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Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science
Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry and Applied Botany
Curated by Meristemi
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Crowdsourcing biodiversity watch

Crowdsourcing biodiversity watch | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Following the 2006 ban on sturgeon fishing, the Romanian town of Sfantu Gheorghe, located at the mouth of the Danube river, turned to other income source to replace its fishing based economy. Thus, local children undertook to map out a plant called sea buckthorn, as a first step in forecasting its potential harvest value. Sea buckthorn is a coastal bush which produces yellow berries, typically used in food, beverages and traditional medicine. To achieve their goal, the children used mapping and GPS facilities made available from a crowdsourcing-based biodiversity monitoring initiative called Naturalliance.

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How does your garden glow? - The University of Nottingham

How does your garden glow? - The University of Nottingham | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Nature's ability to create iridescent flowers has been recreated by mathematicians at The University of Nottingham. The team of researchers have collaborated with experimentalists at the University of Cambridge to create a mathematical model of a plant's petals to help us learn more about iridescence in flowering plants and the role it may play in attracting pollinators
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Invading species can extinguish native plants despite recent reports | Science Codex

Invading species can extinguish native plants despite recent reports | Science Codex | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports that recent statements that invasive plants are not problematic are often based on incomplete information, with insufficient time having passed to observe the full effect of invasions on native biodiversity.

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Tree seeds offer potential for sustainable biofuels

Tree seeds offer potential for sustainable biofuels | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The study suggests that seeds from the Indian mahua and sal trees have almost as good a thermal efficiency as biodiesel but would produce lower emissions of carbon monoxide, waste hydrocarbons and NOx (nitrogen oxides)

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The Botany of Bushfires

The Botany of Bushfires | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre is trying to understand more about how bushfires work and how the environment responds to them. With sadly appropriate timing their recent research paper, Relationship between leaf traits and fire-response strategies in shrub species of a mountainous region of south-eastern Australia has just become a free access paper at Annals of Botany

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The Impossibility of Historical Flavour

The Impossibility of Historical Flavour | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Historical agricultural technologies, processing, storage practices, and preparation styles can, for the most part, be reconstructed, but the sensory and analytical framework through which we taste food, on both a personal and cultural level, shifts over time in ways that we don’t even have the language to describe, let alone recreate.

Meristemi's insight:

Pezzi di bravura.

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Ancient pill ingredients probed

Ancient pill ingredients probed | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Some 2,000-year-old tablets found on a shipwreck off the coast of Italy are analysed by scientists.
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Many ‘Grapefruit Seed Extracts’ adulterated with synthetic disinfectants, says nonprofit research consortium

Many ‘Grapefruit Seed Extracts’ adulterated with synthetic disinfectants, says nonprofit research consortium | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The majority of products containing grapefruit seed extracts may be adulterated with synthetic additives, according to a review from a nonprofit research

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HerbClip: Mechanism for Beneficial Effects of Rye in Disease Prevention Illuminated

HerbClip: Mechanism for Beneficial Effects of Rye in Disease Prevention Illuminated | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

This study reveals the metabolic shifts that occur with consumption of a high-fiber Rye Bread, namely, changes in 2 pathways involving single-carbon metabolism: branched-chain amino acids and betaine-related metabolites. These 2 pathways are known to be associated with the development of chronic diseases. These insights provide a mechanism for the beneficial effects of rye in the prevention of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and CVD.

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Really? The Claim: Green Tea Helps Burn Fat

Really? The Claim: Green Tea Helps Burn Fat | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Green tea contains an antioxidant that some believe helps burn fat, but studies have found no evidence that drinking the tea or taking a concentrated extract has such an effect.
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Brain imaging insight into cannabis as a pain killer - University of Oxford

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The researchers found that an oral tablet of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, tended to make the experience of pain more bearable, rather than actually reduce the intensity of the pain.

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Batik and the plants that dye them: distilling worldviews from plant-based dyes

Batik and the plants that dye them: distilling worldviews from plant-based dyes | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
I had written a year or so ago on the use of dyes in clothing to represent social rank in Korea, one of the more popular posts on this blog, and someone had recommended that I expand on this social...
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DNA barcoding can ID natural health products

DNA barcoding has proven up to 88 percent effective in authenticating natural health products, according to a new study.
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Half of all food 'thrown away'

Half of all food 'thrown away' | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
As much as half of the world's food - amounting to two billion tonnes worth - ends up being thrown away, a UK-based report claims.
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Mixed forests more productive than monocultures

Mixed forests more productive than monocultures | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Modern forestry is largely based on monocultures -- in Sweden usually pine or spruce -- mainly because it is considered more rational. However a forest contributes more ecosystem services than timber production, such as biological diversity, carbon storage, and berries. A new study from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Future Forests shows that mixed forests, in comparison with monocultures, have positive effects on several different areas, including production.

