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Current Sunflower News and Events, Sunflower News Articles.
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The anatomy of petal drop in sunflowers
Anatomical analysis of two sunflower cultivars revealed a differentiated region at the junction of the flowers' petal and achene. Cell division at the abscission zone of the short-lived cultivar occurred earlier than in the long-lived cultivar, indicating that the tempo of development differed; the abscission layer reached full maturity sooner in Procut Bicolor, resulting in earlier petal drop, than in Procut Yellow Lite. Vase life was also correlated to flower color. (2015-01-14)

New paper identifies virus devastating sea stars on Pacific Coast
Specimens from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County have helped explain the mysteriously sudden appearance of a disease that has decimated sea stars on the North American Pacific Coast. (2014-11-17)

Case Western researchers awarded $250,000 to develop an effective treatment for childhood brain tumors
Prayers from Maria Children's Glioma Cancer Foundation announced today that it will award its $250,000 Melana Matson Memorial Grant -- its third major research grant since 2010 -- to Case Western Reserve University, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers James Basilion, Ph.D., Efstathis Karathanasis, Ph.D., and John Letterio, M.D., who are studying the use of nanotechnology to more effectively treat pediatric glioma brain tumors. (2014-10-27)

Olive oil more stable and healthful than seed oils for frying food
Frying is one of the world's most popular ways to prepare food -- think fried chicken and french fries. Even candy bars and whole turkeys have joined the list. But before dunking your favorite food in a vat of just any old oil, consider using olive. Scientists report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that olive oil withstands the heat of the fryer or pan better than several seed oils to yield more healthful food. (2014-10-22)

Vitamin E intake critical during 'the first 1,000 days'
Amid conflicting reports about the need for vitamin E and how much is enough, a new analysis published today suggests that adequate levels of this essential micronutrient are especially critical for the very young, the elderly, and women who are or may become pregnant. (2014-09-15)

Filter bed substrates, plant types recommended for rain gardens
Researchers analyzed the effectiveness of three different filter bed substrates to support plant growth and remove nutrients from urban stormwater runoff. Twelve rain gardens containing 16 plant species were evaluated in the study. All three substrates reduced the quantity of pollutants in urban stormwater runoff. Substrates did not affect shoot or root growth of plants. Eleven of the species used grew well in the rain gardens and are recommended as rain garden plants. (2014-07-21)

Climate change provides good growing conditions for charcoal rot in soybeans
With over 100 diseases that can attack soybean crops, why would charcoal rot rise to the top of the most wanted list? University of Illinois scientists cite the earth's changing climate as one reason that more research is needed on the fungus that causes charcoal rot. (2014-07-09)

Vitamin E in canola and other oils hurts lungs
A large new study upends our understanding of vitamin E and ties increasing consumption of supposedly healthy, vitamin E-rich oils -- canola, soybean and corn -- to the rising incidence of lung inflammation and, possibly, asthma. The good news: vitamin E in olive and sunflower oils improves lungs. The study shows drastically different health effects of vitamin E depending on its form: gamma-tocopherol in soybean, canola and corn oil and alpha-tocopherol in olive and sunflower oils. (2014-05-20)

Understanding plant-soil interaction could lead to new ways to combat weeds
Using high-powered DNA-based tools, a recent study at the University of Illinois identified soil microbes that negatively affect ragweed and provided a new understanding of the complex relationships going on beneath the soil surface between plants and microorganisms. (2014-03-25)

Sequencing hundreds of nuclear genes in the sunflower family now possible
Researchers have developed an efficient approach for sequencing hundreds of nuclear genes across members of the Compositae (sunflower family) to better-resolve phylogenetic relationships within the family, as well as a bioinformatic workflow for processing and analyzing the resulting sequence data. This method, available in the February issue of Applications in Plant Sciences, can be applied to any taxonomic group of interest and could serve as a model for phylogenetic investigations of other major plant groups. (2014-02-20)

"You hide it -- I'll find it!" -- Great tit has a bird's eye view when looking for dinner
Birds that hoard food for a rainy day better be sure that there are no great tits around to spy on where they hide their reserve of seeds and nuts. So say researchers, who found that great tits can remember the position of such hideaways up to 24 hours after seeing it cached. Interestingly, the great tits do not store up food themselves. The findings appear in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. (2014-02-12)

