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The Lead

Farmers Fund Research to Breed Gluten-free Wheat

March 24, 2015 11:35 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Kansas farmers are paying for genetic research to figure out exactly why some people struggle to digest wheat.

Plants Survive Mass Extinctions Better Than Animals

February 18, 2015 12:33 pm | by University of Gothenburg | News | Comments

At least 5 mass extinction events have profoundly changed the history of life on Earth. But a...

Plant Extract Fights Brain Tumor

February 10, 2015 5:06 pm | by Max Planck Society | News | Comments

Silibinin has an outstanding safety profile in humans and is currently used for the treatment of...

High-Speed Images Capture How Raindrops Spread Plant Pathogens

February 4, 2015 9:14 am | by MIT | News | Comments

Farmers have long noted a correlation between rainstorms and disease outbreaks among plants....

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The Winners, Losers of Ocean Acidification

January 28, 2015 10:30 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

Populations of certain types of marine organisms known collectively as the ‘biofouling community’ – tiny creatures that attach themselves to ships’ hulls and rocks – may quadruple within decades, while others may see their numbers reduced by as much as 80 percent, if the world’s oceans continue to become more acidic, according to new research.

A Poisonous Cure

December 5, 2014 12:42 pm | News | Comments

Take two poisonous mushrooms, and call me in the morning. While no doctor would ever write this prescription, toxic fungi may hold the secrets to tackling deadly diseases.                       

Merry Marijuana: Pot Sellers Woo Holiday Shoppers

November 26, 2014 8:30 am | by Kristen Wyatt - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

From new marijuana strains for the holidays to gift sets and pot-and-pumpkin pies, the burgeoning marijuana industry in Colorado is scrambling to get a piece of the holiday shopping dollar.                  

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Fungus Behind Deadly Disease in Walnut Trees Mutates Easily

November 17, 2014 10:49 am | News | Comments

Researchers from Purdue and Colorado State universities have discovered that the fungus responsible for thousand cankers disease, a lethal affliction of walnut trees and related species, has a rich genetic diversity that may make the disease more difficult to control. Read more...

Some Plants Regenerate by Duplicating DNA

November 12, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

When munched by grazing animals (or mauled by scientists in the lab), some herbaceous plants overcompensate– producing more plant matter and becoming more fertile than they otherwise would. Scientists say they now know how these plants accomplish this feat of regeneration.

Algae Virus Found in Healthy Human Throats

October 28, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered an algae virus never before seen in the throats of healthy people that may subtly alter a range of cognitive functions including visual processing and spatial orientation in those who harbor it.         

Medical Pot Dilemma: Where to Get the First Seeds?

October 27, 2014 8:25 am | by Carla K. Johnson - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

As more states legalize medical marijuana, there's one stage in the process nobody wants to talk about: the part where people still have to break the law.                            

Olive Oil More Stable, Healthful for Frying Food

October 22, 2014 1:52 pm | News | Comments

Before dunking your favorite food in a vat of just any old oil, consider using olive. Scientists are reporting that olive oil withstands the heat of the fryer or pan better than several seed oils to yield more healthful food.       

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New Approach to Boosting Biofuel Production

October 3, 2014 1:49 pm | News | Comments

Yeast are commonly used to transform corn and other plant materials into biofuels such as ethanol. However, large concentrations of ethanol can be toxic to yeast, which has limited the production capacity of many yeast strains used in industry. Now, researchers have identified a new way to boost yeast tolerance to ethanol by simply altering the composition of the medium in which the yeast are grown.

BST This Week #19: Smelly Grass Fights Off Bugs

September 26, 2014 8:30 am | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski reports on a discovery that claims the smell of mown grass is actually an SOS for help in resisting insect attacks. Our second story covers the possibility that modified vitamin D can help fight pancreatic cancer.

New Defense Mechanism Against Viruses Discovered

September 11, 2014 2:05 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have discovered that a known quality control mechanism in human, animal and plant cells is active against viruses. They think it might represent one of the oldest defense mechanisms against viruses in evolutionary history.      

