Download e-book for kindle: Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant by Stefano Mancuso

By Stefano Mancuso

ISBN-10: 1610916034

ISBN-13: 9781610916035

Are crops clever? Can they remedy difficulties, speak, and navigate their atmosphere? Or are they passive, incapable of autonomous motion or social habit? Philosophers and scientists have contemplated those questions considering historical Greece, ordinarily concluding that crops are unthinking and inert: they're too silent, too sedentary -- simply too various from us. but discoveries over the last fifty years have challenged those principles, laying off new gentle at the outstanding features and intricate inside lives of plants.

In Brilliant Green, Stefano Mancuso, a number one scientist and founding father of the sphere of plant neurobiology, offers a brand new paradigm in our knowing of the vegetal international. Combining a ancient viewpoint with the most recent in plant technological know-how, Mancuso argues that, because of cultural prejudices and human conceitedness, we proceed to underestimate crops. in reality, they approach info, sleep, have in mind, and sign to each other -- exhibiting that, faraway from passive machines, vegetation are clever and conscious. via a survey of plant services from sight and contact to conversation, Mancuso demanding situations our suggestion of intelligence, featuring a imaginative and prescient of flowers that's extra refined than such a lot imagine.

crops have a lot to educate us, from community development to techniques in robotics and man-made fabrics -- yet provided that we comprehend extra approximately how they dwell. half botany lesson, half manifesto, Brilliant Green is a fascinating and passionate exam of the interior workings of the plant kingdom.

monetary aid for the interpretation of this publication has been supplied via SEPS: Segretariato Europeo according to Le Pubblicazioni Scientifiche.

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Extra resources for Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence

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There are many more examples, but the basic story is the same: the plant world always gets second ranking, even in academia. Yet plants are often used in research because of the similarity between their physiology and that of animals, not to mention that experimentation on these organisms raises fewer ethical problems. But are we really sure that the ethical implications are inconsequential? We hope that reading this book will help plant some doubts on that score. When the absurd subjection of the plant world to the animal world finally comes to a halt, it will be possible to study plants—much more usefully—for their differences from animals, rather than their similarities to them.

A Plant Is a Colony To start with, being stationary and therefore subject to being preyed on by animals, plants developed a kind of “passive resistance” to external attack. Their bodies are constructed on a modular design, in which each part is important but none is truly indispensable. This structure represents a fundamental advantage vis-à-vis the animal kingdom, especially considering the number of herbivores on the planet and the impossibility of escaping their voracious appetites. The first advantage of having a modular organization, to give just one example, is that, for a plant, being eaten isn’t that big a deal!

And furthermore, who cared whether plants slept, when sleep wasn’t believed to have any particular function? Today, we know how many important vital and cerebral functions are linked to this physiological process. But until the turn of this century, even modern science maintained that only the most evolved animals sleep. In 2000, this was disproved by the Italian neuroscientist Giulio Tononi, who showed that even the fruit fly, one of the “simplest” insects in existence, takes its well-deserved rest.

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Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence by Stefano Mancuso

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