[Total: 0 Average: 0/5]You must sign in to vote Using electron microscopy and high-speed photography, researchers have documented the nanostructure on leaves that allows desert plants to pull water droplets out of fog. These tiny water-gathering grooves allow a type of moss called Syntrichia caninervis to survive in desert climates where it rarely rains. The plant, which collects water with its leaves instead of roots, can also rehydrate from a dry state when it has access to moisture. A team from Brigham Young University, Utah State University and the China’s Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, documented the role of tiny hair-like structures on the plant’s leaves and how airborne droplets are attracted to nano-structures on top of each hair. Information about how desert plants survive with no rainfall might help humans determine better ways to collect water in dry environments. See: “The upside-down water collection system of Syntrichia caninervis,” published in Nature Plants (June, 2016) Authors: Zhao Pan, Department of Mechanical Engineering, BYU; William Pitt, Department of Chemical Engineering, BYU; Yuanming Zhang and Nan Wu, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tadd Truscott, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Utah State University Special thanks to Jeff Farrer and Michael Standing from the BYU Microscopy Lab Video Rating: / 5
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