A YouTuber has shown how with the help of science, humans can subtly control the movement of a plant. YouTube channel The Action Lab, which is run by James, who has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and works as an R&D engineer, showed how to communicate with plants in his latest video.
In the five-minute video, James shows how he put to use the action potentials to communicate with the plants and even connect it to his arm to control the plant as well. Starting the video, James mentions that the basic principle behind controlling anything is electricity. It is not just robots who need electricity to move but humans and other natural organisms as well who utilise it for their movement. Just like robots use wires to control the flow of electricity to motors, the human body uses nerves to control the flow of electricity to the muscles.
An electric signal prompts an electromagnetic wave that runs through the wire at the speed of light. However, the speed with which the electromagnetic wave runs through a human body is comparatively slow as it depends on natural ion movements in the cells. James explains that this movement of electrical signal across the cells in the human body is called action potential. He further mentions in the video that humans are not the only ones who use action potential but some plants also utilise this process for their movement.
Giving an example of Venus Flytrap, James attaches a positive electrode to the plant and a negative electrode in the soil where it is planted. The YouTuber then shows a screen that is assessing the flow of electricity running through them. The graph shows minimal activity with an almost straight line. But when James touches one of the hairs on the trap there is a sudden spike in the electric signal, which proves that the plant uses action potential. James runs another experiment on a plant called sensitive mimosa that closes as soon as he touches it.
Connecting these two plants through a wire, James decided to trigger the venus flytrap and capture the voltage produced from its action potential and transport it to the sensitive mimosa to make it fall asleep. As he ran this experiment, viewers saw how the sensitive mimosa closed its leaves when James triggered the Venus Flytrap by touching its hair. All he did was send the signal from one plant to another and prove how the two plants are communicating with each other. Using this principle, James attached an electrode to his arm to send a signal to the sensitive mimosa. As soon as he flexed his arm, the energy produced by the action potential transferred to the plant, making it fall asleep.
The video posted on YouTube last month has been viewed over 3,52,101 till now.