Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Plants Doin' It For Themselves

From the Way-Too-Cool Science Department: Strawberries and some other plants have a self-defense network that can sense when a caterpillar starts chewing on a leaf. Via a network of interconnected stems and vines, after they sense this is happening to them they make the other leaves in their network tough and inedible to the other bugs, so they tend to go to a previously uneaten plant. Isn't evolution fascinating? Unfortunately this same network encourages the spread of floral viruses, much like a computer virus network. And it still hasn't developed a self-defense network from those murderous vegans! :)