Plants process information, sleep, remember, and signal to one another. Due to human arrogance we have missed the plants potential. But in the future we may see computer networks inspired by the root system and plantoids that can explore the soil. Professor Stefano Mancuso, plant neurobiologist at the University of Florence, will forever change the way you think about plants.
Soon Stefano Mancuso´s TED talk will have been viewed a million times. He is also a popular lecturer live. A couple of months ago 1500 people visited his lecture in Ohio and there were also people outside the theatre. Now he will visit SLU!
He is a founder of the study of plant neurobiology, which explores signaling and communication at all levels of biological organization, from genetics to molecules, cells and ecological communities. He and his colleagues have found a zone at the root apex that sends signals similar to the signals in our nervous system. These tiny structures work together in the root system – Stefano compares them to internet and thinks that engineers have a lot to gain from studying plants. The big root system also makes plants unrivaled on exploring the soil – and still we don´t have any plantoids (but androids).
Stefano has also written the book Brilliant Green – The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence together with the science journalist Allessandra Viola. It has not received a lot of attention in Sweden yet but had positive reviews at other places.