No tree is an island, and no place is this truer than the forest. Hidden beneath the soil of the forest understory is a labyrinth of fungal connections between tree roots that scientists call the mycorrhizal network.
The Saharan cypress is one of the world’s oldest trees, with ages in excess of 3000 yrs. The trees are the relict species of a Saharan forest, from a time when the area had a milder, more mediterranean climate. Today, the species is extremely rare, with only 233 known individuals left growing in the wild…
“In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson), but he could have said the same for insects too. Male insects will be following the scent of females, looking for a partner, but not every female is what she seems to be. It might look like the orchid is getting some unwanted attention in the video below, but it’s actually the bee that’s the victim. The orchid has released complex scents to fool the bee into thinking it’s meeting a female.
Botanical ingredient experts are not surprised by a recent report on the association of green tea extracts with liver toxicity. It’s consistent with recent literature and could serve as a warning sign of the potential dangers lurking in the pharmaceutical-style, reductionist approach toward botanical ingredient development.
A small team of chemists, having learned the secrets of light absorption from chlorophylls a and b, can now tune molecules to absorb anywhere in the solar spectrum. They are using this facility to synthesize pigments that fill gaps in the sunlight absorbed by native pigments and to push deeper into the infrared than any native pigment.
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