Science: Plants Better At Remembering Things Than Older Women With Big Butts

plant head

Scientists in Poland have discovered that plants encode information they get from various types of light and use it to immunize themselves against seasonal blight. Professor Stanislaw Karpinski led a team of biologists at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in shining colored lights on plants and then testing the plants’ resistance to disease. Plants have “a specific memory for the light which builds its immunity against pathogens, and it can adjust to varying light conditions,” he said to the BBC’s Victoria Gill. “So the plants perform a sort of biological light computation, using information contained in the light to immunise themselves against diseases that are prevalent during that season.” That’s amazing!

Less good news, though, for older women with large bottoms. Research conducted at Chicago’s Northwestern University indicates that in humans, fat stored around the hips is detrimental to cognitive functioning. “We need to find out if one kind of fat is more detrimental than the other, and how it affects brain function,” said Dr. Diana Kerwin, who led a study that weighed, measured and tested the mental faculties of 8,745 post-menopausal women aged 65 to 79. Woman with more fat collected around the hips and buttocks than in the belly and waist (often described as “the pear shape,” which has been found to be healthier than the “apple shaped” alternative when it comes to heart disease) scored markedly poorly on memory tests. “The fat may contribute to the formation of plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease or a restricted blood flow to the brain.” Bummer.