Agriculture
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Making the most of a meal
Amphibians
Bullfrogs
Newts
Frogs and Toads
Animals
Thieves of a Feather
Walks on the Wild Side
Pothole Repair, Insect-style
Behavior
Pipefish power from mom
Surprise Visitor
Storing Memories before Bedtime
Birds
Flamingos
Swifts
Hummingbirds
Chemistry and Materials
Sweeeet! The Skinny on Sugar Substitutes
Bandages that could bite back
Silk’s superpowers
Computers
Galaxies far, far, far away
A Light Delay
Supersonic Splash
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin
Big Fish in Ancient Waters
Hunting by Sucking, Long Ago
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
The Rise of Yellowstone
Sky Dust Keeps Falling on Your Head
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Environment
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Eating Up Foul Sewage Smells
What is groundwater
Finding the Past
A Long Trek to Asia
Big Woman of the Distant Past
Your inner Neandertal
Fish
Basking Sharks
Trout
Goldfish
Food and Nutrition
The Color of Health
Making good, brown fat
Healing Honey
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Who vs. Whom
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Play for Science
Monkeys Count
Human Body
Tapeworms and Drug Delivery
A Better Flu Shot
A Fix for Injured Knees
Invertebrates
Millipedes
Scorpions
Tapeworms
Mammals
Golden Retrievers
Marmots
Pomeranians
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
How children learn
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
One ring around them all
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Road Bumps
Plants
Underwater Jungles
Getting the dirt on carbon
Fungus Hunt
Reptiles
Alligators
Anacondas
Komodo Dragons
Space and Astronomy
Pluto's New Moons
Planets on the Edge
A Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away
Technology and Engineering
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
Musclebots Take Some Steps
Smart Windows
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Robots on a Rocky Road
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
How to Fly Like a Bat
Weather
Watering the Air
Science loses out when ice caps melt
A Dire Shortage of Water
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™