20
Oct
2008
Forests aspirin
Curiosity
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Of NCAR scientists discovered that plants in a forest respond to stress by producing nuts in significant amounts to a form of aspirin.

Unlike humans, who are advised to take aspirin to decrease a temperature, plants and their ability to produce their own aspirin, leading to the formation of proteins that stimulate the biochemical defense system, says Thomas Karl, NCAR, which led study.

Our measurements show that significant amounts of chemicals can be detected in the atmosphere of the plant response to drought, inadequate temperatures, etc..

NCAR scientists found methyl salicylate in error. Special instruments were placed in a forest near Davis, California, to monitor volatile compounds of some plants. They are important because they can combine with industrial pollution emulsions, and can influence local climate.

When revised measurements found that levels of methyl salicylate rose dramatically when the plants have gone through a period of drought. Instruments mounted on towers about 30 m above the ground measured up to 0,025 mg of methyl salicylate, which increases to 0.09 m2 of forest every hour.

Methyl salicylate has two functions, one of which is to stimulate the plant defense system also may be a mechanism to communicate to neighboring plants, warning of danger.

Source www.ucar.edu

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