Friday, 22 January 2016

You Can Always Count on Us?


An odd report that the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) can apparently 'count' in order avoid wasting 'energy' whilst attempting to catch flies, in order to provide scarce nitrogen (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/21/venus-flytraps-able-to-count-in-order-to-avoid-false-alarms-study-finds). I think that this is an odd use of the word count. This vegetable predator doesn't have anything like a nervous system to calculate with but it employs systems with its thigomosensitive (touch-sensitive) hairs and its closure mechanisms (which largely involve rapid movements of water) where priming occurs. One touch to get ready, Two touches to close and More to produce digestive systems.

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Pat Bateson

I have just noted the obituary of Sir Patrick Bateson 1938-2017 ( https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/14/sir-patrick-bateson-ob...