Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science
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Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science
Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry and Applied Botany
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ScienceShot: 'Dead' Cabbage Keeps on Kicking - ScienceNOW

ScienceShot: 'Dead' Cabbage Keeps on Kicking - ScienceNOW | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Researchers bought supermarket cabbages and exposed some of them to doses of light and dark, similar to what they would see on the farm. Others were kept in either constant light or dark. Those on a regular day/night cycle created up to three times as many glucosinolates as the other cabbages. These organic compounds help fend off pests in the wild—and indeed, when the scientists exposed the cabbages to hungry caterpillars, those cabbages that saw both day and night were better able to fend them off.

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Through the Wormhole: Cuscuta Parasite : Video : Science Channel

Through the Wormhole: Cuscuta Parasite : Video : Science Channel | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
This leafless parasidic vine exibits complex problem solving behaviors not normal to most plant life.
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Why the Tomato Was Feared in Europe for More Than 200 Years

Why the Tomato Was Feared in Europe for More Than 200 Years | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
How the fruit got a bad rap from the beginning
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Working In a Creative Field? Despite What You May Think, Coffee Is Not Your Best Friend

Working In a Creative Field? Despite What You May Think, Coffee Is Not Your Best Friend | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
By focusing your mind, caffeine may actually stand in the way of your creativity
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FAO asks: Could quinoa become a worldwide staple?

FAO asks: Could quinoa become a worldwide staple? | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Quinoa’s relatively high price compared to staple grains may restrict consumption to health-conscious consumers in high-income countries for now – but it could play an important role in food security in the long term, according to the FAO.
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Fungal symbiont choosiness from the nutrient “menu” influences orchid distribution

Fungal symbiont choosiness from the nutrient “menu” influences orchid distribution | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
 The distribution of orchid mycorrhizal fungi in the soil determines orchid distribution, and understanding the growth and survival of these fungi is an important consideration in orchid conservation.Orchids may be found everywhere, but which orchid is found where depends on the tastes of their partners.
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Asparagus Helps Lower Blood Pressure (At Least In Rats) : NPR

Asparagus Helps Lower Blood Pressure (At Least In Rats) : NPR | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
After 10 weeks, hypertensive rats fed a diet consisting of 5 percent asparagus had lower blood pressure than their counterparts fed a standard rat diet.
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Infrared photosynthesis: A potential power source for alien life in sunless places

The new findings suggest that photosynthetic life as we know it would struggle to flourish given the small amount of available light in hydrothermal vent environments. But organisms that could make use of lower-energy infrared light might find themselves with plenty to get by on in sunless circumstances.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-infrared-photosynthesis-potential-power-source.html#jCp

The new findings suggest that photosynthetic life as we know it would struggle to flourish given the small amount of available light in hydrothermal vent environments. But organisms that could make use of lower-energy infrared light might find themselves with plenty to get by on in sunless circumstances.

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Kew Gardens - Beyond the Gardens - The Forgotten Home of Coffee

There are now 125 species of coffee, but we only use two of them to produce the drink we know and love; Robusta and Arabica. Coffee is one of the world's fav...
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Ana G. Valenzuela Zapata's curator insight, June 25, 2013 4:13 AM

Plantations, genetical variation and research

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Old smartphones called in to save Indonesian forests - tech - 05 June 2013 - New Scientist

Old smartphones called in to save Indonesian forests - tech - 05 June 2013 - New Scientist | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

A chainsaw revs in a remote swathe of the Indonesian rainforest. Within minutes, rangers appear as if from nowhere, stopping illegal loggers in their tracks and saving countless trees. How did they know? A tip off from a recycled cellphone hanging hundreds of metres away in the forest. A forest project that uses solar-powered smartphones hanging from trees to listen for the sounds of chainsaws could help stop illegal logging.

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Flavor network and the principles of food pairing

Flavor network and the principles of food pairing | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

The cultural diversity of culinary practice, as illustrated by the variety of regional cuisines, raises the question of whether there are any general patterns that determine the ingredient combinations used in food today or principles that transcend individual tastes and recipes. We introduce a flavor network that captures the flavor compounds shared by culinary ingredients. Western cuisines show a tendency to use ingredient pairs that share many flavor compounds, supporting the so-called food pairing hypothesis. By contrast, East Asian cuisines tend to avoid compound sharing ingredients. Given the increasing availability of information on food preparation, our data-driven investigation opens new avenues towards a systematic understanding of culinary practice.

