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A Tree That Eats Metal Was Just Discovered In The Philippines

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posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 08:22 AM
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i saw this and my first thought was "it's got to be a hoax". but it appears to be true.


Plants have evolved to exclude any metal from their roots or in any of the surrounding soil. Most plants do this, but not a particular plant called the Rinorea Niccolifera. It was discovered in the jungles of the Philippines and can accumulate up to 18,000 ppm of metal in its leaves and roots without being poisoned. This is 100 to 1000 times the amount of metal that normal plants can take in. Researchers at the University of the Phillippines – Los Banos that described the species in a new report also discovered that its ability to eat toxic levels of metals could make the tree a great solution to toxic waste sites around the planet. This is why this discovery is so important. It is a small tree, normally 1.8 meters tall with a stem ranging from 3 to 13 centimetres in diameter. Read more at www.the-open-mind.com...



As well as being an exciting new scientific discovery, the plant also has important environmental credentials. Rinorea niccolifera can remove large amounts of dangerous metallic metals from polluted ecosystems, and subsequently it is likely to find supporters in the mining industry. Not only can the plants absorb large amounts of nickel, they can also then be harvested for the metal they have absorbed. "Hyperaccumulator plants have great potentials for the development of green technologies, for example, 'phytoremediation' and 'phytomining',” Augustine Doronila, of the University of Melbourne, who co-authored the study, said. ‘Phytoremediation’ is a term used to describe how hyperaccumulator plants remove heavy metals from contaminated soils. ‘Phytomining’ refers to the process where hyperaccumulator plants are used to grow and harvest commercially viable metals in plant shoots from metal rich soils.
rt.com...


Nickel hyperaccumulation is such a rare phenomenon with only about 0.5–1 per cent of plant species native to nickel-rich soils having been recorded to exhibit the ability. Throughout the world, only about 450 species are known with this unusual trait, which is still a small proportion of the estimated 300,000 species of vascular plants. “Hyperacccumulator plants have great potentials for the development of green technologies, for example, phytoremediation and phytomining,” said Dr Augustine Doronila from the University of Melbourne, who is the senior author of a paper published in the journal PhytoKeys.
www.sci-news.com...


The new species, according to Dr Marilyn Quimado, one of the lead scientists of the research team, was discovered on the western part of Luzon Island in the Philippines, an area known for soils rich in heavy metals.
www.sciencedaily.com...


“This plant’s capacity to store 1.8 per cent of nickel is similar to the amount of nickel contained in any ordinary spoon or cutlery,” notes Augustine Doronila, co-author of the study and senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia who specialises in restoration ecology.
Because of the plant’s unique features, Doronila is also interested in further studying its potential applications in medicine. He cites aspirin as an example of a natural plant extract (from the willow tree) that became beneficial in modern medicine.

William Dar, director general of the India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, notes that another area worth looking into is the scalability of using the nickel-eating plant for environmental applications and the readiness of the Philippines and other countries in adopting this.

Doronila says a typical study on phytoremediation would involve covering a hectare of land with nickel-eating plants and holding the experiment for three or more years.

It is both labour and financially intensive but doable, Doronila points out. Key to this will be the further development of local scientists trained to identify the plant in the wild, regular funding for research and greater ecological awareness among the local population.

“I hope the discovery of the nickel-eating plant will fuel the hunger for more research on the biodiversity of the Philippines. We need to discover them before they get lost to land conversion,” he stresses.
www.scidev.net...


The new species of nickel-eating plant was called Rinorea niccolifera. It was discovered in Zambales, a province where there are mining projects. I think the plant is unknown to the local community because it has no local name. The plant is also classified as Endangered according to IUCN protocols. The study cites two possible uses for the plants. One is for phytoremediation, the process of cleaning up metal-contaminated soil. Another is to grow the plant and harvest the nickel later. This process is called Phytomining. I believe both process can be done at the same time. Use the plant to clean the soil and recover the metal later. By the way, nickel is a metal that is widely used in many products for consumer, industrial, military, transport, aerospace, marine and architectural applications. About 65 percent of the nickel which is produced is used to manufacture stainless steels. Another 20 percent is used in other steel and non-ferrous alloys, often for highly specialized industrial, aerospace and military applications. About 9 percent is used in plating and 6 percent in other uses, including coins, electronics, and in batteries for portable equipment and hybrid cars. * * * Here’s another metal-eating plant. Scientists at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, observed that gold can be found in the leaves of certain eucalyptus trees in very small amounts. Eucalyptus trees are similar to those found along the North Luzon expressway. The particles of gold found in the leaves of the eucalyptus trees are really tiny. They are only about one-fifth the diameter of human hair, and virtually invisible to the human eye. So if you’re thinking of killing eucalyptus trees to get the gold, forget it.
www.sunstar.com.ph...

i would say the discovery of this plant is of importance not only for the reasons given from the articles but as proof that we must be careful when it comes to destroying ecosystems for our use. we might just loose valuable plants that could help us in many ways. it seems even the locals had no idea of this plant's existence, which just shows how rare it must be. i am constantly amazed by the local people picking plants and leaves everywhere as a food source, be it something they grew on purpose or something that just springs up naturally. so if they didn't know it existed, you have to wonder what else plant/animal/insect species are here we have no idea about?




posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 08:25 AM
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a reply to: generik

i do find it interesting that this has not found it's way into western MSM sources, just RT which seems to becoming a valuable news source for information ignored in the western medias. i just happened to have one of these articles pop up in my facebook news feed (it does have it's uses after all), otherwise i likely would never have seen it either. plants are not my specialty having a rather "black thumb", but i am interested in them all the same.

it will be interesting to see what can come of this discovery, the articles seem to show many varied and helpful possibilities.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 08:38 AM
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a reply to: generik

I'm pretty sure it was covered by the MSM back in the day

Metal-Eating Plant Discovered, and It's Already at Risk

Forbes
ed it on 25-6-2014 by Indigent because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: Indigent
interesting, that never showed up as i was searching on the net. i was actually trying to find any North American MSM source for it figuring people would take it better than RT or the other sites i used that are unknowns (at least to me). i know the first thing i did when i saw it was tried to "snope" it since i figured it was a hoax. so thanks for that as source material. i wonder if they didn't show due to my location for some reason?



