The first new carnivorous plant identified in 20 years is causing quite a stir among botanists and brings to mind the movie, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.
Not only does it trap and eat its prey, but it was discovered right here in our own backyard.
The Triantha occidentalis may seem like the perfect place to perch if you’re an insect, but get trapped in its sticky hairs, and it will suck the nutrients from your dead corpse.
The new plant was discovered by the University of British Columbia and University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers.
“Carnivorous plants have fascinated people since the Victorian era because they turn the usual order of things on its head: this is a plant-eating animals,” said co-author Dr. Sean Graham, a professor in the department of botany at UBC. “We’re thrilled to have identified one growing right here in our own backyard on the west coast.”
The plant grows in nutrient-poor, boggy but bright areas on the west coast of North America, from California to Alaska. For the study, the researchers investigated specimens growing on Cypress Mountain in North Vancouver, British Columbia.
The research builds on previous work in Dr. Graham’s lab, which found that Triantha lacked a particular gene that is often missing in other carnivorous plants.
In order to investigate if the plant was indeed partial to snacking on insects, Dr. Lin attached fruit flies labelled with nitrogen-15 isotopes to its flowering stem. The label acted like a tracking device, allowing Dr. Lin to trace changes in nitrogen uptake by the plant.
He then compared the results with those from similar experiments on other species that grow in the same area, including a recognized carnivorous plant (a sundew) and several non-carnivorous plants as controls.
Isotopic analysis showed significant uptake of nitrogen by Triantha, which obtained more than half its nitrogen from prey –comparable to sundews in the same habitat, and other carnivorous plants elsewhere.
The study also found that the sticky hairs on the Triantha flower stalk produce phosphatase, a digestive enzyme used by many carnivorous plants to obtain phosphorous from prey.
But if you’re tempted to recreate the film, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, or bring Triantha home to deal with pesky summer fruit flies, the researchers warn the plant doesn’t do well outside of its natural environment and advise admiring its quirks from a distance.
SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Crew Shares Photos of Earth from Space – Beebom
If you are a space enthusiast like myself, I’m sure you love the mesmerizing views of the Earth from space shared by astronauts. Having said that, chances are you will love the breathtaking pictures recently shared by the astronauts in SpaceX’s Inspiration4 spacecraft, which took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on September 15. It safely returned to Earth today.
The seven-seater SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft was recently launched from the Kennedy space center. Following the launch, astronauts from the Inspiration4 spacecraft shared four orbital photos of the Earth. You can check out the tweet right below.
The photos were taken from the cupola of the spacecraft, which is a dome-shaped, transparent viewing area that allows astronauts to get a unique glimpse of our planet from space. Not just that, SpaceX Inspiration4’s astronauts also shared a short video showing the sunset. You can check it out right here:
The astronauts include the Shift4 Payments CEO and founder Jared Isaacman, who financed the space mission and is currently the acting commander of the spacecraft, Air Force veteran Christopher Sembroski, physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux, and geoscientist Dr. Sian Proctor.
Now, it is worth mentioning that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft can carry seven people onboard. However, the Inspiration4 mission only includes four astronauts aboard the spacecraft. As per reports, following the launch, the Inspiration4 spacecraft has now completed 15 orbits around Earth and is expected to complete a full orbit of the Earth every 90 minutes. If you want to monitor the progress of the flight, you can go to SpaceX’s official tracking website.
More space tourism to come after Inspiration4 crew returns from successful mission | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca
World's first space tourists splash down in their SpaceX capsule after three days in orbit – Yahoo Eurosport UK
Four space tourists safely splashed down in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida on Saturday, ending their trailblazing trip into orbit.
Their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the ocean just before sunset, not far from where their chartered flight began three days earlier.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk took them on as the company’s first rocket-riding tourists.
The fully automated Dragon capsule reached an unusually high altitude of miles 585km after Wednesday night’s liftoff, that’s 160km above the International Space Station.
The passengers were able to take in views of Earth through a big bubble-shaped window added to the top of the capsule.
For more on this story, watch the full report in the media player above.
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