 

As omnivores, humans have historically faced the difficult task of identifying and gathering food that satisfies nutritional needs while avoiding foodborne illnesses. This process has contributed to the current diet of humans, which is influenced by factors ranging from an evolved preference for sugar and fat to palatability, nutritional value, culture, ease of production, and climate. The relatively small number of recipes in use (∼10E6, e.g. http://cookpad.com) compared to the enormous number of potential recipes (>10E15), together with the frequent recurrence of particular combinations in various regional cuisines, indicates that we are exploiting but a tiny fraction of the potential combinations. Although this pattern itself can be explained by a simple evolutionary model or data-driven approaches, a fundamental question still remains: are there any quantifiable and reproducible principles behind our choice of certain ingredient combinations and avoidance of others?

 

Although many factors such as colors, texture, temperature, and sound play an important role in food sensation, palatability is largely determined by flavor, representing a group of sensations including odors (due to molecules that can bind olfactory receptors), tastes (due to molecules that stimulate taste buds), and freshness or pungency (trigeminal senses). Therefore, the flavor compound (chemical) profile of the culinary ingredients is a natural starting point for a systematic search for principles that might underlie our choice of acceptable ingredient combinations.

 

A hypothesis, which over the past decade has received attention among some chefs and food scientists, states that ingredients sharing flavor compounds are more likely to taste well together than ingredients that do not (for more info, see http://www.foodpairing.com). This food pairing hypothesis has been used to search for novel ingredient combinations and has prompted, for example, some contemporary restaurants to combine white chocolate and caviar, as they share trimethylamine and other flavor compounds, or chocolate and blue cheese that share at least 73 flavor compounds. As we search for evidence supporting (or refuting) any ‘rules’ that may underlie our recipes, we must bear in mind that the scientific analysis of any art, including the art of cooking, is unlikely to be capable of explaining every aspect of the artistic creativity involved. Furthermore, there are many ingredients whose main role in a recipe may not be only flavoring but something else as well (e.g. eggs' role to ensure mechanical stability or paprika's role to add vivid colors). Finally, the flavor of a dish owes as much to the mode of preparation as to the choice of particular ingredients. However, one hypothesis is that, given the large number of recipes we use in our analysis (56,498), such factors can be systematically filtered out, allowing for the discovery of patterns that may transcend specific dishes or ingredients.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Anna V. A. Resurreccion's comment, June 5, 2013 4:41 PM
Interesting analyses of flavors; looking at similarities and dissimilar patterns. Garlilc appears to be common to all but North Aerican diets. I hope the authors will include AFRICA. This study might unlock the key to introducing nutrition in diets of populations worldwide.
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Inkfish: How Science Education Changes Your Drawing Style

Inkfish: How Science Education Changes Your Drawing Style | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Take a look at these neurons. Ignore the fact that several of the brain cells look like snowflakes and at least one looks like an avocado. Can you pick out the drawings done by experienced, professional neuroscientists? What about the ones made by undergraduate science students?

Researchers at King's College London gave a simple task to 232 people: "Draw a neuron." (Actually, being British, they said "Please draw a neuron.") Some of the subjects were undergraduates in a neurobiology lecture. A small group were experienced neuroscientists who led their own research labs at the college. And a third, in-between group included graduate students and postdocs.

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HerbalGram: Exploring the Peripatetic Maze of Black Cohosh Adulteration: A Review of the Nomenclature, Distribution, Chemistry, Market Status, Analytical Methods, and Safety

HerbalGram: Exploring the Peripatetic Maze of Black Cohosh Adulteration: A Review of the Nomenclature, Distribution, Chemistry, Market Status, Analytical Methods, and Safety | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

This article reviews issues associated with the complexities of black cohosh adulteration, including botanical and nomenclatural considerations; trade and economic issues; various identification, analytical, and authentication challenges; alleged liver toxicity linked to adulterated products; and other data on economic adulteration of products labeled as black cohosh.

