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Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science
Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry and Applied Botany
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Low Melatonin May Boost Diabetes Risk

Low Melatonin May Boost Diabetes Risk | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

 

The study only found an association, and cannot prove that low melatonin levels cause Type 2 diabetes. But the findings raise the question of whether increasing people's melatonin levels, through supplements or prolonged exposure to darkness, could decrease diabetes risk, said study researcher Dr. Ciaran McMullan, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston..

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UC research on Maya village uncovers 'invisible' crops, unexpected agriculture

UC research on Maya village uncovers 'invisible' crops, unexpected agriculture | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
They found tremendous quantities of a root crop (malanga, a relative of taro) that previously had not been associated with Maya agriculture. They found another "invisible" crop of manioc alongside the more anticipated fields of maize, and they found grasses no longer in existence on the modern-day El Salvador landscape.
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Mapping The Microbes That Flourish On Fruits And Veggies : NPR

Mapping The Microbes That Flourish On Fruits And Veggies : NPR | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Salad is not just a food; it's home to a flourishing community of mostly benign microbes. A new inventory finds surprising differences in the bacteria growing on popular fruits and vegetables.

 

But understanding the microbiomes of fruits and vegetables, he says, may ultimately make it possible to figure out ways to delay spoilage in fresh produce, or to learn how the food bacteria interact with each other and with the millions of bacteria in the human gut.

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Licorice importation price worries Japan's herbal medicine industry

Licorice importation price worries Japan's herbal medicine industry | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Japan’s herbal medicine industry is making efforts to ensure that there is no shortage of licorice supply as import prices have increased 50% for the past five years. This is due to China’s tightened regulations on harvesting and exporting licorice to protect their own supply.

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Arms Race to Grow World's Hottest Pepper Goes Nuclear

Arms Race to Grow World's Hottest Pepper Goes Nuclear | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The chili one-upmanship raises the question of how many people can actually appreciate the march toward new heights of heat.

Via Mary Williams
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Mary Williams's curator insight, March 27, 2013 4:41 AM

Hm... has anyone used chilis for teaching? It seems like there is a lot of opportunity for fun and education - metabolic pathways, Mendelian genetics etc.... and, as the article points out, "no one has ever died" from eating chilis...

Meristemi's comment, March 27, 2013 4:52 AM
You can add also coevolution and human physiology. Chilis are not just eclectic in the kitchen, but in classroom too.
Mary Williams's comment, March 27, 2013 6:00 AM
Great idea - how capsaicins affect human physiology and behavior! Anybody know off hand if other animals / primates like the really hot chilis too, or is it just a human thing?
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Two decades of collecting medicinal herbs

Two decades of collecting medicinal herbs | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Kamath, a Konkani farmer from Thammanam, is on a mission to preserve what some of his community members had helped create over 300 years ago, the collection and categorization of plants for the legendary work Hortus Malabaricus.

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Hoodia gum maker defends satiety effect

Hoodia gum maker defends satiety effect | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The maker of a newly launched appetite suppressant gum claims to be the first to have self-affirmed GRAS status for hoodia in the US and hopes to overcome the negative image of the plant as a weight management ingredient.
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Why plants can be the key to solving crimes - Telegraph

Why plants can be the key to solving crimes - Telegraph | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Botanical evidence is increasingly being used by police to analyse crimes, often to link suspects to murders. The iconic case took place in 1993, in the early days of DNA technology. A woman’s body had been found in the Arizona desert at a site surrounded by paloverde trees, one of which showed damage from a recent collision. Examination of the suspect’s pickup revealed two paloverde seed pods. Analysis of the DNA from the pods, the damaged tree and 29 other trees confirmed beyond doubt that both seed pods came from the damaged tree, thus linking the vehicle to the murder site. In the subsequent trial, the seed pod data became the first molecular botanical evidence to be accepted by a court, and helped to convict the suspect of murder.

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Why in the World Are You Taking a Multivitamin? | Fooducate

Why in the World Are You Taking a Multivitamin? | Fooducate | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Isolating a few of the nutrients while disregarding the others may be the reason that many of the promises on the supplement packaging never come true.
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Herbal Viagra actually contains the real thing - health - 01 March 2013 - New Scientist

Herbal Viagra actually contains the real thing - health - 01 March 2013 - New Scientist | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Michael Lamb at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania, and colleagues purchased 10 popular "natural" uplifting remedies on the internet and tested them for the presence of sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. They found the compound, or a similar synthetic drug, in seven of the 10 products – cause for concern because it can be dangerous for people with some medical conditions.
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Bees attracted to contrasting colors when looking for nectar

Flower colors that contrast with their background are more important to Flower colors that contrast with their background are more important to foraging bees than patterns of colored veins on pale flowers according to new research, by Heather Whitney from the University of Cambridge in the UK, and her colleagues. Their observation of how patterns of pigmentation on flower petals influence bumblebees' behavior suggests that color veins give clues to the location of the nectar. There is little to suggest, however, that bees have an innate preference for striped flowers.

