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tv   Tomorrow Today  Deutsche Welle  November 1, 2019 9:30am-10:01am CET

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you discover. you. subscribe you don't documentary to. get out of the. movie. well come to tomorrow today the science program on d w. they stand silent and still only stirring occasionally in the breeze. to harvest their seeds and their fruits or use their leaves and roots woman to smell purposes. the plants are not just useful they make life on earth possible.
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we enjoy their beauty. and try to replicate their amazing abilities on this show we journey into the fascinating world of green and growing things coming up. can chance alone a researcher set up an experiment to try and find out. why does the plants next to attract specific promenades has what to a face have to do with it. we look at what plants researchers are doing to prepare for the consequences of climate change welcome to the show. recognizing yourself in the mirror and changing. all that using 2 loose microphones do you for example. humans are the only species. that possess intelligence
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researchers have also observed the traits in other animals. and the science of the brain apparently plays no role in intelligent behavior. but what about organisms that don't have brains like plants. biologist culture to berger is testing whether the pavlovian theory of learning works on plants the same way it does with animals the russian physiologist showed that dogs can quickly be conditioned to associate a ringing bell with food before long the sound alone causes the dog to start salivating that's because it's learned the bell equals food. so does the same hold true for plants. and if so what stimuli do they respond to. mimosa plants respond to contacts by folding up their leaves. in an experiment
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placed a mimosa in the dark after a while she then switched the light on which through no response then she started to jab the leaves which immediately closed up. she repeated this process again and again light on and then jam. then she switched the light on but left the leaves alone and they folded up straight away anyhow it would appear the plant had learn to associate light with physical damage and the response remained long after the experiment was stopped. but biologists still can't agree on whether this constitutes the ability to learn. even mean so much humans i find it annoying when someone tells me i can't cool this form of pavlovian learning real learning because there's
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a set definition and it applies here and. another experiment do plants make decisions for example when competing for access to daylight. here a plant called creeping sync foil has been surrounded by strips of colored plastic like leaves these only allow certain kinds of light through this allows the scientists to simulate various scenarios the plants in this pot for example has been effectively surrounded by low growing competitors this one on the other hand mimics a scenario where the plant is in shade cast by much taller growth and here the surrounding growth isn't just high but also very close to the plant in each case the scientists monitor how the creeping sink for oil responds. when surrounded by low growth it shoots up when neighboring plants were high it tended to spread horizontally. when hemmed in closely on all sides the creeping sink foil didn't
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grow much in size at all but it did develop significantly larger leaves in each case it appears to be choosing the most effective option for its situation or is what it's doing little more than an automatic response from ash don't it's astounding that the plants are able to react with such different responses do i grow up high or wide or develop knowledge elites at a physiological level these are very different responses she has. it makes sense that plants would be equipped with light receptors that allow them to respond to light. but the scientists here still aren't exactly sure how the plant processes this information and then decides on a certain course of action all without a brain or a nervous system. in the german city of you know plant physiologists are working together with electrophysiologist to study help plants process and pass on information we know for example that chemical signals are
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transmitted to other parts of the plant when it's attacked or damaged. signals and plants can also be electrical. when a particular stimulus reaches a certain threshold they can trigger what's known as an action potential and bang there's a reaction. to suffer. mentally it's comparable to what happens in human cells if there are certain types of electrical signals that so far have only been found in plants flunking fun and rewarding. scientists call these other signals system potentials they've observed how an impulse triggers changes and the voltage at the so membrane in simple terms the positive charge outside the cell increases but instead of the membrane reacting with a sudden discharge when stimulated as happens with an action potential the increased voltage is passed on systemically from cell to cell from the leaf to leaf.
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the scientists believe that plant system potentials not only pass on all or nothing and bosses can also convey more detailed information to the organism. but the experts don't yet know exactly how that happens they assume communication inside the plant happens through a combination of chemical and electrical signals but identifying the involved proteins receptors and molecular structures is a lengthy process so back to the original question do plants have something that could be described as intelligence while the scientists say they certainly display economic rationality they move or grow towards what they need of the i am that the minister for you could say ok the plant is growing more towards where the nutrients are teligent to begin but if after growing a little bit in that direction it work to say no that's boring i'm going to try the
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other side even if it's not smart that would indicate a form of intelligence really good because of that i wasn't a rational decision about plants usually do rational things. prep of love. but wouldn't that actually be creativity while the discussion over the right definitions continues the scientists are united in one thing their admiration for plants must be a list you can do so much they're masters of chemistry masters or defense i think. the more i work with plants the more fascinated i am by what they can do you think . plants function in some ways just like us but other things they do very differently with great success and understanding how they work is proving to be a challenge to our intelligence. the plant world is far from boring and it still harbors many mysteries researchers
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in to many have looked at how plants a distributed in different ecosystems they are of course fall pure plants at the poles or in desert spent in the humid warmth of the tropical rain forest it has the highest levels of species density and of this city on the planet. to glacier buttercup likes a less crowded environment it grows that of a full 1000 beaches in the alps a record for plants that here are a few more. that. all plants seek out lives. with more determination down a species of bamboo nature to china and japan. our. stock growth has been recorded up to 1.21 meters in a single day. can reach heights of 25 meters in 3 weeks. that makes springing up like mushrooms look pretty lame in comparison. to.