Chefs, Breeders Pair Up to Produce Tastier Veggies

September 1, 2014 4:23 pm | by M.l. Johnson - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

There's a good chance that many of the suddenly trendy vegetables that foodies latch on to in the next decade will benefit from research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.                     

Making Bones from Beer Waste

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | by Skip Derra | Articles | Comments

At first blush it is a bit disingenuous, using beer waste as a base material for new bone. But that is exactly what a multidisciplinary team of researchers in Spain has come up with in a process for making the substrate material on which bone can be regenerated.

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Fiber-based Ingredient Can Make You Eat Less

August 26, 2014 2:05 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have demonstrated the effectiveness of a fiber-based dietary ingredient that makes people feel less hungry and consume less food. Tthe new product  consists of a combination of dietary fiber sources including a viscous hydrocolloid and a whole-grain corn flour rich in resistant starch.

BST This Week #9: Can Sweat Power Your Smartphone?

August 20, 2014 2:48 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski highlights the possibility of using small sensors as biobatteries that can harvest power from sweat. Our second story covers a newly discovered plant “language."     

Bioscience Technology This Week #8: Safe Nuts for Allergy Sufferers

August 15, 2014 12:43 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski reports on the possibility of making nuts safer to eat for those with allergies. Our second story tackles important questions about which genes may drive antibiotic resistance. 

‘Jumping Genes’ Help Black Truffles Adapt

August 6, 2014 12:55 pm | News | Comments

Black truffles expensive and highly prized in the world of haute cuisine, but in the world of epigenetics, the fungi are of major interest for another reason: their unique pattern of DNA methylation, a biochemical process that chemically modifies nucleic acids without changing their sequence.

Chili Pepper Chemical May Inhibit Gut Tumors

August 4, 2014 12:35 pm | News | Comments

Researchers report that dietary capsaicin– the active ingredient in chili peppers– produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining the intestines of mice, triggering a reaction that ultimately reduces the risk of colorectal tumors.   

African Plant May Be Possible Treatment for Aging Brain

August 4, 2014 11:22 am | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered that a compound isolated from the plant protects cells from altered molecular pathways linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the neurodegeneration that often follows a stroke.              

Bioscience Technology This Week #4: Gold Nanoparticles Show Promise for Drug Delivery

July 30, 2014 2:02 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Editor-in-Chief Rob Fee reports on gold nanoparticles' promise in drug delivery. Our second story examines the work being done to decipher the wheat genome and the implications of this work.

How Cannabis Causes Paranoia

July 17, 2014 10:45 am | News | Comments

The largest study of the effects of the main ingredient of cannabis has shown definitively that it can cause short-term paranoia. The research also, for the first time, identifies psychological factors that can lead to feelings of paranoia in people who take cannabis.

A-maize-ing Double Life of a Genome

July 15, 2014 12:06 pm | News | Comments

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use 'doubles' of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties. Oxford University researchers captured a 'genetic snapshot' of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome—a 'whole genome duplication' event.

Deep Within Spinach Leaves, Vibrations Enhance Efficiency of Photosynthesis

July 14, 2014 1:29 pm | News | Comments

Biophysics researchers at the University of Michigan have used short pulses of light to peer into the mechanics of photosynthesis and illuminate the role that molecule vibrations play in the energy conversion process that powers life on our planet. The findings could potentially help engineers make more efficient solar cells and energy storage systems.

Aronia Berry Gaining Foothold in U.S.

July 14, 2014 8:20 am | by Margery A. Beck - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

A new fruit that research says packs more antioxidants than popular "superfoods" like blueberries, acai berries and goji berries is establishing itself in the aisles of mainstream grocery stores, showing up in everything from juices to powdered supplements to baby food.

Engineers Turn LEGO Bricks into Scientific Tool to Study Plant Growth

June 27, 2014 1:44 pm | News | Comments

Ludovico Cademartiri was looking for a way to study plant and root growth that was simple, inexpensive and flexible, something that allowed experiments to be reproduced all over the world, even in labs without the latest technologies or the infrastructure required for plant science or agronomy research.

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