plants stories

 
Bacteria are a nasty bunch, creating infections from the common to the horrific. Not only that, but they lurk pretty much everywhere. Now they may have met their match in a film created by Harvard scientists that is so slippery, it fools bacteria into thinking they can't attach there and grow. Major score for science!
 
There's absolutely no reason to do something peacefully and by hand when you could do it violently, with lasers, instead. Germany agrees, and scientists there are developing a system that replaces the task of pulling weeds with a system of plant-pulverizing semi-autonomous laser cannons.
 
They say that leaves don't grow on trees, and they're right: leaves grow in labs. Labs at MIT, where some exceptionally clever biochemists have reinvented the ol' tree finger and turned it into something that's useful for more than something to keep giraffes in business: this artificial leaf can take sunlight and convert it straight into hydrogen and oxygen.
 
In keeping with the old proverb that rolling stones gather no moss, this stationary table not only gathers plenty of moss, but gathers plenty of electricity as well, hacking into the photosynthesizing plants to harvest enough power to keep small devices like clocks charged up and happy.
 
Plantagon, a Swedish company that makes greenhouses, is happy to remind us all that by 2050, nine billion people will be living on Earth, seven billion of them will be living in cities, and every single one of them is going to be hungry a lot of the time. Plantagon has the solution in the form of skyscrapers for plants. Tasty plants. And they're building one.
 
Pitcher plants make a living by drowning insects inside special cup-shaped leaves and then feeding on their remains. To get the insects to fall in and stay in, the plants have evolved an exceptionally slippery substance to coat their leaves, and a new synthetic material that mimics this substance is ten times slipperier than the next best thing.

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