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Current Sunflower News and Events, Sunflower News Articles.
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MIT research: A new sunflower-inspired pattern increases concentrated solar efficiency
A new sunflower-inspired pattern increases concentrated solar efficiency. (2012-01-11)

Team led by IU biologists confirms sunflower domesticated in US, not Mexico
New genetic evidence presented by a team led by Indiana University biology doctoral graduate Benjamin Blackman confirms the eastern United States as the single geographic domestication site of modern sunflowers. (2011-08-15)

What counts is the water that actually enters plant roots
To help farmers make the best use of limited irrigation water in the arid West, US Department of Agriculture researchers are helping farmers determine how much water major crops actually need. USDA scientist Tom Trout and his colleagues are measuring crop water-use efficiency not by the traditional measure of crop yield per drop of irrigation water applied, but instead yield per drop of water actually taken in by the crop. (2011-08-09)

Can eggs be a healthy breakfast choice?
Dr. Niva Shapira of Tel Aviv University says that hens who were fed a diet high in anti-oxidants and low in omega-6 fatty acids laid eggs that produced healthy levels of LDL oxidation in human subjects. The drawback is that these eggs aren't being widely produced -- and that consumers should demand a (2011-08-02)

Extending the vase life of cut flowers: Pre-treatments and preservatives studied
A multiyear study identified patterns of postharvest responses to commercial hydrator and holding floral preservatives among 121 cultivars of specialty cut flowers. Cut stems were pretreated with either a commercial hydrating solution or deionized water, then placed in either a holding solution or deionized water. Particular combinations of preservatives and hydrating treatments were found to either increase or decrease vase life of the flowers. The study contains valuable information for flower growers, retailers, and consumers. (2011-07-01)

High-fat diet during pregnancy programs child for future diabetes
A high-fat diet during pregnancy may program a woman's baby for future diabetes, even if she herself is not obese or diabetic, says a new University of Illinois study. (2011-05-25)

Melatonin might help in controlling weight gain and preventing heart diseases associated with obesity
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body that can also be found in some fruits and vegetables as mustard, Goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, fennel, coriander and cherries. University of Granada researchers have analyzed the effects of melatonin on obesity, dyslipidimia and high blood pressure in young diabetic obese rats. (2011-04-28)

Neiker-Tecnalia research -- to obtain more productive, resistant and sustainable oil palms
Neiker-Tecnalia (the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development) is carrying out research, the objective of which is to improve oil palm crops through genetic enhancement. Its Biotechnology Department is currently working on the development of the technique known as marker-assisted selection (MAS) with the goal of optimizing the production and quality of this crop. (2011-04-11)

Research on satellite imagery aims to advance sustainable agriculture
Scientists evaluated the potential of multispectral reflectance and seven vegetation indices in the visible and near-infrared spectral range for discriminating and classifying bare soil and several horticultural irrigated crops. Results of the three classification methods studies showed that the highest percentage of accuracy was achieved with multilayer perceptron, leading the researchers to recommend that the MLP neural network model should be considered for a successful classification of remote sensed data. (2011-04-01)

Eating low-fat, thanks to lupin proteins
Food should be delicious, healthy and sustainably produced. Researchers are working on new methods to use as many parts of plants as possible for nutrition. In the future, vegetable ingredients could replace animal raw materials. Lupin seeds, for instance, can be used to produce low-fat, exquisite sausage products. (2011-01-03)

Adding monounsaturated fats to a low-cholesterol diet can further improve levels
The addition of monounsaturated fat to a cholesterol-lowering dietary portfolio in patients with mild to moderate elevated cholesterol levels increased HDL by 12.5 percent and lowered LDL levels by 35 percent, found a study published in CMAJ. (2010-11-01)

Citizen scientist
Writing in the International Journal of Organizational Design and Engineering, US researchers have mapped out an approach to virtual organizations that might allow scientific advances made in part by citizen scientists to move forward much more quickly. (2010-09-20)

