Cassie Rodenberg: Electron-ic Bonds

Nature decontaminates
September 30, 2009, 5:55 pm
Filed under: Pesticides, Plants

When I think of contamination, I think of botched studies and ruined crops. Not so, friends.

Scientists in China have crafted a method to rid plants of their toxins and pesticides by spraying them with brassinosteroids (BRs), plant hormones, that metabolize insecticides and other undesirables. Even stranger, these are healthy…or so we think. Previous research suggests that plant hormones reduce cancer cell growth in humans. So have we found a natural super spray? Scientists don’t know but are crossing their fingers for a solution to crop loss.

Instead of employing a spray as a middleman, North Carolina State University is hiring plants to soak up fuel from soil. Using phytoremediation, researchers are sucking up heavy metals from a local contaminated site, a method much more cheap and sustainable than others on the market. The project has been going on for three years strong and has successfully slowed spilled fuel from running into nearby rivers.

Who knew trees were so stalwart? My houseplant died of a lemonade overdose…


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