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Talking Plants: A Cabinet of Botanical Curiosities

Talking Plants: A Cabinet of Botanical Curiosities | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The plants must be interesting and/or important. If not strange, outlandish, bizarre, bewildering, bewitching, baffling or odd (things that I find interesting), they should be of great significance, consequence or value (which is what I gather important means). In the interesting category I would include...

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Scientists join forces to bring plant movement to light | e! Science News

Scientists join forces to bring plant movement to light | e! Science News | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Leading plant scientists explore one of the most fundamental processes in plant biology -- plant movement in response to light, water, and gravity -- in a January Special Issue of the American Journal of Botany. Plant movements, known as tropisms, are crucial for plant survival from the second a plant germinates to how a plant positions its flowers for pollinators and seed dispersal.
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Large, old trees disappearing worldwide

Large old trees are rapidly declining in many parts of the world, which has big implications for ecosystems and biodiversity. The new study, published in the journal Science, finds that the loss of large old trees in many areas around the world poses a threat to ecosystem integrity
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Welcome to 2013, the International Year of Quinoa

Welcome to 2013, the International Year of Quinoa | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Can we call quinoa a grain? Why do people care?  Where did all these geese feet come from, and what does Ban Ki-moon have to do with it?  On long winter runs, Katherine’s mind wanders over such que...
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Lovely and Unusual, Moraea tortilis: The Spiral Grass

Lovely and Unusual, Moraea tortilis: The Spiral Grass | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Moraea tortilis, better known as Spiral Grass, is a bulbous plant with very unusual and ornamental foliage with twisting and curly leaves that resemble a corkscrew. Native to limited regions of Nam...

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Adulteration issues highlighted 2012, Blumenthal says

Adulteration issues highlighted 2012, Blumenthal says | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The year 2012 might not mark the end of the world.  But in future years as people look back, it might mark the beginning of the end for the adulteration of botanical materials, according to Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American...
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Chinese Medicine Yields Secrets to Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute

Chinese Medicine Yields Secrets to Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Described in the journal Nature this week, the structure shows in atomic detail how a two-headed compound derived from the active ingredient in Chang Shan works. Scientists have known that this compound, called halofuginone (a derivative of the febrifugine), can suppress parts of the immune system—but nobody knew exactly how.

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Is Green Tea the Key to Burning Fat?

Is Green Tea the Key to Burning Fat? | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The report, a review of twelve different randomized controlled trials, concluded that drinking green tea does not stimulate weight loss. Even green tea extracts, with more highly concentrated levels of EGCG, don’t seem to spur fat burning miracles.

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Buckling as an origin of ordered cuticular patterns in flower petals

Buckling as an origin of ordered cuticular patterns in flower petals | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Beverly Glover's group is involved in some of the most interesting, interdisciplinary work, and here's another. Her work examines the developmental and genetic foundations for flower characteristics and how they interact with pollinators - it's appealing and the questions are accessible to undergraduates.

 

"The optical properties of plant surfaces are strongly determined by the shape of epidermal cells and by the patterning of the cuticle on top of the cells. Combinations of particular cell shapes with particular nanoscale structures can generate a wide range of optical effects. Perhaps most notably, the development of ordered ridges of cuticle on top of flat petal cells can produce diffraction-grating-like structures."

 

Here's her publication list:

http://www.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/research/glover/publications.html


Via Mary Williams
Meristemi's insight:

Studi che riguardano anche ambiti insospettabili per la biologia vegetale: la realizzazione di vernici speciali.

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Mary Williams's comment, January 9, 2013 5:22 AM
As translated by google translate, Meristemi's comment is: Studies also cover unexpected areas for plant biology: the creation of special paints. True!
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Possible effects of dietary polyphenols on sugar absorption and digestion - Williamson - 2012 - Molecular Nutrition & Food Research - Wiley Online Library

Possible effects of dietary polyphenols on sugar absorption and digestion - Williamson - 2012 - Molecular Nutrition & Food Research - Wiley Online Library | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

A lifetime intake of dietary polyphenols, assuming the same mechanism, has therefore a comparable potential to reduce diabetes risk, but more in vivo studies are required to fully test the effect of modulating post-prandial blood glucose in humans

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