Mind Bending Science

A botanist in Brazil has found that Jatoba, or hymenaea, a rainforest tree, grows much faster in atmospheres with high levels of carbon dioxide. This could come in handy later this century.

In competition, a scientist has developed a “synthetic tree” which would draw carbon dioxide out of the air, as plants do during photosynthesis, but retain the carbon and not release oxygen.

In the other direction, an Octopus has been trained to open jars. Handy.

Well, even more bizarre, is the natural behavior of the octopus’s fellow aquatic invertebrete, the Moon Jellyfish. We saw these guys at the amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium. These jellyfish reproduce in two ways — sexually, with the larvae developing on the mother’s tentacles — and then through cloning — as the larvae drift and attach to a hard surface, much like an anemone, and may then for years develop polyps, exact clones which grow into adult jellyfish.