Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science
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Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science
Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry and Applied Botany
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How Gold Is Destroying Peru's Rainforests

How Gold Is Destroying Peru's Rainforests | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Greg Asner and his team of researchers found that gold mines in Peru increased by 400% from 1999 to 2012. Tons of forest area has to be cleared in order for miners to dig into the Earth and extract gold, and this is a serious problem because the Amazon forest produces about 20% of the planet's oxygen, according to the World Wildlife Fund. It also sucks up carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses, returning them to the Earth.

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Trees help at-risk species keep cool

Trees help at-risk species keep cool | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Forests with dense canopies create a microclimate that protects a variety of cold-adapted plant species from warming air temperatures, a study has shown.

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Smartphone app offers cheap aflatoxin test for farmers - SciDev.Net

Smartphone app offers cheap aflatoxin test for farmers - SciDev.Net | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The app works to boost the accuracy of simple colour-changing strip tests used to check for fungal aflatoxins.
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A Pathway to Flowering—Why Staying Cool Matters

Temperature is one of the most important cues that plants use to flower at the right time of the year—a process crucial for adaptation and reproductive success. We live in a world where climate change is already affecting our everyday lives and where, in the not too distant future, we will likely face huge challenges associated with increasing global temperatures (1). One of these challenges is to understand how flowering and growth of agricultural crops and trees will be affected by changing temperatures. The report by Lee et al. on page 628 of this issue (2), together with a recently published paper by Posé et al. (3), provide insight into the basic mechanisms controlling temperature regulation of plant growth and development.


Via Jennifer Mach
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Gardening 'linked to longer lives'

Gardening 'linked to longer lives' | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The results showed that people who were more active on a daily basis had the lowest risk of a heart attack, but those who were merely active without exercising still had a lower risk than those doing nothing.

Being active reduced the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 27%, and death from any cause by 30%, during the 12-year study.

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Surprises discovered in decoded kiwifruit genome

Surprises discovered in decoded kiwifruit genome | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
A new study that decoded the DNA sequence of the kiwifruit has concluded that the fruit has many genetic similarities between its 39,040 genes and other plant species, including potatoes and tomatoes.

Via Joshua
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Plant used as biodiesel source found to hide poisonous problem

Plant used as biodiesel source found to hide poisonous problem | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Copenhagen, Denmark (UPI) Oct 25, 2013 -
Danish scientists say a study of one biodiesel source plant - the castor bean - predicts problems if it's considered for large-scale use as a fuel source.

Via SustainOurEarth
Meristemi's insight:

Well, it shouldn't be a surprise, actually. The presence of ricin in castor bean (and thus in the waste material after the extraction of the oil), is well known since ages...

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To Poach or Not to Poach, There is No Question

To Poach or Not to Poach, There is No Question | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

When we hear the word poaching, we normally associate it with animals. But this is not always the case. Plant poaching is another form that is all too often overlooked but no less damaging to the ecology of a functioning system. Incidental plant theft from public lands is essentially stealing from the public.

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Botany, 100 years ago

Botany, 100 years ago | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Here's a beautiful photo from the archives of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens from 1914. It's interesting how similar the same setting looks today; the skill needed to care for and nurture rare and exotic plants hasn't changed much in 100 years!

The original photo is from an unknown photographer, and the print has been reimaged by Tom Donald for display in the botanic gardens http://www.flickr.com/photos/clearwood/10494406943/

 


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Can an Algae-Powered Lamp Quench Our Thirst For Energy?

Can an Algae-Powered Lamp Quench Our Thirst For Energy? | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
A French chemist is developing street lights that can absorb carbon dioxide 200 times more efficiently than trees
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Model plant misled scientists about multicellular growth

Model plant misled scientists about multicellular growth | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Because Arabidopsis thaliana does not have SMG1, which plays a key role in triggering the censorship system in animals, scientists had concluded that SMG1 was not present in any plant.

