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News

Here’s How This Plant Might Help Scientists Grow Food On Mars

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Pretty soon, we’re going to have to leave this planet behind. While we quickly work to make Mars habitable, scientists are currently studying a plant they believe will help us learn to to grow food on the harsh planet.

The Wall Street Journal reports that scientists have found and isolated the DNA sequence of the Nicotiana benthamiana, an ancient tobacco plant from Australia. The plant has a genetic trait that helps it survive in harsh environments. Figuring out how to shut down its immune system, scientists are now able to let the plant focus on self-seeding and growing quickly.

Much like Australia, space doesn’t have any pathogens for plants to worry about getting sick from. The WSJ says that because they’re no longer focused on fighting disease, the plants will focus all their energy into growing fast and surviving the harsh environments.

Thanks to this discovery, we might soon be able to grow food on Mars.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Science Discovers That Plants Know When They Are Being Eaten — And They Don’t Like It

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There’s some news that vegans and vegetarians everywhere should know: Plants are smart enough to know when they are being eaten and take action to stop it because they obviously don’t want to die.

According to a 2014 study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri, plants have the intelligence to feel the specific vibrations caused from pests eating them and react to ward off or kill them by releasing a mildly toxic chemical to stop them.

The tests were conducted on thale cress, a plant closely related to broccoli, kale and mustard greens. Thale cress is widely used for testing because it was the first plant to have its entire genome sequenced, giving researchers intimate knowledge on how the plant works.

Research scientists Heidi Appel, who co-conducted the study, explained:

“Previous research has investigated how plants respond to acoustic energy, including music. However, our work is the first example of how plants respond to an ecologically relevant vibration.”

Researchers took precise audio of caterpillars eating thale and created other sequences to mimic other natural vibrations like blowing wind. When the caterpillar vibrations were felt, the thale cress released mustard oil to ward off predators, but the plants didn’t react to the other natural vibrations. Appel explained:

“We found that feeding vibrations signal changes in the plant cells’ metabolism, creating more defensive chemicals that can repel attacks from caterpillars.”

So nothing that is alive likes to be killed and eaten. Who would have guessed?

Written by the folks at NextShark || h/t: Business Insider

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Packaged Food

Planters Is Releasing A Limited Edition S’MORES Nut Mix

Planters-Smores

We’ve seen tons of wacky flavors when it came to peanut mixes, but we’ve yet to see anyone create a s’mores option. Yep, you can now capture the magic of a warm campfire experience in a tiny tin can. Just make sure you don’t have peanut allergies.

Planters Peanuts is releasing a new S’mores & Nut Mix. Yes, s’mores and nuts will be available together in one snack-sized tin. Filled with peanuts, cocoa almonds, pieces of chocolate, yogurt-covered grahams and marshmallows. The sweet new nut mix is said to pack a decent amount of protein for your diet. Also, you can’t go wrong with marshmallows.

Available for a limited time, the S’mores & Nut Mix is sold in both 6.5-oz re-sealable bags for $2.99 or 16-oz cans for $7.99.

 

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Hit-Or-Miss

Coca-Cola’s New Bottle Is Made Entirely Of Plant Waste

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It looks like Coca-Cola has become a little a lot more greener. The company announced the world’s first plastic bottle that said to be made entirely from plants. The PlantBottle was unveiled at the World Expo in Milan.

Using Coca-Cola tech, the bottles are made with with sugarcane and converted sugarcane waste. The sugarcane replaces the petroleum that was originally found in the bottles.

According to the company’s release, PlantBottle is supposed to keep the same qualities as the beverage’s normal packaging. However, it has the added benefits of being made with renewable features. After the beverage company’s announcement, we expect to see competing brands announce a similar concept in the months to come.

It’s only natural.

Coca-Cola hopes to use fully implement use of the PlantBottle in all its products by 2020.

 

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Products

Plantable ‘BREAK UP BEANS’ Are The New Worst Way To End Your Relationship

Break-Up-Beans

Breaking up via text is pretty much the worst way to end a relationship. Until now! ThinkGeek is selling these Break Up Beans. It’s a kit that includes all the things you need to let your significant other know that you are dunzo with a living, breathing plant.

The beans take about 5 days to pop out, revealing the messages “It’s Over” and “Let’s Be Friends.” Just the right amount of time to skip town, change your name, and start afresh with someone new. But Karma? Oh, karma will getcha. It might be the following month or it could be years down the road, but it’ll getcha. Watch your back. Jk jk, sorry, I’ve just always wanted to say that.

Written by Brittany High of IncredibleThings

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Hit-Or-Miss

Kale, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and Cabbage are All the Same Species

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It turns out that most of the healthy dark green veggies we love all trace their roots (hehe) back to the same mustard plant, brassica oleraceaThe family includes cabbage, kale, collards, cauliflower, romanesco broccoli, kohlrabi, and brussels sprouts, each variety chosen for certain traits like flower buds, large leaves, and edible stems. And yes, the process is quite similar to breeding puggles to labradoodles.

In its uncultivated form, brassica oleracea is known as wild cabbage. So try updating a raw kale salad with some broccoli or brussels sprouts thrown in. If all the ingredients are from the same family, they’ve got to get along right?

H/T + PicThx Reddit