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the world's tallest tree is the hyperion a coastal redwood named after the titan god of heaven he lives in greek mythology was. over 115 meters tall it dwarfs even the statue of liberty. and. the widest tree in the world can be found in mexico and that the none of the studs montezuma cypress is thousands of years old. and i know that that's. its trunk bosa diameter of 14 majors on a circumference of 46 meters and it's a stately 40 meters tall. you are. the title on their own is a plant with the largest flowers in the world. over 3 metres in height.
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the bloom is renowned not only for its height but also for its overpowering foul odor. then there are the plants that only come into their own undergrowth so take the right plants above ground it's nothing special. system can total up to 80 kilometers in length. record depth reached by a tree's roots belongs to a wild fig tree in south africa that penetrated down to 120 meters before it finally hit water. leak. all the figures mentioned in the bible methuselah lived the longest it was such of
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died at the age of $969.00 spring chicken compared to some of earth's plants. a great basin bristlecone pine in california named after the patriarch as long as lived over 4800 years old to salute is the oldest tree in the world. even if it doesn't look at this through since sweden is by some measures older than methuselah the visible trunk of old chico is a fairly young current the successor to many others that have sprouted from an ancient root system d.n.a. analysis has shown that it's over 9 and a half 1000 years old although the latest trunk began to emerge just a few centuries ago. in the run up to the show this week we asked you on facebook about what plants were
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important to you and why. sebastian loves the eucalyptus tree because it has but there's no uses and its leaves make it look rich s. and fernando responded that it's too bad it dries out the soil and the oil in its leaves can lead to wildfires. bastin replied that when they're planted the trees are usually well spaced at least where he lives. the people are on the other hand is a big fan of pomegranates because a healthy and motivating. time limit is a fan of the jungle great sisters hope of local because it's great for pollinators and because it's vines block out the view of the riffraff next door which. tree from indian. i thinks every plant is important and can be used in various ways he says plants play an important role as the earth's lungs because they emit oxygen and help prevent global warming thanks for all those comments keep them coming. to
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life giving element oxygen that we mentions is released when plants photosynthesize everywhere from honduras had a question about that. why can't we replicate photosynthesis in the lab harnessing the energy of the sun plants have developed the process of photosynthesis over millions of years they use light to trigger a cellular reaction converting carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates these carbohydrates servants energy carriers and building blocks for the growth of the plant scientists are now trying to follow plants example a new c.e.o. to water and light to make fuel photosynthesis could be the solution to our energy problems. and it would be a way of preventing a further rise of the greenhouse gases c o 2 in the atmosphere. that's why researchers have been studying the
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phenomenon in these for example thanks to special microstructure they're very efficient photosynthesize is if the ability could be transferred to more useful plants yields could be increased enormously. experts have been tinkering with photosynthesis in the lab for decades. now new methods are extremely precise to let it modification are opening new horizons in the search for alternatives to fossil fuel. providing fresh momentum for the development of clean sustainable energy sources. the problem is red why are great but only a few to help it do you have a science question that you've always wanted answered. we're happy to help out yes and it to us as a video text over as well if we answer it on the show we'll send you a little surprise as a thank you can i just ask. do you find as i did have you dot
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com slash science or drop us a line at d w underscore site tech on facebook d.w. dot science. time to turn now to the marriott how his plants rely on for their reproduction are drawn by sense and color pattern interest like bees carry the pollen from one flower to the stigma of another. 75 percent of our crops from pears to pumpkins rely on polonaises to play a role in reproduction in fact of all flowering plants nearly 90 percent make use of the service they provide. the problem now is that insect diversity is under serious threat some crop plants like rice a wheat get by just fine without pollinators but nearly all nutrient heavy fruit and vegetable species actually depend on them so insects are key to ensuring our
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own food supply maybe it's time to find out if plants can learn a few new tricks to attract more and different kinds of pollinators 'd. beanies know exactly what they like but what they get depends on the plants they use their nectar to determine which insects can pollinate them and which can't. one day that could change thanks to the work of god who'd low house at a university or book. she's an expert on flow i'm sat up this is the life blood of the plant and nectar is derived from it. the biologist wants know exactly how and under what conditions this mixture of sugar and amino acids is distributed throughout the plant it's the flow on sap that determines what nectar tastes like and ultimately which insects it attracts that plays a key role in plant reproduction. but harvesting the sap isn't easy the biologist
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needs help and she's getting it from a feds that she finds on the plane and there's none there. none there either. but then she finds one it's not hard to catch and eat it. i just need a small container underbrush. and then i very gently brush the a fit into the container. so i just throw the main one by one. the a fed grows a little agitated and with good reason low house gives it a new leaf to feed on and then places the whole thing under the microscope the composition of flow and sap changes depending on the location and the leaf to find out more the biologist wants to capture a live image of what's happening in the leaf cells but she 1st needs to know which of them currently contain sugar crushing the leaves to find out isn't an option.
