biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow plants nervous system

Action Potentials and Conduction Velocities

A nervous system in plants?

During the time I worked for the educational TV channel “NDR Das Dritte” and produced a film on carnivorous plants with the title “Pflanzen, die von Tieren leben” (Plants that live off animals), I was of course aware of Charles Darwin’s inspiring and careful studies, published in 1875, on what was then called “insectivorous plants”. I also knew of the experiments by one of the scientific giants of India, namely Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, who in 1926 had unequivocally shown that plants not only generate action potentials similar to those known from the nervous systems of animals, but that these plants transmitted the electrical impulse over considerable distances via their vascular bundles (of which as we now know, the phloem plays the part of a “nerve”). However, a great deal more information especially on how those sensitive plant species like the Venus flytrap Dionaea muscipula, sundews of the genus Drosera, or Mimosa spp., etc. react physiologically to mechanical or thermal stimulation is now available than it was at the time when I produced my film. —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow waterfall

Waterfall and their inhabitants

Waterfall and their inhabitants – thinking of Cherrapunji

In 1991 I spent two months of my sabbatical with my Indian wife at NEHU (the North East Hill University) in Shillong / Meghalaya. From there we once made a trip to Cherrapunji, also known as Sohra, to take a look at the majestic Nohkalikai Waterfall with its height of around 350 m. —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow diarrhoea

Dysentery, loose stool, running belly

It’s all unpleasant and called diarrhoea

Stomatologists are experts focusing on the structure and function and the surrounding area of that part of the body through which the food enters. Proctologists are interested in the structure and function of the part of the body from where the waste comes out. And psychologists are interested to study why (mostly) very young children in particular are so interested in their own faeces and find it so amusing to examine what they can produce from their rear ends. When, however, what comes out of there is a semi-liquid, brownish and soft and sticky, smelly slush, it’s certainly much less amusing.