cigscum reblogged your photo and added:
im getting oxegon….. were gonna be CO….. carbon…
CARBON MONOXIDE I SWEAR THAT BEEPING HAUNTS ME
The actual smell of rain comes from plants. When plants are in drought they produce oils in replacement for waters. When the time comes and it finally starts raining the plants get their needed water and they release these oils in the air and the smell of that oil is what we call smell of rain
WHOOOO knows that song by Will.i.am and it goes like “baby where’d ya get ya body from?” and some girl in the background sings: “I got it from my momma!”. First of all, its the jam let me tell you (I’m gonna post the youtube video link at the bottom so y’all can groove to it). Second of all, its talking about, in science lingo, vertical gene transfer, which is the passing down of genes from parent to offspring via sexual/asexual reproduction. Most people are like yeah, so what, boring. And my response would be to take a look at this plant (pictured above), who totally takes the idea of vertical gene transfer and is like “peace see you later” and goes to hang out with vertical gene transfer’s hot older brother, “horizontal gene transfer”.
Now, the cool thing about this plant, called Rafflesia arnold, is that not only is it theeee largest flower in the world, and not only is it freaky cool looking, but it is a parasitic plant that steals genes from other plants! And if you think about it, it is kinda amazing that plants are able to acquire genes aside from the traditional baby making way of vertical gene transfer.
Ok, so, what exactly IS horizontal gene transfer? Well…according to McGraw Hill (the ever present text book in the lives of science majors) it is: “Gene transfer that is divorced from reproduction. Although, horizontal gene transfer is not as familiar as vertical gene transfer it is thought to have been a very important force in the early evolution of life on earth. It continues to be important in facilitating the evolution of modern bacteria”
Why is this relevant to you, my oh so wonderful reader? (Lawl… to be honest I’ll probably be the only one who ever reads this. #sad). Well, it is the main way that bacteria in our bodies develop antibiotic resistance. This means that one species of bacteria can transfer their antibiotic resistant gene to another species of bacteria, making whatever antibiotic someone is taking to combat an illness totally useless. This is one of the ever present obstacles in the medical field- and it is why, for example, when you have strep throat the doctor is like YOU BETTER TAKE ALL YOUR PILLS DONT TAKE LIKE 5 AND THEN STOP! Because if you take 5 out of the 9 pills then the strain of strep in your body is going to adapt and become resistant to that drug you just took to get rid of the strep in the first place!
Going back to the topic of the plant, I just want you guys to know that Rafflesia has “stolen a larger proportion of their genome via horizontal gene transfer (HGT) than any other organism we know of. Between 24% and 41% of their mitochondrial DNA is of foreign origin, and even in their nucleus a whopping 2.1% of the genes were imported.” (Small Things Considered). Now that is not only mind blowing, but the cool thing about these plants is that they DON’T use the usual suspects of horizontal gene transfer to accomplish this- meaning there isn’t the normal bacteriophages and viruses involved in transferring genes. Instead, it appears that this plant used direct gene transfer as a result of it’s parasitic nature ( it’s reliance to feed off other plants to obtain nutrients and so on b/c Rafflesia has no photosynthetic function). Here’s a plant that’s breakin alllll the rules. ha…ha. :)
Ps. last fun fact about the plant…. it actually produces a smell of carrion (dead animals) to attract insects to pray on. Alright if that doesn’t blow your mind then just leave the table.
To read more about this awesome plant and gene transfer, take a look a this post from Small Things Considered, a blog from a super smart microbiologist who blogs on the site of American Society for Microbiology
heres the link to “I Got It From My Mamma” (play this at a pregame and kill it) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XomQLhjCYYk
Hey everyone! Just starting out my new science blog. I’m hoping to post about a wide range of things… from super cool current events taking place in science, to the role of science in fashion, to awesome plants and how they’re designed, to my own experiences from my classes…. I just want to show people the truly awesome side of the sciences! If you have any advice for me or any idea about what you would want to see on your dash.. plz let me know!