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 09:01 AM
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This is interesting, I read a tiny article about this a while back, but this is way more information than that gave.

Ferns can take arsenic out of the soil, then you cut the ferns and dispose of the tops to make it better for planting more types of food. Most plants do not take up metals from the soils unless certain chemicals are there. It is the physiology of the plant that makes it possible for us to identify it as safe to eat and we have learned methods of getting rid of any toxins they contain...that is called learning to cook.

So I wonder if this tree actually does this as part of it's defense system. It may use this to limit the ability of animals to eat it or to make metal herbicides to kill off competitive plants.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 09:02 AM
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Why not just recycle the metal and save the environment by not having to dig up and refine new stuff?



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 09:39 AM
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If you put a bunch of LEDs in a cave you can just have these plants suck the gold out of the wall



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 09:51 AM
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S&F'd..
maybe i'll see me some pollution-eating triffids yet?

a reply to: dashen
..sounds like an excerpt from paris hilton's autobiography



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 09:59 AM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
So I wonder if this tree actually does this as part of it's defense system. It may use this to limit the ability of animals to eat it or to make metal herbicides to kill off competitive plants.


interesting hypothesis, since the amount of what it can take in and store would likely kill most animals. yet unless the animals could somehow tell the plant is toxic i can't see killing something after being consumed likely killing the plant in the process, would be all that effective. your herbicide idea may have more merit, but it seems to store the metal, not use it. i guess it's something worth looking into while investigating the plant.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: generik

Very interesting - and how true:


We need to discover them before they get lost to land conversion




F&S&



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 10:31 AM
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originally posted by: PhoenixOD
Why not just recycle the metal and save the environment by not having to dig up and refine new stuff?


we should be doing that, recycling is always a good idea. i hate to say it but the way things are here in Manila for recycling, seems to put North America to shame. here instead of putting stuff in a recycle bin and hoping it actually gets recycled it is, well just different. to start with here we have people that come around and BUY your "recyclables" from you. you don't get much overall as the person needs to make their livelihood reselling it to junk dealers, who in turn sell it for repair and or reuse, or to be recycled. but cans, bottles, electronics, fans, old light fixtures, aircons as well as other stuff are things that we have sold this way. people (including the garbageman), will even go through any trash you throw out to find any "goodies" you might have thrown out. and considering you can get almost anything fixed pretty much anything will get taken. i have even seen umbrella repairmen, walking around with all sorts of reclaimed parts to fix broken umbrellas. people will even make stuff out of "garbage" for sale to tourists and daily use. cloth items get turned into potholders and mats as well as other stuff. a friend bought a jeepney made out of old newspapers, and using things like pill blister packs (medication doesn't come in bottles, but individual packaging, you can even buy your prescription one pill at a time if you want) for the lights. purses and bags made out of can pull tabs etc. some of the stuff is amazing. of course like everything else there are bad sides to this. many fires have started due to things like faultily repaired electric fans, and when you get a fire here it can be very bad, two recent fires burned out huge areas and HUNDREDS of people lost everything in each. across the lane from me there was a small fire that ONLY took out 7 houses, blamed on a laptop overheating (they evacuated our house and others when grenades, guns and ammo were discovered as they were fighting that one). or the case several years back where people had built homes on and were mining the garbage dump, hundreds died when there was an avalanche mostly they did not recover the bodies so no one really knows how many died.

but even if everything was recycled you would still need more raw materials on top of the reclaimed materials. yet if you have a plant that is able to extract the material from the soil, you could instead of mining, just harvest the plants, which of course could be replanted.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 12:56 PM
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Another shining example of how the earth has something that can fix our messes.

If only we would stop overwhelming it.



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 01:16 PM
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Isn't always interesting how Nature has a way of taking care of things we have made huge problems in our society from?

Maybe before we rush out a new product it should be evaluated not only how to sell it in the beginning but how it will end its life when it fails is outdated or needs to be replaced?



posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 02:21 PM
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a reply to: generik

When the leaves fall off on some trees they alter the soils so other competitive plants can't grow. This could be the case here. Plants do have defense systems that they employ. They make chemicals that deter animals and insects from eating them. Almost all plants do this in the wild, at least the ones that survive. We choose plants to grow in agriculture that have mutated defense systems, they do not make these chemicals well sometimes and they grow faster and bigger because they do not have to keep using energy to defend themselves. The trouble with these is that they need either added pesticides and miticides sprayed on them or constant attention to keep the bugs and sometimes fungus from eating them.

Some of these defense chemicals we have evolved with and we need them. In a few generations we get accustomed to them and they fight our diseases for us, allowing us to get bigger and more intelligent. Food is not just vitamins, minerals, and proteins and fiber. It is complex and our consumption needs are based on a lot of things that have happened during our evolution. People in Northern Europe have different needs than people from the Mediterranean area. People from Texas have different needs from those in Northern Michigan. Climate variations also effect necessary dietary requirements. Like I said, there is a lot more to all this than we are told. Someone who has studied this for a long time would have more knowledge on this subject than I do....unless they were satisfied with being a parrot.





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