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it's beneath you if i were to squeeze the leaf out i'd have 99 percent other cells less than one percent of the cells would be the ones i'm interested in so that's no help. so this is where the if it can help somehow it knows which cells contain the south and this knowledge is its doom the microscope is equipped with a laser as soon as the a if it has inserted its provide as and began extracting the sap from the cell gertrude low house presses a button and slices the appendage off. using a tiny capillary tube the biologist then extracts the south which is the basis for the nectar the plant producers. of fish but there are many different pollinated spain's flies even bats all birds and the question is
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a fundamental one what ends up visiting the flower. and what enzyme options does a plant have all need to produce one kind of nectar or another to attract a particular pollinator. and the scientists could manipulate the plans flow and sat up they could make the flowers attractive for a wider range of pollinators helping the plant adapt to changing environmental conditions brought about by climate change and that could contribute to preserving plant diversity benefiting both humans and insects including generations of a thirds to calm. era of climate change and ability to adapt can prove the difference between survival and extinction the last 5 years with the hottest ever measured according to an analysis released by the agency that tracks atmospheric data in the us that these tough times ahead for the agriculture industry as well 2 thirds of the world's total food
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out the comes from just 9 species of plants so it's essential to create the right she's able to cope with the changing climate. how will this we'd planned route behave under conditions of heat stress what will it look like after 69 or 12 days of the plant gets too little water robert kohler at the unit research center can see what happens early on with a kind of m.r.i. for plants before the heart to better have even before the leaves start to droop fans we already know that this plant is showing your reaction and it's metabolism although it's not yet visible to the naked eye and also we can take action and convert them to off. the high tech equipment it is being used to study crop plants the aim is to find a way to defy climate change the researchers are focusing on the impact of stress on group growth. in the these areas with the warmer colors like red
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exhibit more root growth the areas where the colors are colder more blue there isn't as much room for growth. of. the devices used in radiology make it possible to screen wheat corn or sugar beets without harming them. 'd the plants can be studied as they grow in minute structural detail all the stored information on a particular plant is assigned a barcode. into the backcourt far beyond this park code has an entire database that the database contains extremely important. that enable us to draw certain conclusions we know how heavy the seas was for example or how the plant was handled . the process begins with a seed this machine measures it precisely weighs it and records the findings the ultimate aim is to identify useful characteristics that will help optimize crop
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cultivation. and to try to make suggestions so we can say look you've identified a characteristic that helps make the plants drives resistant and for example it's roots my grow very fast or very slowly that's a factor that should be taken into account by researchers aiming to adopt plants to climate change flexible hide and photosynthesis rates are a good indicator of a plant's overall health the imaging system detects fluorescents a method from chlorophyll if the leaf appears bread on the screen it means the rate of photosynthesis is poor and the plant is struggling to grow. some honey off by plants close their stuff to limit water of operation from their leaves marsh. and that's if we observe as an early stage mother plant is closing its tomatoes so we can do something about it. we could water it for example that he's norman is also a member of the research team he hopes that one day he'll be able to measure
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photosynthesis from above for the time being the equipment is too heavy for drones to carry but they can still provide useful information for farmers. who worked on the ground measuring the crops with a yardstick it would be very time consuming to a few whereas if you use a drone it's done in minutes. the drone also gathers useful data from this trial field where future conditions are being simulated on the field seeds that formed in different years at different locations are being sprayed with c o 2 around the clock according to forecasts without action. atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gas are expected to double by 2050. its hopes the research will benefit farmers like they really claim a schillings climate change is putting them under intense pressure. to do well this is said to drought resistant variety won't be any good to us if we have an unusually wet year it could prove completely useless to what we need are varieties
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that can adapt to changing climate conditions and 1st and foremost when you look at our trial field we need forecasts we need to know what we'll be dealing with and 2050 so that plant breeders can start cultivating new varieties that are fit for the future to farm organ systems. this is plant research or robert callers dream job. in the guise of i stuff i love how adaptable and flexible plants are and their response to the environment. regardless of the variety that's up it's not all corn is the same and not all freezes the same flashlights and there's a range of options and we're going to be prepared for future challenges if we're going to be able to cope with the environmental conditions that await us off the over the din a little here and if it's a confession of on. some nature itself can provide solutions to the problems
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caused by climate change. that's it for now but join us again next week when we set up on a search for extraterrestrial and imagine what they might look like that and more next time on tomorrow to see them.
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you know as lives every coming back to the russian subcommands in column a. many people in afghanistan think it's wrong for women to do sport trying to stop the. clock much math continues to come to god's team. not the time to keep up life death threats. to spawn d.w. .
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play. lead . after the fall of the berlin.
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you may writes me down in history but you know i'm just interested knives you may try me in the family dinner but still night. did you want to see me broken down here. shoulders for. me. this. day. from my house.
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this is d w news live from seeking opportunities in the u.s. china trade. is in india to talk trade security both sides the potential to reach trade in the fallout from child star a full with china also coming up full steam ahead for the impeachment process is us no way to make a very. public but what does it mean to the president. plus one of the toughest schools on the planet for the it's well cup final.

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