New American Chemical Society podcast: Economical biodiesel from sewage sludge
Scientists report, in the latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning podcast series, (2010-09-08)

Neiker-Tecnalia study use of oilseedrape and sunflower oils to produce fuel and feed for herds
The oil extracted from oleaginous plants can be used as a fuel for agricultural vehicles without any reduction in their performance -- thus enabling farmers to have greater energy self-sufficiency. Besides this, a sub-product known as oilseedcake is extracted, and which is optimum fodder for animal herds, given its significant protein and fatty acids content. (2010-07-23)

Eating foods rich in vitamin E associated with lower dementia risk
Consuming more vitamin E through the diet appears to be associated with a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (2010-07-12)

Biodiesel from sewage sludge within pennies a gallon of being competitive
Existing technology can produce biodiesel fuel from municipal sewage sludge that is within a few cents a gallon of being competitive with conventional diesel refined from petroleum, according to an article in ACS' Energy & Fuels, a bimonthly journal. Sludge is the solid material left behind from the treatment of sewage at waste-water treatment plants. (2010-05-20)

New evidence in plants shows micro-RNA can move
Ever since tiny bits of genetic material known as microRNA were first characterized in the early 1990s, scientists have been discovering just how important they are to regulating the activity of genes within cells. (2010-04-21)

Traces of early Native Americans -- in sunflower genes
New information about early Native Americans' horticultural practices comes not from hieroglyphs or other artifacts, but from a suite of four gene duplicates found in wild and domesticated sunflowers. Indiana University Bloomington scientists learned duplications of the gene flowering locus T, or FT, could have evolved and interacted to prolong a flower's time to grow. A longer flower growth period means a bigger sunflower -- presumably an attribute of value to the plant's first breeders. (2010-04-02)

Sunflower genome holds the promise of sustainable agriculture
A new research project will create a reference genome for the sunflower family. (2010-01-12)

Higher folates, not antioxidants, can reduce hearing loss risk in men
Increased intakes of antioxidant vitamins have no bearing on whether or not a man will develop hearing loss, but higher folate intake can decrease his risk by 20 percent, according to new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, Calif. (2009-10-05)

MSU licenses plant oil enhancement technology to BASF Plant Science
Technology that could enhance plants' seed oil content for food and animal feed applications has been licensed to BASF Plant Science under an exclusive commercial agreement with Michigan State University. (2009-09-25)

Great Tits eat bats in times of need
Necessity is the mother of invention: Great Tits eat hibernating common pipistrelle bats under harsh conditions of snow cover. This remarkable newly acquired behavior was observed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen and their colleagues in a cave in Hungary. When the researchers offered the birds alternative feed, they ate it and showed little or no interest in flying into the cave again (Biology Letters, online prepublication from Sept. 9, 2009). (2009-09-25)

Stressed crops emit more methane than thought
Scientists at the University of Calgary have found that methane emission by plants could be a bigger problem in global warming than previously thought. Research published in the advanced online journal Physiologia Plantarum (2009-08-17)

Mice run faster on high-grade oil
Between the 1932 and 2008 Olympic Games, world record times of the men's 100m sprint improved by 0.6 seconds. Scientists at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology in Austria have shown that an equivalent improvement can be achieved in mice by feeding them a diet high in a certain type of polyunsaturated fatty acid. Dr. Christopher Turbill will present the research at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on Monday, June 29. (2009-06-29)

Researcher finds Girl Scout meetings provide an opportunity to increase girls' physical activity
A kinesiology researcher trained Girl Scout leaders to instruct exercise sessions and promote healthful eating among their troops. The girls in the intervention troops were less sedentary than those not in the interventions, and performed higher levels of exercise during troop meetings. (2009-06-24)

Crop models help increase yield per unit of water used
In regions with limited water resources, maximizing crop water productivity is important for producing high yields. A new computer model, AquaCrop, was developed as a way to predict crop water use efficiency, as traditional methods tend to overestimate or underestimate this measure under conditions of water stress. (2009-05-04)