However, the Leeds researchers discovered that the plant that has established itself as the standard reference plant for all of biology is in fact an anomaly.

IMAGE: Scientists have misunderstood one of the most fundamental processes in the life of plants because Arabidopsis thaliana -- the dominant model used by plant scientists -- is actually quite an...

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"We have found that SMG1 is in every plant for which we have the genome apart from Arabidopsis and we have established that it is being used in NMD. Rather than being just in animals, we are suggesting that the last common ancestor of animals and plants had SMG1," Professor Davies said.

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Increasing toxicity of algal blooms tied to nutrient enrichment and climate change

Increasing toxicity of algal blooms tied to nutrient enrichment and climate change | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Nutrient enrichment and climate change are posing yet another concern of growing importance: an apparent increase in the toxicity of some algal blooms in freshwater lakes and estuaries around the world, which threatens aquatic organisms, ecosystem...
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Seeds on seeds on seeds: Why more biodiversity means more food security

Seeds on seeds on seeds: Why more biodiversity means more food security | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Seed banks and libraries provide an important resource for farmers hoping to hedge their bets in times of uncertainty. It's time for the rest of America to get on board.
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Forest people 'can gather carbon data'

Forest people 'can gather carbon data' | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Forest dwellers with little training and simple equipment can match the accuracy of hi-tech scientists in monitoring how well forests can store carbon, a study has found.
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New wheat varieties resist deadly fungus, boost yields in Kenya

New wheat varieties resist deadly fungus, boost yields in Kenya | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Farmers in Kenya say new wheat varieties that are resistant to a devastating stem-rust fungus are also bringing them much bigger harvests

Via CIMMYT, Int.
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BBC - Earth News - Venus flytrap origins uncovered

BBC - Earth News - Venus flytrap origins uncovered | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

A DNA analysis by Ken Cameron of the University of Wisconsin confirmed that the Venus flytrap and waterwheel are indeed related, and the closest relative of both turns out to be a species called Drosera regia.

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Community Post: 7 Deadly Secrets Of Carnivorous Plants

Community Post: 7 Deadly Secrets Of Carnivorous Plants | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Forget ghosts or vampires, if you want true terror you should take a look at carnivorous plants.
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Manipulation and Misconduct in the Handling of Image Data

Manipulation and Misconduct in the Handling of Image Data | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The past few years have seen a small number of celebrated cases of scientific fraud that have found their way into the general media. Many more examples of inappropriate data handling have come across the editorial desks of virtually every scientific journal. These have focused editors’ attention on inappropriate data handling and fraudulent image manipulation. The Plant Cell and Plant Physiology are no exceptions. Two decades ago, the practicalities of image handling meant that the boundaries were well-defined between what was acceptable and what was not; the darkroom skills needed posed a significant technical barrier to inappropriate manipulation of image data, particularly manipulation done without the intention to deceive but simply to “clean up” the image. The ethical boundaries are as clear-cut today as they were a quarter century ago, but many of the technical barriers to inappropriate manipulation have all but disappeared with the advent of digital image acquisition, storage, and handling. Adobe Photoshop was introduced in 1990 for Macintosh and in 1992 for personal computers; its widespread application, and the broader acceptance of digital formats during this past decade, have simplified greatly the tasks of image preparation. They also mean that much less skill is needed to manipulate images. Indeed, a common problem arising from digital formats is that many scientists inadvertently manipulate their image data, often in ways that result in the loss of important information, to make their data look as good as possible.


