Here are two among many passing wonders from the last few weeks. There is no particular connection between them apart from the fact that they both expand our sense of reality.
- Plants may ‘see’ underground by channelling light to their roots. Their stems may act like a fibre-optic cables, conducting light down to receptors in the roots known as phytochromes. These may trigger the production of a protein which promotes healthy root growth.
- Weather systems have been observed on an exoplanet for the first time. Massive storms move across the surface of HAT-P-7b, a thousand light years away. The clouds in its atmosphere are likely made of corundum, the mineral which forms rubies and sapphires.