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How Plants Use Math to Survive

June 24, 2013, 6:28 PM

Have you ever made yourself fall asleep doing math problems? According to scientists at Britain's John Innes Centre, this is what plants do every night. In fact, a plant's survival depends on math.

Computer-generated models published in the open-source journal eLife demonstrated how plants might regulate the rate at which they consume starch that they will need once the sun goes down. 

"This is the first concrete example in a fundamental biological process of such a sophisticated arithmetic calculation," said Martin Howard, a mathematical modeler. 

So what might this insight be used for? Imagine if one could reprogram a plant's biological counter. One could do things like increase crop yield and play God in a variety of other ways. As it has been said, God is essentially a mathematician. As it turns out, so are plants.  


How Plants Use Math to Survive

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