EU policy is driving up demand for pollination faster than honeybee numbers
A new study indicates that demand for pollination services has risen five times as fast as the number of colonies across Europe. The findings indicate that, although the total number of honeybee colonies increased in some European countries, the demands for the pollination services supplied by these pollinators has increased much faster due to the increasing demand for biofuel feedstocks. (2014-01-09)

Oregano oil may help sunflower seeds keep longer
A study in the Journal of Food Science published by the Institute of Food Technologists showed that the addition of oregano essential oils to sunflower seeds preserved their positive sensory attributes and freshness quality. (2013-12-16)

Sticky business: Magnetic pollen replicas offer multimodal adhesion
Researchers have created magnetic replicas of sunflower pollen grains using a wet chemical, layer-by-layer process that applies highly conformal iron oxide coatings. The replicas possess natural adhesion properties inherited from the spiky pollen particles while gaining magnetic behavior. (2013-11-21)

Oral allergy syndrome and high blood pressure medications can create lethal cocktail
Oral allergy syndrome sufferers that take high blood pressure medications may experience extreme facial swelling and difficulty breathing the next time they bite into a juicy apple. When patients with oral allergy syndrome take angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors for hypertension and congestive heart failure, they are at an increased risk for a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, according to new research. (2013-11-08)

Protecting the weedy and wild kin of globally important crops
As more and more people recognize the importance of the wild relatives of crop plants to agriculture and food security, interest in cataloging and conserving these plants is building around the world. At the annual meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America on Nov. 3-6, 2013, two speakers will describe the latest efforts to identify and protect the wild relatives of domesticated crop plants both in the United States and abroad. (2013-10-02)

Melatonin helps control weight gain as it stimulates the appearance of 'beige fat'
Spanish scientists are the first to reveal the previously unknown enigma of the effect melatonin has to counter obesity in the organism and why it has metabolic benefits in treating diabetes and hyperlipidemia. (2013-09-25)

Scientists uncover secrets of starfish's bizarre feeding mechanism
Scientists have identified a molecule that enables starfish to carry out one of the most remarkable forms of feeding in the natural world. (2013-08-01)

Obesity rises in nearly all counties but Americans becoming more physically active
The rise in physical activity levels has had little impact so far on stopping the rising tide of obesity. As physical activity increased between 2001 and 2009, so did the percentage of the population considered obese. Obesity and risk factors from poor diets, smoking, and high blood pressure all are causing a drag on US life expectancies, which increased slowly compared to the country's economic peers between 1985 and 2010. (2013-07-10)

Vegetable oil IS good for you, MU researcher says
Since the 1970s, researchers have known that lineolic acid (LA) helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, and for decades, scientists have known that consuming LA can help lower the risk of heart disease. However, some experts have been claiming recently that Americans might be getting too much of a good thing. A new study from the University of Missouri contradicts that claim. (2013-06-07)

Improving 'crop per drop' could boost global food security and water sustainability
Improvements in crop water productivity -- the amount of food produced per unit of water consumed -- have the potential to improve both food security and water sustainability in many parts of the world, according to a study published online in Environmental Research Letters May 29 by scientists with the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment and the Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation at the University of Bonn, Germany. (2013-05-29)

Fish oil supplements may help fight against Type 2 diabetes
Widely-used fish oil supplements modestly increase amounts of a hormone that is associated with lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to a study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. (2013-05-22)

Sacred lotus genome sequence enlightens scientists
The sacred lotus is a symbol of spiritual purity and longevity. Its seeds can survive up to 1,300 years, its petals and leaves repel grime and water, and its flowers generate heat to attract pollinators. Now researchers report that they have sequenced the lotus genome. Of all the plants sequenced so far -- and there are dozens -- sacred lotus bears the closest resemblance to the ancestor of all eudicots, a broad category of flowering plants that includes apple, cabbage, cactus, coffee and tobacco. (2013-05-10)

US a surprisingly large reservoir of crop plant diversity
North America isn't known as a hotspot for crop plant diversity, yet a new inventory has uncovered nearly 4,600 wild relatives of crop plants in the United States, including close relatives of globally important food crops such as sunflower, bean, sweet potato, and strawberry. (2013-04-29)

