May 2014

While all living organisms inherit mitochondria from their mothers, the father’s mitochondria are destroyed at the time of fertilization. Special cellular vesicles that originate in female fruit flies’ egg actively seek out and destroy the father’s mitochondria, according to research conducted by Dr. Eli Arama and a team in the Weizmann Institute’s Molecular Genetics Department. In...

It’s been known for a long time that when animals drastically decrease their calorie intake, they can avoid many age-related health problems and live for a much longer time. But, using this approach to extend human lives is questionable. For one thing, scientists still have not proven the benefits of calorie restriction in humans and...

Since ancient times, ginseng has been used as a cure for just about anything from reducing fatigue and increasing libido to lowering blood sugar levels and strengthening the immune system. Today, ginseng is one of the most commonly used over-the-counter herbal medicines. Yet, as popular as ginseng is, research supporting its health benefits is scarce....

The male-sex defining Y chromosome, has only 19 of the approximately 600 genes it once shared with the female-defining X chromosome over 200 million years ago, making it much smaller than the X and our 21 other chromosome pairs. In fact, the Y has so few genes left that there was some concern that the...

The prevalence of type 1 diabetes in people under age 20 years rose by 21% between 2001 and 2009, according to the latest SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks cells in...

Throughout the history of high-altitude mountaineering in the Himalayan region, Sherpa have served as guides. And while the term ‘Sherpa’ has come to mean almost any guide or porter hired for a climbing expedition, the Sherpa are a distinct ethnic group that lives mainly in the country of Nepal. Among the international climbing community, Sherpa are...

These days, when most people hear the term “raised-bed gardening,” they probably think of carefully tended boxes of plants in community gardens and suburban backyards.  Popularized by John Jeavons in the early 1970s, the Grow Biointensive Method did a lot to popularize biodynamic gardening and firmly established the term “raised bed” in the vocabulary of...

Those of us of a “certain age” may soon be more often reminded of our high school and college days as wafts of “hippie smell” become more common. That’s because large volumes of patchouli oil are about to be synthetically produced, allowing it to be used on a larger scale in common consumer products. Patchouli oil,...

In many a garden around the world, lettuce is a prized produce. With crisp leaves and hearty in nutrients, lettuce is a ubiquitous ingredient in submarine sandwiches to Brunswick stew and everything in between. And as with any other agricultural product, lettuce depends on healthy doses of soil, water and sunlight for photosynthesis. But what happens when...

Scientists using a new method of measuring temperatures from the past have discovered that there were parts of ancient Antarctica that were just as warm then, as the California coast today; as were polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean in comparison to modern Florida heat. These new measurements will help scientists in their climate...