Photographer and “mad scientist” Don Komarechka is back for a DPReview TV episode on ultraviolet light. Specifically, he explains how a modified camera-and-filter combination can reveal hidden ultraviolet patterns that are invisible to the human eye, but crucial for pollinators like bees.
Human trichromatic vision is limited to the so-called “visible” portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, but the spectrum doesn’t simply stop at those boundaries. Immediately adjacent to the visible light spectrum is near-infrared and infrared on one end, and ultraviolet on the other, both of which can be captured using specially-modified cameras.
We’ve featured infrared photography many times before, but in this video, Komarechka heads over to the other end to reveal the hidden world of ultraviolet light. Specifically, he shows you the hidden patterns that pollinators like bees use to home in on certain flowers. The results can be downright shocking:
University of Arkansas researchers have established a link between climate patterns in the Amazon and large parts of North and South America using their newly developed tree-ring chronology from the Amazon River basin.
The discovery helps researchers better understand large-scale climate extremes and the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.
Tree growth is a well-established climate proxy. By comparing growth rings in Cedrela odorata trees found in the Rio Paru watershed of the eastern Amazon River with hundreds of similar chronologies in North and South America, scientists have shown an inverse relationship in tree growth, and therefore precipitation patterns, between the areas. Drought in the Amazon is correlated with wetness in the southwestern United States, Mexico and Patagonia, and vice versa.
The process is driven by the El Niño phenomenon, which influences surface-level winds along the equator, researchers said. El Niño is the name given to
In plants, many proteins are found at only one end of a cell, giving them a polarity like heads and tails on a coin.
Often, cells next to each other have these proteins at the same end, like a stack of coins with heads all facing up. This protein patterning is critical for how plant cells orient and coordinate themselves to produce the leaves, flowers, stems and roots that adorn our gardens and provide us with all our food and the oxygen we breathe.
Previously it’s been unclear how this head-to-tail protein patterning is produced: can it arise within each cell, or does it depend on a collective effort of many cells working together?
A new paper, published in Current Biology has found that even cells in isolation can become polarised to create the head to tail pattern, and that this polarity can orient how the cell grows.