Agriculture
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Silk’s superpowers
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Toads
Frogs and Toads
Animals
A Wild Ferret Rise
The Littlest Lemurs
Gliders in the Family
Behavior
Puberty gone wild
Brain cells take a break
Slumber by the numbers
Birds
Kookaburras
Quails
Waterfowl
Chemistry and Materials
The hottest soup in New York
The science of disappearing
Screaming for Ice Cream
Computers
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
A Light Delay
Small but WISE
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino Babies
Early Birds Ready to Rumble
A Rainforest Trapped in Amber
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Digging into a Tsunami Disaster
Detecting an Eerie Sea Glow
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Environment
A Change in Time
Missing Tigers in India
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Finding the Past
Big Woman of the Distant Past
Fakes in the museum
Salt and Early Civilization
Fish
Electric Catfish
Salmon
White Tip Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Strong Bones for Life
Eat Out, Eat Smart
A Taste for Cheese
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Capitalization Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Mastering The GSAT Exam
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Math of the World
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Human Body
A Better Flu Shot
A Long Haul
Germ Zapper
Invertebrates
Invertebrates
Shrimps
Moths
Mammals
African Wild Dog
Lhasa Apsos
Spectacled Bear
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
How children learn
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
Speedy stars
Extra Strings for New Sounds
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Plants
Springing forward
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Reptiles
Tortoises
Black Mamba
Sea Turtles
Space and Astronomy
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
Slip-sliding away
A Moon's Icy Spray
Technology and Engineering
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
A Light Delay
Algae Motors
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Verb?
Problems with Prepositions
Transportation
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Troubles with Hubble
Robots on a Rocky Road
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Add your Article

How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut

The blink-of-an-eye closing of a Venus flytrap's leaf on a hapless fly is one of the fastest movements in the plant kingdom. Now, after more than a century of wondering how these flesh-eating plants do it, scientists have come up with a possible explanation. The secret isn't muscle; it's geometry. The shape and structure of a Venus flytrap's leaf allows it to snap up juicy insect morsels in just a tenth of a second, say researchers from Harvard University, Rockefeller University, and the University of Provence. Lots of plants move, but their movements are usually very slow. It can take days for flower buds to open and hours for leaves to respond to sunlight. Flytraps snap shut much more rapidly. Mathematician Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan had long wondered how flytraps are able to react so quickly. Then, a researcher he works with gave him one of the plants for his office, and he decided to find out what's going on. Mahadevan and his colleagues painted fluorescent dots on the curved leaves of a group of flytraps and measured the leaves using a microscope. The researchers also took high-speed videos of the plants in action. The pictures and measurements showed what happens after an insect or some other object lands on a leaf and triggers it. First, cells on the outside surface of the plant's leaves get longer, while cells on the inside surface don't change. This makes the leaves want to curl inward. The oppositely curved shape of an open leaf, however, causes it to resist the inward push. The team's measurements showed that pressure builds up for about a second, until the leaf can't take it anymore. Then, the leaf takes just a fraction of a second to snap shut. Scientists suspect that the same mechanism may trigger rapid motion in other plants. Engineers could also try taking advantage of this effect when they're designing new sensors, valves, or other devices.—E. Sohn

How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™