Plant Neurobiology

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Plant Neurobiology

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:19 pm

They injected fir trees with radioactive carbon isotopes, then followed the spread of the isotopes through the forest community using a variety of sensing methods, including a Geiger counter. Within a few days, stores of radioactive carbon had been routed from tree to tree. Every tree in a plot thirty metres square was connected to the network; the oldest trees functioned as hubs, some with as many as forty-seven connections. The diagram of the forest network resembled an airline route map.

The pattern of nutrient traffic showed how “mother trees” were using the network to nourish shaded seedlings, including their offspring—which the trees can apparently recognize as kin—until they’re tall enough to reach the light. And, in a striking example of interspecies coöperation, Simard found that fir trees were using the fungal web to trade nutrients with paper-bark birch trees over the course of the season. The evergreen species will tide over the deciduous one when it has sugars to spare, and then call in the debt later in the season. For the forest community, the value of this coöperative underground economy appears to be better over-all health, more total photosynthesis, and greater resilience in the face of disturbance.

In his talk, Mancuso juxtaposed a slide of the nodes and links in one of these subterranean forest networks with a diagram of the Internet, and suggested that in some respects the former was superior. “Plants are able to create scalable networks of self-maintaining, self-operating, and self-repairing units,” he said. “Plants.”


http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013 ... ntPage=all
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Simon E. » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:39 pm

Extraordinary.
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby padma norbu » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:53 pm

Shared that with one person who immediately concluded it was proof of God designing it.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:54 pm

padma norbu wrote:Shared that with one person who immediately concluded it was proof of God designing it.



Confirmation bias...
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby padma norbu » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:10 pm

yup
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby reddust » Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:59 pm

Thank you for sharing Malcolm! I talked to my artichokes all spring of 2013, telling them how beautiful they are and I would save the biggest flower heads for seed next year. I had one flower grow as big as a sun flower head, that's as big as a dinner plate here in America! It was huge! I asked the artichokes to grow a lot of flower heads to eat for me this year and I would make sure their seedlings would be protected. They are now 2 years old, 2013 and 3 plants grew dozens of yummy flowers! Of course all the rotten chicken poop probably helped too. I'm all ready drawing up my new garden plots for 2014. First thing in the morning I get up and feed my chickens, I walk out my door and look at all the beautiful plants and animals growing around me as I do my chores and thank them for being here and I am glad to be a part of their life.

I think we humans are also intimately connected to this network as well. I think I became so sick living in Chicago because I was cut off from the web of life, my feet even hurt, like my feet had their roots cut off. After living so close to nature all my life my body couldn't handle the shock of living in the city. Now for 3 years I've walked barefoot all summer and didn't wear gloves when I worked in the dirt. After 3 years of gardening, eating the food from my garden I am healthier than I was in my 30s! We really are an amazing world of relationships and humans are a part of this network of life.

Growing up in rural America I didn't realize how close I was to nature, that I was a part of it, tied through my biological network until I left it to live in a big city. :namaste:
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby daverupa » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:07 pm

Be wary of false dichotomies; big cities are just as natural as anthills.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby reddust » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:17 pm

daverupa wrote:Be wary of false dichotomies; big cities are just as natural as anthills.


I will take that into consideration after big cities keep their environment as clean as ant hills :smile: But really I was talking about the biological network in our relationship to plants, Edit (microscopic networks like fungus, bacteria, mold, viruses and so on), animals, bugs, and, dirt, not cement and pavement. But I truly understand what you are saying.
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:41 pm

daverupa wrote:Be wary of false dichotomies; big cities are just as natural as anthills.


Not in my opinion.
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:52 pm

Neurobiology is a misleading term here. Plants do not have neurons. That is not to deny that some sort of biofeedback system is at work here, but it is not neurological.
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby daverupa » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:09 pm

The article, which is rather long, actually goes into that a few pages in.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby reddust » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:18 pm

From the Article
Hence the need for plant neurobiology, a new field “aimed at understanding how plants perceive their circumstances and respond to environmental input in an integrated fashion.” The article argued that plants exhibit intelligence, defined by the authors as “an intrinsic ability to process information from both abiotic and biotic stimuli that allows optimal decisions about future activities in a given environment.” Shortly before the article’s publication, the Society for Plant Neurobiology held its first meeting, in Florence, in 2005. A new scientific journal, with the less tendentious title Plant Signaling & Behavior, appeared the following year.


or Plant perception (physiology) wiki
In botany, plant perception is the ability of plants to sense the environment and adjust their morphology, physiology and phenotype accordingly. Research draws on the fields of plant physiology, ecology and molecular biology. Examples of stimuli which plants perceive and can react to include chemicals, gravity, light, moisture, infections, temperature, oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations, parasite infestation, physical disruption, and touch. Plants have a variety of means to detect such stimuli and a variety of reaction responses or behaviors.
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:22 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Neurobiology is a misleading term here. Plants do not have neurons. That is not to deny that some sort of biofeedback system is at work here, but it is not neurological.



