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A Device To Smell Plants’ Pain

Scientists are using an electronic nose tailored to eavesdrop on plants that have been damaged or are under attack. The nose successfully discriminated among the various distress signals different plants emit, depending on the pests plaguing them.

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A Walk In Nature Heals The Mind

When we compared the scores for the walks in different environments, we found that after the walk in the park children generally concentrated better than they did after a walk in the downtown area or the neighborhood area. The greenest space was best at improving attention after exposure.

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Shade Grown Coffee Reduces Global Warming

Shady farms have greater water availability than sunny farms, due in part to lower evaporation rates from the coffee plants and soils. More shade also reduced peak temperatures between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when southern Mexican coffee plants experience the greatest heat stress.

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If Bananas Were Spheres and Tomatoes Were Cylinders

What is the difference between apples and oranges? Why is a banana shaped like a banana? The question might seem esoteric, suitable only for researchers with ovate-shaped heads. But the answer, if it can be fully formed, promises profound and widespread applications.

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Plants Take Their Own Aspirin

Plants in a forest respond to stress by producing significant amounts of a chemical form of aspirin, scientists have discovered.

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The Trees Sing To Us And We Sing To The Trees

The ultrasonic din of dying trees inspires a new kind of research to save forests from beetle attacks — and battle climate change.

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Why Not Grow A Building?

Engineers and plant scientists… have taken their leafy designs to the next, and more practical and playful, level. Pilot projects under way… include streetlamps, gates and playground structures made entirely from trees, as well as hospital park benches that grow their own foliage for shade.

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Vine Design The Same The World Over

Vines were twisted in one direction not by global effects but by molecular-level biology… the fact that scientists had never noticed the preference of vines to twist to the left showed how little was known about the botanical world.

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Spicy Peppers Protect Themselves

The new research provides convincing evidence that the bitter and sometimes toxic chemicals found in many fruits serve to prevent microbial attack — a popular idea that has been difficult to demonstrate.

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A Crop To Combat Climate Change

Salicornia is a better photosynthesizer than wheat and some other grains… Salicornia (like sugarcane) laps up carbon dioxide better, does so in saline water, and gives oil&