Tag Archives | defense

Russia Says Its Space Troops Are “Not Ready To Fight Extraterrestrials”

outerspaceI’m glad that at least some governments are thinking about this. Russia Today reports:

Despite being called Russia’s space troops, they are not ready to deal with invasions by aliens from outer space, according to a statement by a Russian defense official.

In a surprising move, an apparently serious journalist raised this question of extraterrestrial security during a media conference at the Titov Main Test and Space Systems Control Center near Moscow, Russia’s main satellite control center.

“So far we are not capable of that. We are unfortunately not ready to fight extraterrestrial civilizations,” the center’s deputy chief Sergey Berezhnoy explained.

Titov space center, which is run by Russia’s Aerospace Defense Troops, controls around 80 percent of the country’s satellite fleet, both military and civilian. Russia’s space troops, in their current form, were created in 2011 through the integration of several military branches responsible for…control of outer space.

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Fruits and Veggies Can Be “Trained” to Defend against Herbivores

attack_of_the_killer_tomatoesJane J. Lee writes at National Geographic:

A study published online today in the journal Current Biology found that store-bought cabbage, lettuce, spinach, zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, and blueberries respond to light-dark cycles up to about a week after harvest.

And when the produce was kept on the same light-dark cycle as a predator—cabbage looper moth caterpillars (Trichoplusia ni)—it was better able to resist attacks.

Circadian clocks tell plants when the seasons change due to variations in day length, saidJanet Braam, a plant biologist at Rice University in Houston, Texas. But the clock is also critical in plant defenses against insects.

“[Plants] know when the insects eat,” said Braam, who is a co-author on the recent study, “so they can prepare a defense in advance.”

Braam and colleagues knew that levels of protective compounds called glucosinolates were under the control of the circadian clock in a plant called Arabidopsis.

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