Author Topic: Truth or fiction?  (Read 110 times)

Icarus

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Truth or fiction?
« on: December 08, 2017, 10:15:53 PM »
A startling discovery that could change the face of agriculture involves the use of magnetic fields on the seeds of African oil palms.  Researchers found that the seeds of this species,one of the worlds major crops, germinated rapidly at an extraordinary 96% rate when exposed to a magnetic field for only four hours. In addition, seedling palms irrigated with water treated in a magnetic field grew three time faster than non treated plants.   Why the seeds and seedlings react this way is unknown but if other crops demonstrate similar responses, the result would be a new age of food production.............

Is this hokum like UFOs or the Yeti?  Would it have any interest for agronomists ?????

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Truth or fiction?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 10:26:10 PM »
I think if it works, it would definitely have interest for agronomists.

Do you have a source for this story? :)
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Icarus

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Re: Truth or fiction?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 05:44:25 AM »
Naah, no verifiable source. Just something I read in the newspaper. If there was a well known and respected source I would be nearer to believing in magic.

Recusant

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Re: Truth or fiction?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 07:49:24 AM »
It sounds like baloney, but I went looking and according to the review article below, studies have found that magnetic fields do have an effect on plant growth. Nothing like the numbers mentioned in the newspaper story, though.

"Magnetic field effects on plant growth, development, and evolution" | Frontiers in Plant Science

Quote
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seedlings exposed to 20 μT vertical MF [magnetic field] showed small, but significant increases in total fresh weights, shoot fresh weights, and root fresh weights, whereas dry weights and germination rates remained unaffected.

Pea (Pisum sativum) epicotyls were longer in low MF (11.2 ± 4.2 mm, n = 14) when compared to normal geomagnetic conditions (8.8 ± 4.0 mm, n = 12) (Yamashita et al., 2004). Elongation of pea epicotyl was confirmed, by microscopic observation of sectioned specimen, to result from the elongation of cells and osmotic pressure of seedlings was significantly higher in low MF than controls. This observation suggests that the promotion of cell elongation under low MF may relate to an increase of osmotic pressure in the cells (Negishi et al., 1999).

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Dave

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Re: Truth or fiction?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 08:52:00 AM »
This tinkled a tiny bell deep in my mind. In my last job we used magnetic fields to measure fuid flow (mostly water but any electrically conducting fluid). Para- and diamagnetism came into play for very small flows, or maybe very slow ones - this was part of the work where I just did the experiments, not the design, maths too hard for me!

Quote
Diamagnetic materials, like water, or water-based materials, have a relative magnetic permeability that is less than or equal to 1, and therefore a magnetic susceptibility less than or equal to 0, since susceptibility is defined as χv = μv − 1. This means that diamagnetic materials are repelled by magnetic fields. However, since diamagnetism is such a weak property, its effects are not observable in everyday life. For example, the magnetic susceptibility of diamagnets such as water is χv = −9.05×10−6. The most strongly diamagnetic material is bismuth, χv = −1.66×10−4, although pyrolytic carbon may have a susceptibility of χv = −4.00×10−4 in one plane. Nevertheless, these values are orders of magnitude smaller than the magnetism exhibited by paramagnets and ferromagnets. Note that because χv is derived from the ratio of the internal magnetic field to the applied field, it is a dimensionless value.
Wiki

Paramagnetism does not seem to apply, at least water is not mentioned in the Wiki article so entitled, but that may nit be the whole story.. But the emphssis on "fresh", where that might imply "wet," tinkled that little bell. Sort of magnetic "pumping up" effect? Msybe no extra "product" in terms of oils or protein, just a kind of hypertension effect?

Later: fluid pressure has to be quite high in plants to transport nutrients to the top. My mind certainly draws parallels here with the enlargement of cardiac tissure due to increased water retention. Might a dimilar "inflation" effect work in any callular system, assuming the magnetic field has an effect on water in plant tissues.

Hmm, hang on, would that affect seeds though?
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Truth or fiction?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 07:20:28 PM »
Later: fluid pressure has to be quite high in plants to transport nutrients to the top. My mind certainly draws parallels here with the enlargement of cardiac tissure due to increased water retention. Might a dimilar "inflation" effect work in any callular system, assuming the magnetic field has an effect on water in plant tissues.

:grin: That is correct. So high in fact it would not be feasible for a tall tree if it were only positive pressure. Negative pressure is mainly what gets fluids from the roots to the tree crown. Plant transpiration creates a suction force, much like sucking on a straw. 
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Dave

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Re: Truth or fiction?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 09:12:28 PM »
Later: fluid pressure has to be quite high in plants to transport nutrients to the top. My mind certainly draws parallels here with the enlargement of cardiac tissure due to increased water retention. Might a dimilar "inflation" effect work in any callular system, assuming the magnetic field has an effect on water in plant tissues.

:grin: That is correct. So high in fact it would not be feasible for a tall tree if it were only positive pressure. Negative pressure is mainly what gets fluids from the roots to the tree crown. Plant transpiration creates a suction force, much like sucking on a straw.