“Metaphors help stimulate the investigative imagination of good scientists,” the British plant scientist Anthony Trewavas wrote in a spirited response to the Alpi letter denouncing plant neurobiology. “Plant neurobiology” is obviously a metaphor—plants don’t possess the type of excitable, communicative cells we call neurons. Yet the introduction of the term has raised a series of questions and inspired a set of experiments that promise to deepen our understanding not only of plants but potentially also of brains. If there are other ways of processing information, other kinds of cells and cell networks that can somehow give rise to intelligent behavior, then we may be more inclined to ask, with Mancuso, “What’s so special about neurons?”

And:

Most definitions of intelligence fall into one of two categories. The first is worded so that intelligence requires a brain; the definition refers to intrinsic mental qualities such as reason, judgment, and abstract thought. The second category, less brain-bound and metaphysical, stresses behavior, defining intelligence as the ability to respond in optimal ways to the challenges presented by one’s environment and circumstances. Not surprisingly, the plant neurobiologists jump into this second camp.

Frankly it is hilarious to see Buddhists refute the intelligence of plants on the one hand, and insist on the other that a mind cannot be reduced to a brain on the other...
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:Frankly it is hilarious to see Buddhists refute the intelligence of plants on the one hand, and insist on the other that a mind cannot be reduced to a brain on the other...
Quite clearly then, you, as a non-Buddhist, have no idea what a neuron is...

Where did I refute "intelligence"? Where did I equate "intelligence" with a brain?

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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:47 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Where did I refute "intelligence"? Where did I equate "intelligence" with a brain?


I wasn't talking about you specifically. It is true that I practice Buddhadharma, not "Buddhism".
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:Where did I refute "intelligence"? Where did I equate "intelligence" with a brain?


I wasn't talking about you specifically. It is true that I practice Buddhadharma, not "Buddhism".
Who cares what you practice? The subject of the discussion is plant neurobiology and, like I said, plants do not have neurons so the thread title is WRONG. Preta, Hell beings, Deva, and Asura, also lack neurons (not having physical form) but they are still "intelligent".
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby reddust » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:05 pm

Recent surprising similarities between plant cells and neurons

Wow...thank you Malcolm, you have given me hours of study and more insight into the plants I grow :twothumbsup:
Abstract

Plant cells and neurons share several similarities, including non-centrosomal microtubules, motile post-Golgi organelles, separated both spatially/structurally and functionally from the Golgi apparatus and involved in vesicular endocytic recycling, as well as cell-cell adhesion domains based on the actin/myosin cytoskeleton which serve for cell-cell communication. Tip-growing plant cells such as root hairs and pollen tubes also resemble neurons extending their axons. Recently, surprising discoveries have been made with respect to the molecular basis of neurodegenerative disorders known as Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias and tip-growth of root hairs. All these advances are briefly discussed in the context of other similarities between plant cells and neurons. :jawdrop:

EDIT: Moral of the story, avoid Aluminium hurts neuron grown and non-centrosomal microtubules lol
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Virgo » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:23 pm

I am glad that you planted that article on this site, so my eyes could absorb it!

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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:05 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:The subject of the discussion is plant neurobiology and, like I said, plants do not have neurons so the thread title is WRONG.


No, the subject of the discussion is the Pollen article, and therefore the title is correct.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Plant Neurobiology

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:The subject of the discussion is plant neurobiology and, like I said, plants do not have neurons so the thread title is WRONG.


No, the subject of the discussion is the Pollen article, and therefore the title is correct.
The author is called Pollan and plants do not have neurons maybe you skipped the high school biology class where they explained that one).

From the abovementioned article ("The Intelligent Plant")

“Yes, plants have both short- and long-term electrical signalling, and they use some neurotransmitter-like chemicals as chemical signals,” Lincoln Taiz, an emeritus professor of plant physiology at U.C. Santa Cruz and one of the signers of the Alpi letter, told me. “But the mechanisms are quite different from those of true nervous systems.” Taiz says that the writings of the plant neurobiologists suffer from “over-interpretation of data, teleology, anthropomorphizing, philosophizing, and wild speculations.”
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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