Plant ‘cries’: Recalling J.C. Bose

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    • A group of researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel reported that they had been able to pick up distress noises made by plants.

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    • The researchers said these plants had been making very distinct, high-pitched sounds in the ultrasonic range when faced with some kind of stress, like when they were in need of water.
    • This was the first time that plants had been caught making any kind of noise.

    Do you know?

    • Plants respond to touch — the famous examples are the shy and reclusive “touch-me-not” (mimosa pudica) and the rogue meat eater ‘Venus fly trap’ (dionaea muscipula), but beside these, just every plant responds to touch or vibrations — be if from rainfall, wind or touch.

     

    Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858-1937)

    • He was a physicist-turned-biologist who had shown, more than a century ago, that plants experienced sensations and were able to feel pleasure and pain just like animals.
    • He invented the crescograph, a device for measuring the growth of plants.
    • Jagadish Chandra Bose is remembered for two things — his work on wireless transmission of signals, and on the physiology of plants.
    • He is also credited as one of the first contributors to solid state physics.
    • He had anticipated the p-type and n-type semiconductors.
    • Bose is widely believed to be the first one to generate electromagnetic signals in the microwave range.
    • He was the first one to come up with radio receivers, which enabled wireless telegraphy.

    His study of plants

    • The simple experiments of Bose revealed a high degree of similarity in the responses of plant and animal tissues to external stimuli. This principle was amply demonstrated later by biophysicists, using highly sophisticated instruments.

    Controversy

    • Bose regarded plants to be the “intermediates in a continuum that extended between animals and the non-living materials”.

    Ethical view

    • He was being approached by a big businessman in Europe with the offer to get his work patented. Bose not just rejected the offer, he felt disgusted at the idea of making money from science.

    Source: IE