Replacing soybean meal in pig diets
Canola, cottonseed, and sunflower products can replace soybean meal in diets fed to pigs, but they contain less protein and energy. To determine if it makes economic sense to use them, producers need to know the concentrations and digestibility of the nutrients they contain. To help them make the decision, University of Illinois researchers examined amino acid digestibility for these products. (2013-02-28)

Corn could help farmers fight devastating weed
Researchers in China investigate corn's ability to act as a trap crop and control sunflower broomrape. (2013-01-07)

Biologists design method to monitor global bee decline
A United Nations-funded study has found that a global network of bee traps may form an early warning system alerting scientists to dangers threatening the world's food system and economies. (2012-12-19)

Preserving van Gogh's priceless masterpieces
The chrome yellow pigment that renowned post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh favored in priceless masterpieces like Sunflowers, the Yellow House and Wheatfield with Crows is especially sensitive to certain types of light and should be protected to prevent darkening. That's the conclusion of a series of studies in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry, which could help preserve masterpieces by van Gogh and contemporaries like Gauguin, Cezanne and others. (2012-11-14)

Food industry's high-quality co-streams used effectively as raw material for new products
European, Canadian, African and Indian researchers are developing together new ways of using the substantial co-streams from fish and oil plant processing. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland coordinates the European Commission's APROPOS project. This project's researchers aim to develop methods of ecologically, effectively and economically reusing protein- and oil-rich side streams suitable for food, as dietary supplements, skin care products, for example. (2012-09-17)

SF State researcher releases first results from nationwide bee count
After finding low numbers of bees in urban areas across America, Biologist Gretchen LeBuhn will lead her (2012-07-09)

Penn engineers convert a natural plant protein into drug-delivery vehicles
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have now shown a new approach for making vesicles and fine-tuning their shapes. By starting with a protein that is found in sunflower seeds, they used genetic engineering to make a variety of protein molecules that assemble into vesicles and other useful structures. (2012-07-03)

Flower power may be answer to itchy problem
Sunflowers may hold the solution to a problem which gets under the skin of millions of Australians every year. (2012-06-24)

Role of omega-3 in preventing cognitive decline in older people questioned
Older people who take omega-3 fish oil supplements are probably not reducing their chances of losing cognitive function, according to a new Cochrane systematic review. Based on the available data from studies lasting up to 3.5 years, the researchers concluded that the supplements offered no benefits for cognitive health over placebo capsules or margarines, but that longer term effects are worth investigating. (2012-06-12)

Genetic mutation depicted in van Gogh's sunflower paintings revealed by scientists
In addition to being among his most vibrant and celebrated works, Vincent van Gogh's series of sunflower paintings also depict a mutation whose genetic basis has, until now, been a mystery. In a study published in PLoS Genetics, a team of University of Georgia scientists reveal the mutation behind the distinctive, thick bands of yellow (2012-03-29)

UGA scientists reveal genetic mutation depicted in van Gogh's sunflower paintings
In a study published today in the journal PLoS Genetics, a team of University of Georgia scientists reveal the mutation behind the distinctive, thick bands of yellow (2012-03-29)

Planting the seeds for heart-healthier fries and other foods
With spring planting season on the horizon, scientists are planting the seeds of healthier oils for cooking French fries, fried chicken and other fried items prepared in restaurants and other settings in the foodservice industry. Those seeds of new types of heart-healthy soybean, canola and sunflower oils are the topic of an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. (2012-03-14)

To celebrate prairie landscapes, research says to take an aesthetic approach
A Kansas State University doctoral student is studying the rich -- although sometimes hidden -- beauty of prairie landscapes. It's an abstract, yet important, field of study that may help develop new ways to promote and celebrate prairie tourism, history and geography. (2012-02-22)

Toxic aldehydes detected in reheated oil
Researchers from the University of the Basque Country have been the first to discover the presence of certain aldehydes in food, which are believed to be related to some neurodegenerative diseases and some types of cancer. These toxic compounds can be found in some oils, such as sunflower oil, when heated at a suitable temperature for frying. (2012-02-22)

Food fried in olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease
Eating food fried in olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease or premature death, finds a paper published on bmj.com today. (2012-01-24)

The power of flowers: Research sprouts a closer look at sunflower genetics
A Kansas State University biology professor has two major research projects that involve evolutionary change in sunflowers, the state flower of Kansas. He studies naturally occurring species to try and understand the genetic basis of natural variation. (2012-01-19)

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