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Video: Plants That Don't Die When They Lose Water Could Help Feed The World

Jill Farrant is trying to accomplish something most would consider impossible.

As the University of Cape Town molecular biologist explained during a presentation at the TEDGlobal>Geneva conference last month, Farrant is currently working on harnessing the potential of a group of some 135 rare “resurrection plant” species that are able to lose practically all of their water without dying, making them extremely drought-resistant.

This is a timely concern in South Africa, which is currently in the midst of its worst drought in over a century. The extreme conditions mean that more than half the country's 50 million people are facing hunger due to the persistent drought conditions’ impact on the harvest of maize and other staple crops.

"Pretty amazing, huh?" Farrant questioned her TED audience after showing dramatic time-lapse videos of three seemingly dead plants greening and coming back to life.

Steve Corey


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