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Juniper tree disease threatens G&T - Telegraph

Juniper tree disease threatens G&T - Telegraph | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The latest deadly tree fungus threatens your gin and tonic by killing off juniper berries.
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Natural colors: In conversation with LycoRed on why tomatoes trump bugs and beets

Natural colors: In conversation with LycoRed on why tomatoes trump bugs and beets | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
If you’re looking for a natural red food color, carmine can deliver. It’s vibrant, but stable, and prices have recently returned from the stratosphere after hikes in 2010/11.
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Alternative Medicine Is a $34 Billion Industry, But Only One-Third of the Treatments Have Been Tested

Alternative Medicine Is a $34 Billion Industry, But Only One-Third of the Treatments Have Been Tested | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The traditional medicine industry is just as profit-driven as any other
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What are the top 10 natural and organic food trends that will influence the mainstream? From novel nut butters to purple corn

What are the top 10 natural and organic food trends that will influence the mainstream? From novel nut butters to purple corn | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Gourmet nut butters, pea protein, purple corn, yogurt for men and more chewy drinks?  Sterling-Rice Group identifies the top 10 natural and organic food trends that are starting to influence the mainstream grocery market.
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Frozen broccoli lacks ability to form healthy compound: Study

Frozen broccoli lacks ability to form healthy compound: Study | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Commercially available frozen broccoli almost entirely lacks the ability to form the beneficial compound sulforaphane from the phytonutrient glucoraphanin, according to new research.
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A Survey of the 161 Bacterial Families That Live on Your Fruits and Veggies

A Survey of the 161 Bacterial Families That Live on Your Fruits and Veggies | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The first-ever sequencing of the produce microbiome reveals that grapes, peaches and sprouts host the largest diversity of harmless bacteria
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What's in your strawberries? - EiC May 2012

What's in your strawberries? - EiC May 2012 | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

Have you ever wondered what makes the colour, taste and smell of strawberries so attractive? Why do the ones you might find growing wild seem tastier? Is there something in the chemistry?

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Mary Williams's curator insight, June 9, 2013 4:14 AM

This article from the Royal Society of Chemistry's "Education in Chemistry" journal includes a table showing the structures of the flavor molecules in strawberries. Yum!

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The exotic plants to try before you die - Telegraph

The exotic plants to try before you die - Telegraph | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Scientists have drawn up a list of almost 100 exotic fruits and vegetables they believe everyone should eat before they die.
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Plant intelligence for better swarm robots

Plant intelligence for better swarm robots | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it

John Innes Centre scientists will participate in new €2 million EU-funded research to programme more "intelligent" and adaptable robot swarms.The collaborative research will also be useful for improving other complex systems that can be challenged by their environment, such as smart phone networks.

 

"Plants achieve exquisite organisation and spatially-controlled division of labour," said Dr Veronica Grieneisen from the John Innes Centre."They form complex patterns and deal with conflict or damage by acting locally but for the benefit of the whole."


Via Nicola Brown
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Triple boost for added fibre products

Triple boost for added fibre products | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
Improved bowel health, increased satiety and enhanced calcium absorption add to mounting evidence for the health benefits of certain added fibres in the diet, according to Tate & Lyle.
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Grass: It's What's For Dinner (3.5 Million Years Ago) : NPR

Grass: It's What's For Dinner (3.5 Million Years Ago) : NPR | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
A team of researchers spent years analyzing teeth from fossils of early humans as well as their ancient forebears, such as Australopithecus, the diminutive creature that walked upright, climbed trees, and lived a sort of part-ape, part-human-like lifestyle. What the team looked at specifically were the amounts of certain isotopes of carbon that get taken up from our food and deposited in our teeth. These isotopes reveal what we and our ancestors were eating.
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Human activity echoes through Brazilian rainforest

Human activity echoes through Brazilian rainforest | Erba Volant - Applied Plant Science | Scoop.it
The disappearance of large, fruit-eating birds from tropical forests in Brazil has caused the region's forest palms to produce smaller, less successful seeds over the past century, researchers say.
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