u dont like me

anonymous asked:

is it possible that plants have consciousness?

this is actually a small sub branch of botany thats been growing and gaining some recognition in the past 5 years or so called plant cognition! we’ve been thinking about if plants can possibly be intelligent to any degree for centuries, but the main paper that started up this huge discussion in the modern era was one called Experience Teaches Plants to Learn Faster and Forget Slower in Environments Where It Matters by Monica Gagliano, a plant researcher in Australia who specializes in it. because the results indicated that plants were possible of learning and retaining information in a kind of memory in response to environmental changes, it received a lot of backlash and denial- generally in science, that kind of intelligent reaction to an organism’s environment is a good indicator of cognitive behavior in the organism. it got rejected by 10 different journals before being published in 2014. 

the experiment worked like this. i’ve talked before about mimosa pudica, a tropical plant that curls its leaves back when touched (they go back to normal in a few minutes):

this is to help deter predators among other things. but in this experiment, Gagliano used it as an indicator of stimulus and to test cognitive function. It’s well known that pudica has a rudimentary nervous system that can even be temporarily inhibited using anesthetics (just like ours can!). she hooked up a ton of these plants in pots to identical rail systems that allowed them to be lightly dropped in an identical way, juuuuust heavy enough to trigger the stimulus so all the leaves drop down when they hit the bottom (a piece of foam so they wouldn’t actually hurt the plants). every time the plants would be dropped, they would close up. 

but after the plants were dropped about 60 times each, they stopped responding to the drop. 

they remembered that no harm was coming from this action and decided that it was against their best interests to keep expending energy closing their leaves. they 200% learned to stop. 

she decided to test it further. she put some of the plants in a shaker and let them receive a more jarring response; the plants closed up as usual. then, she put them back in the droppers and dropped them again. they didn’t close up. they had remembered that response. this dispels the obvious rebuttal to this experiment of the plants just being tired; they still closed up when stimulated differently.

they just chose not to close up when they hit a stimulus they remembered. 

it turns out that not only could they remember to keep their leaves open when dropped on the apparatus, but they remembered after 28 days when she kept testing it!! apparently by the end of the experiment, all the plants had decided to keep their leaves open when dropped!!!!

how do they do this?? we literally dont know. they have no central brain, only a basic nervous system. can other plants do this??? 

well, adding onto that, venus fly traps can count! like. they have three hairs inside their traps, and all three must be touched within 20 seconds for the trap to close. once closed, those three trigger hairs must continue to be stimulated by thrashing prey, or the trap will reopen. 

so yeah like. basically ‘are they sentient’: apparently to an extent???? we dont know exactly why or how but they are??? maybe???? sort of????? at least some of them are?? but they dont have a brain so everyones like????????????????????? maybe its through a signaling network????????????????? but like how would that even work?????????

plant consciousness is still new enough to be dismissed as crazy by a lot of biologists but like. the evidence is there. we don’t know a whole lot and its clearly a radically different kind of intelligence than we know in animals, but it’s there and we 200% dont know how it works yet or even the full extent of how plants use this intelligence (for example: does a redwood have the same intelligence as a venus fly trap?? how does it learn things and use that knowledge???) 

national geographic wrote an awesome article visualizing the experiment here if you want to read more!

Painted a hurt Fenris and Hawke sneaked in there to kiss him better - went from pure angst to 100% fluff, I do not regret.


northern downpour - panic! at the disco

  • (somewhere in a space rebel base idk)
  • Lance over the comms: Pidge come quick! We found your brother!!
  • Matt: ...... what the fuck's a pidge

<<  5pm alps >>

A handy list of poisons for writing reference, provided to you by me, Bella

Poisoning is one of the oldest murder tactics in the books. It was the old equalizer, and while it’s often associated with women, historically men are no less likely to poison you. This is not a guide on how to poison people, you banana bunches, it’s a guide on writing about poisons in fiction so you don’t end up on a watch list while researching them. I’ve taken that hit for you. You’re welcome. These are just a few of the more classic ones.

