Novel research optimizes both elasticity and rigidity in the same material without the usual tradeoffs
The University of Maryland as part of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium published findings in Science detailing the full wheat genome, the world's most widely cultivated crop. A companion paper is available in the same issue with UMD and the John Innes Centre, using this sequence to examine gene expression in wheat, specifically relating to heat, drought, and disease. This paves the way for wheat varieties adapted to climate, enhancing yields, nutrition, and sustainability.
An international research team, including scientists from CIRAD and the European Commission Joint Research Centre, has assessed the potential impact on primates of the expansion of oil palm cultivation in Africa. The authors of the study combined information on land suitability for oil palm cultivation with primate distribution, diversity and vulnerability. They concluded that it will be very difficult to reconcile oil palm development in Africa with biodiversity conservation. These results were published today in the American journal PNAS.
Eating white button mushrooms can create subtle shifts in the microbial community in the gut, which could improve the regulation of glucose in the liver, according to a team of researchers. They also suggest that better understanding this connection between mushrooms and gut microbes in mice could one day pave the way for new diabetes treatments and prevention strategies for people.
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have identified two proteins that allow plants to respond to changes in surrounding light conditions and thereby make photosynthesis more efficient.
Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fats from plant sources associated with lower risk of mortality compared to those that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fat from animal sources.
'For me, as a functional genomics and genetics researcher, having a continuous and fully annotated sequence for each of the 21 wheat chromosomes is of paramount importance,' says Kostya Kanyuka who, with bioinformatician Rob King, represented Rothamsted Research in the IWGSC. 'This will greatly speed up our efforts on identification of agriculturally important wheat genes, including those that would help to combat major fungal diseases.'
Maize plants release secondary metabolites into the soil that bind to iron and thereby facilitate its uptake by the plant. The Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera), the economically most important maize pest worldwide, is attracted by these complexes, extracts the bound iron from the maize plant and uses it for its own nutrition. With these insights, researchers provide a new explanation for the extraordinary success of the Western corn rootworm as a global maize pest.
Scientists from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology reported a new mid-Cretaceous (99-million-year-old) boganiid beetle with specialized pollen feeding adaptations. This discovery suggests an ancient origin for beetle pollination of cycads long before the rise of flowering plants.
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) scientists have discovered a plant-based food preservative that is more effective than artificial preservatives.