I recall the issue was with the transported seeds failing to germinate after arrival in India.
This NPR article is a review of the book linked to above and has more details, including an excerpt:
IP rights are an exchange of temporary protection for ideas and implementation, in order to encourage both innovation and disclosure.
Is that just your opinion, or is there an internationally accepted legal framework around that? Could you perhaps post a link where I might learn more?
"Intellectual property" is a bad analogy to physical property, isn't justified by such a chain of reasoning, and in fact the IP enforcers are infringing on the rights of the second inventor (or in our mess of a legal system, the person who failed to file papers with the government first).
I'm not sure the author knows what a century is.
Edit: its called a demijohn if anyone else was curious, used for making wine
The shrimp inside are ʻōpaeʻula  which evolved to live in volcanic tide pools filled by rainwater. Sort of a feast or famine environment where the salinity and nutrients available are very volatile. Because of that, the shrimp have evolved to handle a wide range of temperatures, salinity, and scarcity of food.
The latter means they can go surprisingly long without sufficient food without realizing it. In other words, there's a good chance (according to some) that the shrimp in your ecosphere are actually slowly starving to death and aren't in anything approaching a stable ecosystem.
(Also, they aren't brine shrimp, which are an entirely different class of animal.)
Gardening is one of the many areas of life where the best information and the bulk of information is offline.
Most terraria are not sealed, so while we've been making them forever, that doesn't say much about the viability of sealed ones. As far as I know, research into closed ecosystems didn't start until the 20th century.
If it has fish in it, it's not a terrarium. Terraria are land-based (hence the name). Think garden in a box. The main thing a terrarium gives you over simply potting some plants is that it can increase the local humidity. Also, you can have animals in it (usually invertebrates that eat detritus), which helps it be lower-maintainance.
If it's full of water, it's an aquarium (again hence the name). Most aquaria today don't have living plants and only have animals. That requires mechanical filtration and oxygenation to replicate the side of the ecosystem that plants normally occupy. A "planted tank" is an aquarium with live plants in it. When balanced well, they can be lower maintainance because the plants and animals provide things the other need.
If the box is half-submerged with both aquatic and land-based life, it's a "paludarium".
I've come to realize this is true, but why?
But imho this is about to change, lots of people burning out on the rapid cycles and inherent unsustainability of living the "always online city lifestyle" and thus looking for ways to escape to something more natural in the form of gardening or even farming.
The point on HN seems to be; the takeaway, arguing grammar/numbers/journalistic standard, and cooler-topics recently, and this has all 3. (Hyperbolic comments too, in case the /s is not autodetected by the content-bot mentality)
If the garden is opened sometimes or the cork is loose, new water will enter by gass difussion until reaching an equilibrium. So a garden is either fully sealed, or watered.
Many plants are able to drink 'mist'. Some even only drink mist in their entire life.
They didn't quite get oxygen and food production to the required level, but if you add another acre or so it should work. With renewed interest in moon and mars colonies somebody is bound to revive that line of research.
It would have been useful if they were able to test a closed system without the cement sucking up the CO2.
edit: A bit of googling led me to the Russian one and some books on the problem generally. It sounds like a great speciality but probably hard to get a gig in.
If I had a multi-decade old terrarium, I'd be darn tempted to think of sensors you could stick in there and see if there's some sort of cycle going on.
For long-term defense systems, I'd try to go as low-tech as possible. Every bit of technology of the past 300 years is tied to a rather large manufacturing & supply chain. If your turret has μC in it, where will you get a new one if the marauders happen to score a lucky shot?
...so basically all you'd need to do is just dig a hole, put a bunch of metal pipes inside, seal it all up and run cooling water through and couple it to a closed-loop temperature control and you're done.
The idea is from an article from overclockers.com from the mid-2000s, about a dude who built his own water-cooling system and wanted a more efficient radiator. Not sure if I can find it again...
Silent Running was very much an ecological and social statement about humanity and the Earth. I cried when Lewie was gone, and felt bad for Dewey.
Let's hope it won't be needed.