  • Hemlock: Hemlock (conium maculatum) is one of the more famous ones, used in ancient times most notably in Socrates’ forced suicide execution. So it goes. The plant has bunches of small, white flowers, and can grow up to ten feet tall. It’s a rather panicky way to die, although it wouldn’t show: hemlock is a paralytic, so the cause of death is most often asphyxiation due to respiratory paralysis, although the mind remains unaffected and aware.
  • Belladonna: Atropa belladonna is also called deadly nightshade. It has pretty, trumpet-shaped purple flowers and dark, shiny berries that actually look really delicious which is ironic since it’s the most toxic part of the plant. The entire plant is poisonous, mind you, but the berries are the most. One of the most potent poisons in its hemisphere, it was used as a beauty treatment, so the story says, and rubbed into the eyes to make the eyes dilate and the cheeks flush. Hench the name beautiful lady. The death is more lethargic than hemlock, although its symptoms are worse: dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, tachycardia, loss of balance, staggering, headache, rash, flushing, severely dry mouth and throat, slurred speech, urinary retention, constipation, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, and convulsions. It’s toxic to animals, but cattle and rabbits can eat it just fine, for some reason. 
  • Arsenic: Arsenic comes from a metalloid and not a plant, unlike the others here, but it’s easily the most famous and is still used today. Instead of being distilled from a plant, chunks of arsenic are dug up or mined. It was once used as a treatment for STDs, and also for pest control and blacksmithing, which was how many poisoners got access to it. It was popular in the middle ages because it looked like a cholera death, due to acute symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhea, confusion, convulsions, vomiting, and death. Slow poisoning looked more like a heart attack. The Italians famously claimed that a little arsenic improved the taste of wine.
  • Strychnine: Strychnine (strick-nine) is made from the seed of strychnos nux vomica and causes poisoning which results in muscular convulsions and eventually death through asphyxia. Convulsions appear after inhalation or injection—very quickly, within minutes—and take somewhat longer to manifest after ingestion, around approximately 15 minutes. With a very high dose, brain death can occur in 15 to 30 minutes. If a lower dose is ingested, other symptoms begin to develop, including seizures, cramping, stiffness, hypervigilance, and agitation. Seizures caused by strychnine poisoning can start as early as 15 minutes after exposure and last 12 – 24 hours. They are often triggered by sights, sounds, or touch and can cause other adverse symptoms, including overheating, kidney failure, metabolic and respiratory acidosis. During seizures, abnormal dilation, protrusion of the eyes, and involuntary eye movements may occur. It is also slightly hallucinogenic and is sometimes used to cut narcotics. It also notably has no antidote. In low doses, some use it as a performance enhancer.
  • Curare: Chondrodendron tomentosum is lesser known than its famous cousins, but kills in a very similar way to hemlock. It is slow and terrible, as the victim is aware and the heart may beat for many minutes after the rest of the body is paralyzed. If artificial respiration is given until the poison subsides, the victim will survive.
  • WolfsbaneAconitum has several names; Monkshood, aconite, Queen of Poisons, women’s bane, devil’s helmet) and is a pretty, purple plant with gourd-shaped flowers. The root is the most potent for distillation. Marked symptoms may appear almost immediately, usually not later than one hour, and with large doses death is near instantaneous. Death usually occurs within two to six hours in fatal poisoning. The initial signs are gastrointestinal including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is followed by a sensation of burning, tingling, and numbness in the mouth and face, and of burning in the abdomen. In severe poisonings pronounced motor weakness occurs and sensations of tingling and numbness spread to the limbs. The plant should be handled with gloves, as the poison can seep into the skin.
  • FoxgloveDigitalis is large with trumpet-shaped flowers that can be many colors, but usually a pinkish shade. It may have from the term foxes-glew, which translated to fairy music. Intoxication causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as sometimes resulting in xanthopsia (jaundiced or yellow vision) and the appearance of blurred outlines (halos), drooling, abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, weakness, collapse, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, and even death. Slowed heartbeat also occurs. Because a frequent side effect of digitalis is reduction of appetite and the mortality rate is low, some individuals have used the drug as a weight-loss aid. It looks a bit like comfrey, which is an aid for inflammation. Make sure not to confuse the two.