Related Links
American Institute of Physics
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FLORA AND FAUNA
New species literally spend decades on the shelf
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 26, 2012
Many of the world's most unfamiliar species are just sitting around on museum shelves collecting dust. That's according to a report in the Cell Press journal Current Biology showing that it takes more than 20 years on average before a species, newly collected, will be described. It's a measure the researchers refer to as the species' "shelf life," and that long shelf life means that any co ... read more


FLORA AND FAUNA
Sandy costs top $42 bn in New York: governor

Haitian president talks quake relief with Pope Benedict XVI

Storm gives New Yorkers new family - each other

Victims of Hurricane Sandy forgotten in Haiti

FLORA AND FAUNA
Better protection for forging dies

DataWind denies Aakash tablet cheap Chinese import

Scotch tape finds new use as grasping 'smart material'

New structures self-assemble in synchronized dance

FLORA AND FAUNA
China facing looming water shortages

Brazil state bank to invest $11 billion in Amazon dam

Researchers identify a simple way to precipitate phosphorus from the wastewater of a pulp mill

Warming to shift heavy rainfall patterns in the UK

FLORA AND FAUNA
Greenland's viking settlers gorged on seals

Ocean currents play a role in predicting extent of Arctic sea ice

Scientists say new signs of global warming in Russian Arctic

Warming Temperatures Will Change Greenland's Face

FLORA AND FAUNA
Saving Water without Hurting Peach Production

Pear genome provides new insight into breeding improvement and evolutionary trace analysis

Herbivore defense in ferns

Flower power to purge poison and produce platinum

FLORA AND FAUNA
800 homes flooded as Britain soaked by more heavy rain

USA's ancient hurricane belt and the US-Canada equator

More eruptions tipped as N. Zealand volcano disrupts flights

Rain-battered Britain braces for floods

FLORA AND FAUNA
DR Congo president sacks chief of land forces

DRC: M23 gains spark fears of wider war

Sudan army confirms it attacked near S. Sudan border

Nigeria to send 600 troops to Mali: defence minister

FLORA AND FAUNA
A 3-D light switch for the brain

Scientists improve dating of early human settlement

Oldest home in Scotland unearthed

Archaeologists identify spear tips used in hunting a half-million years ago




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement