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Plant Science

Nematodes as a force to kill insects that infect crops

Tiny eel-like creatures called nematodes are surrounding us. While they can be free-living (a cup of soil or seawater contains thousands), the most well-known nematodes are the parasitic kind that wreak havoc in people, animals and plants. Despite their reputation, scientists at the University of California, Riverside are studying nematodes …

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Cacao trees pass along protective microbes to offspring

Scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama found that exposing baby cacao plants to microbes from healthy adult cacao plants reduced the plant’s chance of becoming infected with the serious cacao pathogen, Phytopthora palmivora, by half. “When human babies pass through the birth canal, their bodies pick up …

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Injecting the virus particles alongside chemotherapy drugs

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in collaboration with researchers from Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine and RWTH Aachen University have adapted virus particles — that normally infect potatoes — to serve as cancer drug delivery devices for mice. But in a recent article published in Nano Letters, …

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Antimicrobial and antioxidant substances from mushroom waste

More than 50,000 tonnes of mushroom waste are generated in Europe each week, posing an environmental challenge for the main industries that market this product worldwide. The University of Alicante Research Group in Polymer and Nanomaterial Analysis (NANOBIOPOL) participate in the European project Funguschain to obtain high antimicrobial and antioxidant …

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Water treatment in developing countries could be harmful

water treatment

Scientists are warning that a water treatment widely used in developing countries could be damaging the DNA of those drinking it. Despite poor evidence of their effectiveness as a water disinfectant, colloidal silver and silver nanoparticles are increasingly being promoted for treating potentially contaminated drinking water in low income countries. …

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Biodegradable cellulose microbeads from a sustainable source

Scientists and engineers from the University of Bath have developed biodegradable cellulose microbeads from a sustainable source that could potentially replace harmful plastic ones that contribute to ocean pollution. Microbeads are little spheres of plastic less than 0.5 mm in size that are added to personal care and cleaning products …

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