Desert plant discovered to get up to 90% of fluids from crystallized water trapped in rocks...
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Plants!
A completely novel water source for life with implications for its presence and survival in other critically dry and inhospitable environments...
(ZombieGenius is a chemist)
I think that it should be studied extensively and the process verified by another group, as with all science. As the article states, understanding this phenomenon could offer great insight into understanding the possibility of life on other planets. Without reading the actual journal publication I can't comment on the the quality of the research, but the process is not far fetched really. All that would be required is that either the root of the plant or a fungus on the root of the plant has a chemical or enzyme or protein that has a greater affinity for water than the gypsum, it could be more complex than that, but that would be the minimum. It may be something we know of, or it may be brand new. Heck for all I know gypsum could be food for something living on the roots and it expels the water as a waste product that the plant consumes. In short, I think it is a great find, and am excited to see how our understanding of this process unfolds. When it comes to biology I always remember the words of the famous (albeit fictional character) Ian Malcolm, "Life, uh uh, finds a way."