Missing or mutated 'clock' gene linked to vascular disease
The circadian clocks that set the rhythmic motion of our bodies for wakeful days and sleepy nights can also set us up for vascular disease when broken, Medical College of Georgia researchers say. (2009-03-25)

University of Cincinnati researchers seek improved targeting in Parkinson's surgery
A $51,000 grant will enable University of Cincinnati researchers to determine whether sophisticated new imaging technologies can help them achieve pinpoint placement of deep-brain stimulation electrodes in patients with Parkinson's disease. (2009-01-29)

Omega-3s ease depressive symptoms related to menopause
Omega-3s ease psychological distress and depressive symptoms often suffered by menopausal and perimenopausal women, according to researchers at Universite Laval's Faculty of Medicine. Their study presents the first evidence that omega-3 supplements are effective for treating common menopause-related mental health problems. (2009-01-28)

Mineral oil contamination in humans: A health problem?
From a quantitative standpoint, mineral oil is probably the largest contaminant of our body. That this contaminant can be tolerated without health concerns in humans has not been proven convincingly. The current editorial of the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology reflects on this and concludes that this proof either has to be provided or we have to take measures to reduce our exposure from all sources, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and the environmental contamination. (2008-11-24)

Wildflower declines in Thoreau's Concord woods are due to climate changes
Researchers at Boston University and Harvard University found rapid changes in temperatue have led to changes in the timing of seasonal activities , such as flowering in a significant number of species in Concord, Mass. These latest are based on initial studies of 473 species by Henry David Thoreau. (2008-10-27)

Current mass extinction spurs major study of which plants to save
The Earth is in the midst of the sixth mass extinction of both plants and animals, with nearly 50 percent of all species disappearing, scientists say. (2008-10-20)

Surgical technique halts cell loss, Parkinson's researchers find
Deep brain stimulation, a surgical technique often viewed as a last resort for people with Parkinson's disease, halts the progression of dopamine-cell loss in animal models, according to preliminary research by scientists at the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital. (2008-09-02)

UC team studies link between Parkinson's disease and depression
A patient who receives a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease might become depressed, and understandably so. But does the depression then exacerbate the progression of Parkinson's? That's one of the questions a team of University of Cincinnati researchers is studying, with the help of a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. (2008-08-28)

UGA gets $2.5 million in grants to study plants to make biofuels
University of Georgia researchers were recently awarded two grants totaling $2.5 million to help find better ways to produce biofuels from switchgrass and sunflowers. (2008-08-07)

Silicon's effect on sunflowers studied
As the popularity of sunflowers grows among commercial growers and everyday gardeners, scientists are looking for new supplements and growing methods to enhance production and quality of this celebrated annual. (2008-05-07)

Flower power may bring ray of sunshine to cancer sufferers
Dr. Jonathan Harris, a senior lecturer in Queensland University of Technology's Faculty of Science, and Ph.D. student Joakim Swedberg, both from the University's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, are working on the naturally occurring molecule, and have received over $600,000 worth of grants this year to support their research. (2008-05-01)

Ancient sunflower fuels debate about agriculture in the Americas
Lentz and his fellow researchers have documented archaeological, linguistic, ethnographic and ethnohistoric data demonstrating that the sunflower had entered the repertoire of Mexican domesticates by 2600 B.C., that its cultivation was widespread in Mexico and extended as far south as El Salvador by the first millennium B.C., that it was well known to the Aztecs, and that it is still in use by traditional Mesoamerican cultures today. (2008-04-29)

Sunflower debate ends in Mexico, researchers say
Ancient farmers were growing sunflowers in Mexico more than 4,000 years before the Spaniards arrived, according to a team of researchers that includes Florida State University anthropologist Mary D. Pohl. (2008-04-29)

Kansas State flower receives scientific attention
To scientists, such as Mark Ungerer, assistant professor in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University, the sunflower is a prime example of the unique adaptability of plants. (2008-04-09)

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