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Synergy effects of herb extracts: Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic basis

Synergy effects of herb extracts: Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic basis | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Herbal medicine, especially traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine have played and still play an important role in fighting against various diseases. Emerging clinical studies regarding traditional Chinese medicine have provided convincing evidence for the first time to gain credibility and reputation outside China. Although synergistic therapeutic actions of herbal ingredients have been frequently reported, few reports have offered clear underlying mechanisms. This might be the main reason for the conflicting views with respect to the therapeutic efficacy of medicinal herbs. Therefore,this paper reviews the herb synergisms reported in the recent literature and discusses thoroughly the mechanisms underlying synergistic actions of herbal ingredients. The authors conducted an electronic literature search to detect articles published mainly in the last five years. Articles were included if they pertained to synergy research of ethnomedicines or the active compounds derived from them, included verification of synergy effects using modern analytical tools and molecular – biological methods. Results have revealed that the multi-component nature of medicinal herbs makes them particularly suitable for treating complex diseases and offers great potential for exhibiting synergistic actions. The mechanisms underlying synergistic therapeutic actions of herb medicines are (1): different agents may regulate either the same or different target in various pathways, and therefore cooperate in an agonistic, synergistic way; (2): regulate the enzymes and transporters that involved in hepatic and intestinal metabolism to improve oral drug bioavailability ; (3): overcome the drug resistance mechanisms of microbial and cancer cells; (4): eliminate the adverse effects and enhance pharmacological potency of agents by “processing” or by drug-drug interaction. The exploration of synergistic mechanisms of herbal ingredients will not only help researchers to discover new phytomedicines or drug combinations but also help to avoid the possible negative synergy. Further clinical research is required for verifying these reported drug combinations and discovered synergistic mechanisms.

 

Source:Fitoterapia
Author(s): Yong Yang , Zaiqi Zhang , Shuping Li , Xiaoli Ye , Xuegang Li , Kai He


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What’s That Smell? Exotic Scents Made From Re-engineered Yeast

What’s That Smell? Exotic Scents Made From Re-engineered Yeast | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Genetic engineering to produce products that now come from rare plants holds great promise, but critics warn of harm to small farmers, among others.
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Beyond the Human Eye: Plant Cuticles

Beyond the Human Eye: Plant Cuticles | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The surface of plants (with a few exceptions, such as those that live submerged under water) is covered with a tough, transparent, waxy layer called the cuticle, composed of cutin secreted by the layer of epidermal cells that it covers.


Via Anne Osterrieder
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Anne Osterrieder's curator insight, June 7, 2013 8:44 PM

Lovely micrographs of plant cuticles, by Phil Gates. 

Andres Zurita's curator insight, June 17, 2013 10:41 AM

Great images!

Hiren P Bhatt's comment, July 17, 2013 4:47 AM
nice article
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Metabolic potential of endophytic bacteria

Metabolic potential of endophytic bacteria | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The bacterial endophytic microbiome promotes plant growth and health and beneficial effects are in many cases mediated and characterized by metabolic interactions. Recent advances have been made in regard to metabolite production by plant microsymbionts showing that they may produce a range of different types of metabolites. These substances play a role in defense and competition, but may also be needed for specific interaction and communication with the plant host. Furthermore, few examples of bilateral metabolite production are known and endophytes may modulate plant metabolite synthesis as well. We have just started to understand such metabolic interactions between plants and endophytes, however, further research is needed to more efficiently make use of beneficial plant-microbe interactions and to reduce pathogen infestation as well as to reveal novel bioactive substances of commercial interest.


Via Jean-Michel Ané, Freddy Monteiro
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Why the Avocado Should Have Gone the Way of the Dodo

Why the Avocado Should Have Gone the Way of the Dodo | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Its large pit and fleshy deliciousness are all a result of its status as an evolutionary anachronism
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Single sex flowers differ by scent

Single sex flowers differ by scent | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Mated female epicephala moths prefer the smell of male flowers, suggesting male flower scent triggers pollen collecting behaviour.

The female moths then transfer the pollen from male flowers to the female flowers in which they lay their eggs.

The team analysed the scent from both male and female flowers and found major differences in their chemical make-up.

According to the researchers, this is the first example where male and female floral scent is used to signal the alternative rewards provided by each sex of flower to their pollinators.

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