Wi-fi sensor gives your dying plants a voice to plead for help

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Is you plant smiling or dying?

If you’ve been using Koubachi’s iOS app to remember when it’s time to water your plants, the company’s new wireless sensor will give your greenery an even better fighting chance of survival if you’re lacking a green thumb.

Whereas the app used your location, the local soil conditions, and the type of plant to make an educated guess as to when it needed watering, misting, or fertilization. Koubachi’s new Wi-fi plant sensor takes the guesswork out of the equation, automatically measuring moisture, temperature, and light…

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Scientists resurrected a plant that died 32,000 years ago

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A plant has been generated from the fruit of the narrow-leafed campion.

Russian scientists have resurrected an arctic flower, the narrow-leafed campion, that died 32,000 years ago, which would make it the oldest plant ever grown from ancient tissue…

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5 things plants do better than us

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Plants simply do some things better.

We need more trees in our cities. But our cities also need to become more like trees.

The other day I posted on why environmentalists must think like pro-athletes, inspired in part by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work on optimal experience. As I finish up his book, I was struck by another observation—namely that the task of finding meaning in an individual’s life can be directly compared to the role of plants as “dissipative structures—organisms that collect diffuse energy from the sun and transform it into highly complex, dynamic structures.

It seems to me that the challenge of building community is very similar. We could, as a culture, do a lot worse than to learn from plants…

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MIT creates solar panels from leaves and grass


Photosynthesizing Solar Cells

Andreas Mershin, a researcher at MIT, has created solar panels from agricultural waste such as cut grass and dead leaves. Mershin says in a few years it will be possible to stir some grass clippings into a bag of cheap chemicals, paint the mixture on your roof, and immediately start producing electricity.

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Urban Cultivator compact garden


Fresh herbs taste better than their dried counterparts, and there is no denying that garden-fresh veggies are preferable to ones that have spent the past several days in a truck or on a supermarket shelf. People who are lucky enough to live in warmer climates can keep the fresh greens coming year-round, if they plant a garden. For those of us in colder regions, however, things get a bit more challenging come winter. We can rig up indoor herb gardens on windowsills or using full-spectrum fluorescent lights, but that can sometimes get a little complicated. If you can justify its price, however, there is an alternative – the Urban Cultivator. (Pics)

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Carbon dioxide Is ‘driving fish crazy’

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Rising human carbon dioxide emissions may be affecting the brains and central nervous system of sea fishes.

Rising human carbon dioxide emissions may be affecting the brains and central nervous system of sea fishes with serious consequences for their survival, an international scientific team has found…

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Christmas Tree Syndrome – your Christmas tree may be making your sick


Christmas trees could be to blame for a range of health complaints over the holiday season.

Don’t be too quick to judge those who feel under the weather over the holiday season – rather than seasonal overindulgence, it could be their Christmas tree making them ill.


New discovery on how sugars are moved throughout a plant

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An image of the localization of the identified protein in the molecular pump in the vascalature of a plant leaf.

Food prices are soaring at the same time as Earth’s population is nearing 9 billion. As a result the need for increased crop yields is extremely important. New research led by Carnegie’s Wolf Frommer into the system by which sugars are moved throughout a plant — from the leaves to the harvested portions and elsewhere — could be crucial for addressing this problem…

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