Plants


Via Wired, Dornith Doherty’s photographs offer a glimpse inside several of humanity’s vital seed-saving facilities, where samples of our planet’s flora are stored and protected in case of future mass extinction (be…


[disinfo ed.’s note: the following is an excerpt from The Protein Myth: Significantly reducing the Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease, Stoke and Diabetes while Saving the Animals and the Planet courtesy of…







Our green, leafy friends lack faces and voices, but below the surface, they possess a surprising sensitivity and a desperate will to remain alive and unharmed. The New York Times questions the…


Bomb Detecting PlantSpencer Ackerman writes on WIRED’s Danger Room:

The next hydrangea you grow could literally save your life. With the help of the Department of Defense, a biologist at Colorado State University has taught plant proteins how to detect explosives. Never let it be said that horticulture can’t fight terrorism.

Picture this at an airport, perhaps in as soon as four years: A terrorist rolls through the sliding doors of a terminal with a bomb packed into his luggage (or his underwear). All of a sudden, the leafy, verdant gardenscape ringing the gates goes white as a sheet. That’s the proteins inside the plants telling authorities that they’ve picked up the chemical trace of the guy’s arsenal.


The Earth could lose more than one fifth of all known plants — forever! Story from the Guardian: One in five of the world’s plant species – the basis of all life…






The LA Times profiles Christopher Nyerges, founder of the School of Self-Reliance and an expert on how to survive on food he finds in the urban wild:

Nyerges, who has been teaching for more than 30 years, says that it isn’t uncommon for hard-core survivalists to take his class, as well as people with end-of-the-world-related fears. “There have been individuals who have been seriously upset about things over the years. During Y2K they were petrified; now I get a lot of that with the 2012 baloney,” he says, referring to what some believe is the Mayan calendar’s end date.

“I tell people that society is not going to change, only the individual can change and that’s the source of calm that comes from true self-reliance,” he continues. “I’m convinced I will never go hungry, I’ll never be homeless, I’ll never be broke…


As those of you who regularly visit this site know, the “global warming / climate change” debate is one of the most contentious issues on this site, with I have observed, equal numbers on chiming in on both sides of this issue.

Having seen the range of opinion, and paid close attention to the veracity of opinion on this particular issue with disinfo.com readers, I have been meaning to share this article I came across from the informative editor-in-chief over at io9.com, Annalee Newitz.

On face value, this article most reminds me of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening:




Michael Moyer writes in Scientific American:

As nature’s own solar cells, plants convert sunlight into energy via photosynthesis. New details are emerging about how the process is able to exploit the strange behavior of quantum systems, which could lead to entirely novel approaches to capturing usable light from the sun.

All photosynthetic organisms use protein-based “antennas” in their cells to capture incoming light, convert it to energy and direct that energy to reaction centers — critical trigger molecules that release electrons and get the chemical conversion rolling. These antennas must strike a difficult balance: they must be broad enough to absorb as much sunlight as possible yet not grow so large that they impair their own ability to shuttle the energy on to the reaction centers.

EntangledThis is where quantum mechanics becomes useful. Quantum systems can exist in a superposition, or mixture, of many different states at once. What’s more, these states can interfere with one another — adding constructively at some points, subtracting at others. If the energy going into the antennas could be broken into an elaborate superposition and made to interfere constructively with itself, it could be transported to the reaction center with nearly 100 percent efficiency.