New discovery on how the VFT closes its traps
This is some good information I picked up from the net.
LONDON - High-speed video and mathematical models have helped to unravel how a Venus flytrap is able to ensnare its victims.
Charles Darwin called the plant puzzle "one
of the most wonderful in the
world."Since his time, scientists
have pondered how the flytrap (Dionaea
muscipula) is able to accomplish the
feat without benefit of the
nerves and muscles of swift animals.
Now researchers have found tensile strength is
behind the plant's speedy clampdown on a
Once trigger hairs are tripped by the prey, the
plant bends its rubbery leaves into a convex
shape, like a tennis ball or soft contact lens that
has been flipped inside-out.
The leaves instantly turn to a concave, as if the tennis ball is popped back to normal.
The edges come together, trapping the insect inside.
Applied mathematics Prof. Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan of HarvardUniversity and his team were able to follow the leaf action by painting dozens of fluorescent ultraviolet dots on the leaves.
They then filmed the leaves using a high-speed camera sensitive to UV towatch the leaves change shape during a snap.
How the plant seems to actively control the change in curvature within itsleaves remains a mystery, but the study shows elastic strain plays a role in the process.
"In essence, a leaf stretches until reaching a point of instability where it can no longer maintain the strain," Mahadevan said in a release.
A mathematical model filled in the details of when the plant snaps, how long it takes once stimulated and the timing of the steps.
Engineers hope to someday mimic the flytrap's ability in order to move tiny artificial devices that depend on minute movements of liquids or gases.
Moving valves, hydraulic sensors or time-released drug systems are some of the possiblities.
The study appears in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.
One thing that bothers me is that it took a team, a team! of scientist to discover that the way the VFT closes has to do with tensile strenght. I knew this more than five years ago. If scientist would listen to other scientists they would have save so much time and money.
One thing these guys still do not know is that the VFT also has a none-tensile strength. Apparently, they did not made the time to consider the way the venus flytrap closes its
traps when the traps become flat by the cause of closing and opening too many times.
Traps can also close slowly if they have lost their tensile strength. Also they can close slowly in a matter of days around the food just like a sundew would except slower. I believe this factor is the same mechanism that makes the plant leaves stay close until food is digested.
It is so sad to see that so many scientist take one evidence and disregard the rest, or perhaps it was just carelessness.
A team of scientists!