The last days of disco

Korean scientist Dr Mi-Jeong Jeong has discovered certain genes in plants which can be activated by sound. When researchers directed sounds toward the plants at specific frequencies:
Two genes, called rbcS and Ald, became more active at 125 and 250 Hertz, and less active at 50 Hertz.

Both genes are known to respond to light, so Jeong's team checked out what happened when the test was repeated in the dark -- and found that the two genes still responded to the sound.
This breakthrough has far reaching implications, As any student of palaeontology knows, in the distant past of long ago (what specialists call “dino-time”) nearly every inch of the landscape was overrun with stupid looking plants, and among this dense growth roamed gigantic, preposterous animals. Obviously, with a few exceptions, that’s no longer the case.

There have been many explanations for why things changed, all unsatisfactory. But Dr. Mi-Jeong Jeong’s work provides a crucial clue, one that leads to a new hypothesis.

In prehistoric epochs the music of the spheres was in all likelihood a different tune. This background noise activated sound responsive genes - in plants causing superabundant growth, in animals inducing gigantism and all the accompanying horns etc., like on this fossil. Then one day, for reasons unknown, the music changed, and life on Earth said to itself “The party’s over, we might as well go.” And so it did.

SEE ALSO: Did the Big Bang Make a Sound?


  1. In his Lecture "Did the Big Bang Make a Sound", Mortimer Shy had some reflections which, if I may say so myself, quite nicely apply here.

  2. Of course, the one with the picture of the spilled paint.


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