Science Friday: Desert plant seen drinking fog and mist with its leaves | Diet lacking in zinc is detrimental to health

Take a leaf out of this book. A common desert moss sucks water directly out of the air instead of from the ground. The discovery could be used to inspire ways of collecting clean drinking water in developing countries.

Most desert plants, including cacti, rely on extensive root systems to mop up scarce groundwater. But the desert moss Syntrichia caninervis collects fresh water straight from the atmosphere.

Tiny fibres attached to the tips of the moss leaves, known as awns, allow S. caninervis to harvest fog and mist droplets, says Tadd Truscott of Utah State University, who filmed the plant’s drinking behaviour.

Truscott and his colleagues used an environmental scanning electron microscope and camera to study how these delicate awns, which are between 0.5 and 2 millimetres long, capture atmospheric water.

[…]

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2092453-desert-plant-seen-drinking-fog-and-mist-with-its-leaves/


Diet lacking in zinc is detrimental to human, animal health

Even moderate zinc deficiency is bad for digestion

Date:
June 9, 2016
Source:
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Summary:
The trace element zinc has an impact on the essential metabolic functions of most living organisms. New research has found that even minimal zinc deficiency impairs digestion, albeit without any typical symptoms such as skin problems or fatigue. Hence, short-term zinc deficiency in the diet should be avoided.

[…]

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160609115127.htm

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