Yeah.  :picard facepalm:  should have thought of that. The pressures lower down in the stem/trunk would probable cause it to explode if it were positive pressure only. Yet I remember, on an Open University programme many years ago, them taking sap samples by cutting a leaf off at its stem, placing thst end in a tube and the sap dripping out. It could be complex - if there was growth above that point the that exuding ssp couod be "drain back", a localised effect seeming to cause a poditive pressure. But I sort of remember the lady talking about sap pressure as if it were positive, or is that just a false memory?

Though I admit to not knoeing what the dtiving force would be, perhaps little "pumps" every so often along the sap "pipes"? Thst would refuce the need for a very high positive pressure lower down. Time to do some more reading!
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Icarus

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Re: Truth or fiction?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2017, 12:40:23 AM »
Even if there could be some substance to this,there are downsides.  Suppose that we learned that corn or beans or other staple crop could be invigorated by the application of a magnetic field.  Hmmph.... That renders the crop into the realm of GMOs.  Because of that, half of the buyers and users of foodstuffs  will become nay sayers.

I reckon we could have this thread deteriorate into some dissertations about Organic foods. 

Hermes correct me...please....... My thought about the word Organic, is that whatever the substance happens to be, it must have some carbon in order to be an organic compound.

I get the impression that my mashed potatoes and gravy are, technically, organic compounds.

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Re: Truth or fiction?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2017, 12:44:57 AM »
Later: fluid pressure has to be quite high in plants to transport nutrients to the top. My mind certainly draws parallels here with the enlargement of cardiac tissure due to increased water retention. Might a dimilar "inflation" effect work in any callular system, assuming the magnetic field has an effect on water in plant tissues.

:grin: That is correct. So high in fact it would not be feasible for a tall tree if it were only positive pressure. Negative pressure is mainly what gets fluids from the roots to the tree crown. Plant transpiration creates a suction force, much like sucking on a straw.

Yeah.  :picard facepalm:  should have thought of that. The pressures lower down in the stem/trunk would probable cause it to explode if it were positive pressure only. Yet I remember, on an Open University programme many years ago, them taking sap samples by cutting a leaf off at its stem, placing thst end in a tube and the sap dripping out. It could be complex - if there was growth above that point the that exuding ssp couod be "drain back", a localised effect seeming to cause a poditive pressure. But I sort of remember the lady talking about sap pressure as if it were positive, or is that just a false memory?

Though I admit to not knoeing what the dtiving force would be, perhaps little "pumps" every so often along the sap "pipes"? Thst would refuce the need for a very high positive pressure lower down. Time to do some more reading!

Probably capillary action? I never heard of little pumps in plant sap pipes though. :notsure:
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Dave

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Re: Truth or fiction?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2017, 08:52:45 AM »
Later: fluid pressure has to be quite high in plants to transport nutrients to the top. My mind certainly draws parallels here with the enlargement of cardiac tissure due to increased water retention. Might a dimilar "inflation" effect work in any callular system, assuming the magnetic field has an effect on water in plant tissues.

:grin: That is correct. So high in fact it would not be feasible for a tall tree if it were only positive pressure. Negative pressure is mainly what gets fluids from the roots to the tree crown. Plant transpiration creates a suction force, much like sucking on a straw.

Yeah.  :picard facepalm:  should have thought of that. The pressures lower down in the stem/trunk would probable cause it to explode if it were positive pressure only. Yet I remember, on an Open University programme many years ago, them taking sap samples by cutting a leaf off at its stem, placing thst end in a tube and the sap dripping out. It could be complex - if there was growth above that point the that exuding ssp couod be "drain back", a localised effect seeming to cause a poditive pressure. But I sort of remember the lady talking about sap pressure as if it were positive, or is that just a false memory?

Though I admit to not knoeing what the dtiving force would be, perhaps little "pumps" every so often along the sap "pipes"? Thst would refuce the need for a very high positive pressure lower down. Time to do some more reading!

Probably capillary action? I never heard of little pumps in plant sap pipes though. :notsure:

Should have put a smiley in there...
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Truth or fiction?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2017, 10:27:26 AM »
Later: fluid pressure has to be quite high in plants to transport nutrients to the top. My mind certainly draws parallels here with the enlargement of cardiac tissure due to increased water retention. Might a dimilar "inflation" effect work in any callular system, assuming the magnetic field has an effect on water in plant tissues.

:grin: That is correct. So high in fact it would not be feasible for a tall tree if it were only positive pressure. Negative pressure is mainly what gets fluids from the roots to the tree crown. Plant transpiration creates a suction force, much like sucking on a straw.

Yeah.  :picard facepalm:  should have thought of that. The pressures lower down in the stem/trunk would probable cause it to explode if it were positive pressure only. Yet I remember, on an Open University programme many years ago, them taking sap samples by cutting a leaf off at its stem, placing thst end in a tube and the sap dripping out. It could be complex - if there was growth above that point the that exuding ssp couod be "drain back", a localised effect seeming to cause a poditive pressure. But I sort of remember the lady talking about sap pressure as if it were positive, or is that just a false memory?

Though I admit to not knoeing what the dtiving force would be, perhaps little "pumps" every so often along the sap "pipes"? Thst would refuce the need for a very high positive pressure lower down. Time to do some more reading!

Probably capillary action? I never heard of little pumps in plant sap pipes though. :notsure:

Should have put a smiley in there...

Me too. :P

;)
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