To keep up with the national demand for apples, apple trees are not grown from apple seeds, but rather, spliced together from different sources onto a dwarf “rootstock”. This enables increased production of more uniform apples, but unfortunately also decreases genetic diversity among apple trees. Vulnerability to any one disease could decimate the entire apple industry. To combat this, apple breeders at Cornell and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are working on introducing genetically different rootstocks resistant to a wide variety of
With Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, use this time to reflect on how the things we eat, and the choices we make surrounding what we eat, impact the planet. Chew On This for Earth Day: How Our Diets Impact the Planet – NPR: The Salt Sustainable Diets: What You Need to Know In 12 Charts – World Resources Institute
Liquid Nitrogen being churned as kids are over watching the gases diffusing through the air. (Photo Credit: Alpha Chi Sigma and Explore Your Universe at UCLA. ) Guest post by Steven Du Creamistry – n. the science of creating ice cream using Liquid Nitrogen and not to be confused by the Ice Cream shop with the same name . Ice cream does not seem complicated to make, but contrary to popular belief it is not as simple as
Tonle Sap Lake in the heart of Cambodia is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. The fish from these waters feed millions across Southeast Asia–or at least, used to. A combination of development, drought, and climate change has devastated the lake, threatening the livelihood of those who depend on this body of water. Climate change is also affecting canola crop yields, causing the seedpods to open too early. Research into how to protect canola can give insight into how
There are scientific discoveries that are the result of serendipitous accidents. The “most beautiful of plastics”, a popular polymer in the early 20th century made from a protein found in milk, was accidentally invented by a cat. Proteins, of course, are better known for their nutritional necessity than as a component in plastic buttons. With rising obesity in America and opportunistic fad diets, most see proteins as the macronutrient that’s better for weight loss and muscle building, compared to carbohydrates
Cooking, such as intensively heating a burger patty, is considered a form of food processing. Heating meats at high temperatures generates compounds such as benzene and polyaromatic hydrocarbons that are known to increase the consumer’s risk of developing cancer. Researchers in China found that grilling beef patties at extremely high temperatures produces carbon dots. Furthermore, the hotter the patties were cooked, the smaller the carbon dots that formed. Smaller carbon dots have been shown to be more toxic than larger carbon dots.
Studies investigating the chemical differences between organic and conventionally grown produce are difficult to carry out, in part because many factors cannot be ruled out, such as annual differences in weather and other environmental factors. A six-year study in onions shows that organically grown onions contain higher levels of phytochemicals. The authors of the study believe that this difference is due to the higher level of stress organic onions experience compared to conventionally grown onions. Another onion-related news years in
With 2 billion avocados consumed in America every year, avocado production has to be able keep up. The majority of avocados sold in the U.S. are imported from Mexico, where the fruit is able to grow year-round. California, the biggest domestic producer of avocados, may someday be able to grow avocados all year. Researchers are working on an avocado tree that can survive the weather extremes in California’s Central Valley. One type of avocado will not be available in the