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Plants capable of complex arithmetic

Posted on Sunday, 23 June, 2013 | Comment icon 26 comments

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Scientists have discovered evidence that plants are capable of complex mathematical calculations.

The startling revelation relates to the way in which plants carry out calculations each night in order to ration their stores of starch until the Sun comes up. To do this, they divide the amount of starch by the number of hours left until the morning, thus allowing them to avoid starvation. The find is the first known example of such calculations being conducted in nature without the use of brain cells.

"The capacity to perform arithmetic calculation is vital for plant growth and productivity," said biologist Prof Alison Smith. "The calculations are precise so that plants prevent starvation but also make the most efficient use of their food. If the starch store is used too fast, plants will starve and stop growing during the night. If the store is used too slowly, some of it will be wasted."

"In order to keep themselves going in the absence of sunlight, plants perform division equations throughout the night to ration their stores of starch until the moment the sun reappears."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (26)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by Xanthurion2 on 24 June, 2013, 9:52
Interesting. So division is complex arithmetic now?
Comment icon #18 Posted by paperdyer on 24 June, 2013, 13:33
Based on this I'm sure a new group PEToP (People for the Ethical Treatment of Plants) will want us not to get plants becasue they have intelligence to do math. No meat, no plants, what will we eat?
Comment icon #19 Posted by danielost on 24 June, 2013, 23:00
It is if you don't have a brain. I have already disregarded vegaterians. I figure if you don't want at babies, then you can only eat fruit.'. Fruit is the only thing produced by nature to be eaten. A fruit in this case is anything with a seed in or on it. If you eat grains or beans your eating baby plants. Also along with eating fruit you can't use the toilet, you have to outside. So you can spreed the seeds you eat.
Comment icon #20 Posted by the L on 25 June, 2013, 13:12
danielost, I wonder what would vegaterians say on Mimosa Pudica?...Communication?
Comment icon #21 Posted by the L on 25 June, 2013, 13:24
Comment icon #22 Posted by the L on 25 June, 2013, 13:41
Comment icon #23 Posted by the L on 25 June, 2013, 13:42
Plants are VERY much alive and they have sense of awareness. I read once that some plants hybernate if you kill any live organism in a room. Like ant. Plants become "quite" for period of time. Even when you break egg for breakfast.
Comment icon #24 Posted by mfluder on 25 June, 2013, 17:35 they don't. This is a biochemical process, which may be incredibly precise, but plants are not using division to come to conclusions about the level of starch they should intake per unit of time. They are quickly adjusting to the levels of light they get, just like any plant that hopes to survive on Earth. That's a pretty big jump to understanding a base 10 number system and orders of operation.
Comment icon #25 Posted by danielost on 25 June, 2013, 23:13
I don't think the scientists were emplying an of that. They just want to justify the money they throw asway on this mn research.
Comment icon #26 Posted by shrooma on 9 July, 2013, 9:40
. each other.

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