Anybody having Tradescantia fluminensis knows that is a very easy plant to grow. It stores water in its stems so is relatively dry resistant, but it grows unlimited unless you clip it. So either there is some kind of autoprune system in the bottle, or somebody is opening the seal and clipping it. In that case there is a external source of water in the air in form of vapor.
> Did anyone try introduce an animal in such a closed system, insects for instance. Does it self sustain?
Unlikely with this species. Most animals are unable to eat it. In any case this is closer to a monoculture than to a real ecosystem between one plant and some fungus (needed to remove the dry parts and stems if we assume that there is not human intervention to clean the surplus).
Cook up aerogel panels 1m thick, and layer them over your inflatable shell. The panels would still be translucent to sunlight, although it would scatter significantly. Micrometeorites would plow into the aerogel, making micro-tunnels in it until the kinetic energy dissipates. The micrometeorites would then remain embedded in the panels. Larger impacts could still plow through the panels completely, to breach the inflatable envelope, but those are more easily tracked and avoided. Panels that get too shredded can be replaced, and the micrometeorites harvested from them for study.
There are other pigments that cannot photosynthesise on their own, but can pass the energy to chlorophyll to react, as well. So while green usually means photosynthesis, absence of green does not mean absence thereof.
There is a puprle earth hypothesis and Haloarchaea, which is based on witamin A related molecule for photosythesis, but those are not classified as plants.
The current theory for inception of plants is that one cell captured another chlorophyllic one and created symbiotic organism, which later evolved into multicelluar plants. So by definition plants should be green for phototrophy ("feeding on light"), until it would somehow evolved chlorophyllic cells, but ot seems they are older than plantae themselves.
Btw. similar theory exists for mitochondria and eukaryota, that's why we speak of my mitochondrial DNA.
But these examples are unusual; the vast majority of plants get their energy the normal way, through photosynthesis using cholorophyll.
The only thing that almost killed it was direct sunlight, I think it got too hot and all the moisture was pulled out to the top.
Soil from the yard, a couple of plant clippings, water... and seal it. I find it kind of surprising how excited the comments here are when 7 year olds around the world have done this same experiment.
Given that the terrarium guides I could find with a quick google suggest opening the vessel for gas exchange and fresh water every 4-8 weeks (depending on guide and plant type), the 2444 weeks reported here seems to be a long time.
Honestly, it’s just a small Biosphere. I don’t really understand why you would expect one to work and the other not to.
This is not merely sitting a coated steel bar on your shelf and expecting it to not rust. It is a highly dynamic cycle of multiple feedback loops and organizims, especially the soil microbiota. Any of it goes off, and the whole thing could collapse, and it could take a long time for that to go critical.
In this very example, he presumably determined tha tit needed water after several years, but added enough to balance to system so it lasted in a sealed condition for 47 more years.
> some like Bob Flowerdew (organic gardener) thinks that “It’s wonderful but not for me, thanks. I can’t see the point. I can’t smell it, I can’t eat it,”.
What kind of an argument is that?
I think it’s quite clear. As a gardener, who values close contact and interaction with plants, he doesn’t see the point of plants that are permanently behind glass.
>David planted the terrarium back in 1960
I'm so annoyed by the above. Is this article written in 2060?
> "In 1960 David Latimer got curious and decided to plant a glass bottle with seed."
> "Posted on March 22, 2017 by Davin"
1960 + 53 = 2013
They have apparently had 4 years to find and catch the "century" error prior to posting, and another 2 years since.
I can't tell if there was any cheating, because the article does not specify how much compost was placed in the bottle initially, or its composition. So I can't estimate whether there's actually enough carbon or water in the bottle to support the visible amount of living plant mass. He should have measured the mass of the whole thing in 1960, and at least once per year thereafter, so he could show that the total mass remained the same.
"more than half a century" ?
/EDIT nvm, I got confused. I guess whoever wrote the article did too
And if you still want to believe it, without evidence, then I have some property in Florida to sell you.
The real reason this one is newsworthy is because nobody knocked it off the table and shattered it in 50 years.
Tradescantia is not growth from seeds, so I assume also that the first seeds had died or survived for some years and Tradescantia was added later, maybe in 1972.