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Smaller But Better? Organic Tomatoes May Pack More Nutritional Punch : NPR

Smaller But Better? Organic Tomatoes May Pack More Nutritional Punch : NPR | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Tomatoes grown on organic farms contained significantly higher levels of vitamin C, sugar and lycopene than their conventionally grown counterparts, a study finds.
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Sandi Cornez's curator insight, February 22, 2013 3:14 PM

Organic tomatoes and other veggies help keep the body more alkaline and more resistant to disease and illness.

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Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years

Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Gardener David Latimer, from Cranleigh, Surrey, first planted his bottle garden in 1960 and finally sealed it tightly shut 12 years later as an experiment - and it's still going strong.
Meristemi's insight:

And that's amazing!

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Maple Syrup Takes Turn Toward Technology

Maple Syrup Takes Turn Toward Technology | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Maple syrup conjures images of old-fashioned rural New England, but the reality is changing with the help of technology.
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Could Some of Our Favorite Flavorings Be Damaging Our DNA? - TIME

Could Some of Our Favorite Flavorings Be Damaging Our DNA? - TIME | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
TIME
Could Some of Our Favorite Flavorings Be Damaging Our DNA?
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Seedling functional traits of tropical vs. cool-temperate trees

Seedling functional traits of tropical vs. cool-temperate trees | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

They conclude that whereas competition for light favours rapid growth in light-demanding trees native to environments with warm, frost-free growing seasons, frost resistance may be an equally important determinant of the fitness of light-demanders in cool-temperate rainforests, as seedlings establishing in large openings are exposed to sub-zero temperatures that can occur throughout most of the year.

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Diana Plant Sciences debuts cocoa ingredient derived from plant stem cells

Diana Plant Sciences debuts cocoa ingredient derived from plant stem cells | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Diana Plant Sciences, based in Portland, OR, has brought to market what it says is the first nutraceutical ingredient produced completely in a bioreactor via plant stem cell technology.
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Laxative effect of fibre-rich foods ‘unconvincing’, finds review

Laxative effect of fibre-rich foods ‘unconvincing’, finds review | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Fibre-rich foods are widely considered the best remedy for constipation, but a review has said that the majority have low laxative potential.
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The Cannon Ball Tree

The Cannon Ball Tree | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
What's your nomination for the most interesting tree in the world? Dr. Mori votes for the cannon ball tree!
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Acorns Helped Sustain Indigenous Groups | California | Sarah Khan

Acorns Helped Sustain Indigenous Groups | California | Sarah Khan | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The indigenous people of California relied on acorns to sustain them, using the nuts for everything from basket weaving to basic nutrition.
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Kew Economic Botany Collection Blog - Going Online

Kew Economic Botany Collection Blog - Going Online | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Regular readers will have noticed a long pause since my last blog post. That's because we've been working hard on getting the Economic Botany Collection online.
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Don't be fooled: Flowers mislead traditional taxonomy

Don't be fooled: Flowers mislead traditional taxonomy | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

For hundreds of years, plant taxonomists have worked to understand how species are related. Until relatively recently, their only reliable source of information about these relationships was the plants' morphology—traits that could be observed, measured, counted, categorized, and described visually. And paramount among these morphological traits were aspects of flower shape and arrangement. However, floral morphologies may be less reliable than other traits in determining the relationships of papilionoid species and genera.

 

 

        
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The African walnut: An ‘unconventional liana’ full of promise | World Agroforestry Centre

The African walnut: An ‘unconventional liana’ full of promise | World Agroforestry Centre | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The African walnut (Tetracarpidium conophorum) is well known in West and Central Africa, where it goes by many different names—conophor nut, ukpa, asala kaso, and ngak to name a few. Besides its nutritious seeds which can be eaten raw or cooked or sold for cash, cocoa farmers grow the vine for the partial shade its high canopy provides to their cocoa orchards, protecting them from full sun. Another attraction is that, being a climber, the vine takes up no extra land on their farms.

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Ancient quinoa has future value in food security, says UN

Ancient quinoa has future value in food security, says UN | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The United Nations has hailed the ancient grain quinoa as a valuable and extraordinary crop that can help in the push forward on food and nutrition security.
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Of Sisters and Clones: An Interview with Jessica Rath - Venue

Of Sisters and Clones: An Interview with Jessica Rath - Venue | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Embedded within this army of clones, however, is the potential for endless apple diversity. Each seed in an apple is genetically unique: like human siblings, seed sisters from the same fruit remix their source DNA into something that has never been seen before—and is likely, at least in the case of the apple, to be bitter, tough, and altogether unpalatable. The sheer variety of wild apples is astonishing: in its original home, near Almaty in Kazakhstan, the apple can be the size of a cherry or a grapefruit; it can be mushy or so hard it will chip teeth; it can be purple- or pink-fleshed with green, orange, or white skin; and it can be sickly sweet, battery-acid sour, or taste like a banana.

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