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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Why plants are smarter than us

By Elizabeth Barber




JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) Comparing someone's intellect to that of a potted plant is no longer such an insult.


Scientists at the John Innes Centre, a British research institute that focuses on plants and microbiology, found that plants must do complex arithmetic to calculate the amount of food needed to get them through the long, dark night.


"This is the first concrete example in a fundamental biological process of such a sophisticated arithmetic calculation," said a JIC mathematical modeler, Martin Howard.


The new research, published in eLife, reports that mechanisms in plants' leaves estimate the size of the plant's starch store and the length of time before the sun rises and energy again becomes available. In daylight, plants use the sun's energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars and starches. Based on that information, the plant's leaves appropriately adjust their rate of starch consumption to avoid starving before the sun comes up, but without being wasteful and harboring too much starch. At the end of the night, the plants project to have used 95 percent of their starch.


The precise calculations account for variations in daylight and accumulated starch stores.


"The calculations are precise so that plants prevent starvation but also make the most efficient use of their food," said JIC metabolic biologist Alison Smith. "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."


Scientists proposed that information about the size of the starch store and nighttime-length is encoded in the concentrations of two kinds of molecules in the plant. The scientists have called those molecules S for starch and T for time. The S molecules stimulate starch consumption, and the T molecules inhibit that consumption, so the rate of starch consumption comes out to the ratio of S molecules to T molecules - or S/T.



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Scientists believe that further study of how plants regulate their starch consumption could give insights into more productive farming techniques.


"The capacity to perform arithmetic calculation is vital for plant growth and productivity," said Smith. "Understanding how plants continue to grow in the dark could help unlock new ways to boost crop yield."


So when faced with a tricky math problem, go ahead: vegetate.

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