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'Cherry tree from space' blooms years early

Posted on Saturday, 12 April, 2014 | Comment icon 24 comments

What caused the tree to blossom so early ? Image Credit: PD
Scientists have been left baffled by the accelerated growth of a seed that had spent a year in space.
A number of seeds, including cherry stones from Japan's 1,250-year-old "Chujo-hime-seigan-zakura" tree, had been sent up to the International Space Station as part of an experiment to see what affect space would have on the seeds and their subsequent growth.

After spending a year on the station the seeds were returned to the Earth where some were sent off to a lab for testing while others were planted. Surprisingly, one of the stones from the cherry tree that had been growing for four years suddenly burst in to bloom a full six years earlier than expected.

"There is the possibility that exposure to stronger cosmic rays accelerated the process of sprouting and overall growth," said plant physiologist Tomita-Yokotani.

"From a scientific point of view, we can only say we don't know why."

Source: Times of India | Comments (24)

Tags: Japan, Cherry, Seed

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 April, 2014, 3:30
That is why the "Cherry tree from space," is in inverted commas, so those that understand basic punctuation know not to take that part literally. Now that we have got that out of the way shall we get back on topic?
Comment icon #16 Posted by JGirl on 13 April, 2014, 3:40
uhhh yeah i get that
Comment icon #17 Posted by Hawkin on 13 April, 2014, 8:29
I bet the cherries will make one hell of a banana split.
Comment icon #18 Posted by qxcontinuum on 14 April, 2014, 1:53
"From a scientific point of view, we can only say we don't know why." say the scientists. Well because 99.99999%. Of life on earth and its cosmic origins is also not known despite science taking numerous claims of success in reserches on the matter.
Comment icon #19 Posted by FizzPuff on 14 April, 2014, 9:10
I wanna touch it! Also I bet the cherries taste awesome. I bet it smells pretty also :D
Comment icon #20 Posted by AZDZ on 14 April, 2014, 16:12
Yeah. You might even say, it may be out of this World. ;-p
Comment icon #21 Posted by JGirl on 15 April, 2014, 0:57
couldn't space conditions be simulated for the seeds that got sent out, rather than all the hubbaloo? also, the article is referring to one tree out of how many that is ahead of its schedule? i just don't think it is all that compelling.
Comment icon #22 Posted by DigitalDreamer on 18 April, 2014, 21:18
It's a sign
Comment icon #23 Posted by OverSword on 18 April, 2014, 21:35
See silent running
Comment icon #24 Posted by toast on 18 April, 2014, 22:26
No as micro gravity cannot be simulated on earth. Research projects like this on are carried out to investigate the options for onboard food production on long run space missions, like the Mars mission. On board food production will reduce the amount/weight of food that must be lifted off with the space craft from earth, resulting in a positive effect on the space crafts payload volume and propellant demand. Less weight=less propellant demand/weight=less lift off mass (Earth)=less deceleration mass (Mars)= less lift off mass (Mars)=less deceleration mass (Earth). In addition, the space craft... [More]

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