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Current Sunflower News and Events, Sunflower News Articles.
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Warmer springs mean less snow, fewer flowers in the Rockies
Spring in the Rockies begins when the snowpack melts. But with the advent of global climate change, the snow is gone sooner. David Inouye conducted research on the region's wildflowers that shows some plants are blooming less because of it. Writing in the journal Ecology, he demonstrates that three flowers found in the Rockies are far more susceptible to late frost damage when the snow melts more quickly. (2008-03-05)

Iowa Staters talk biofuels, healthy oils and 'pharma crops' at AAAS meeting
Iowa State researchers discuss energy and agriculture, the economic risks of 'pharma crops' and the role plant breeders play in producing healthier foods during their presentations at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston. (2008-02-16)

Kilogram quantities at last!
Through a combination of one biotechnological and one chemical step, and starting from sunflower oil, A. Giannis and co-workers from the University of Leipzig, have devised a large-scale synthesis of (2R-3S)-isocitric acid, the last intermediate in the citric acid cycle to become available in bulk quantities. (2008-02-04)

Findings suggest link between vitamin E and subsequent decline in physical function for older adults
Low serum concentration of vitamin E, an indication of poor nutrition, is associated with physical decline for older persons, according to a study in the Jan. 23 issue of JAMA. (2008-01-22)

Eating fish, omega-3 oils, fruits and veggies lowers risk of memory problems
A diet rich in fish, omega-3 oils, fruits and vegetables may lower your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, whereas consuming omega-6 rich oils could increase chances of developing memory problems, according to a study published in the Nov. 13, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (2007-11-12)

Nutrition model stresses positive experience of eating
Enjoying the eating process without focus on dietary restrictions may be key to managing weight and staying healthy, according to researchers who have unveiled a new and effective model for managing eating. (2007-09-18)

Eating competence may lower risk of heart disease
People who are confident, comfortable and flexible with their eating habits may be at a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease than people who are not. Researchers at Penn State suggest that a curriculum that helps people understand their eating habits could prove to be an important medical nutrition therapy. (2007-09-18)

Student study bolsters case for adding a rare sunflower to the endangered species list
A native species of sunflower, called the giant whorled sunflower, is only known to exist in four locations in the Southeast United States. In the last four years, Vanderbilt graduate student Jennifer Ellis has conducted a series of genetic studies that significantly increase the odds that this gangly plant will be placed on the endangered species list. (2007-09-11)

Conductive plastics made from natural, renewable, environmentally friendly soybeans
Polymer matrix composites with carbon black are very interesting materials. This is because the carbon black can be used as filler material and can beneficially modify the electrical and mechanical properties of the used matrixes. (2007-05-29)

Biodiesel study targets cleaner air, cleaner engines
Cleaner engines, cleaner air and more uses for local farm products were the focus of a just-completed study of biodiesel as an alternative fuel source on selected Ontario farms. This province-wide initiative is the only one of its kind in Canada. It involved six farms to evaluate the effectiveness of using biodiesel in agriculture. (2007-04-02)

UCR researchers examine how some invasive plants gain a foothold
When it comes to controlling invasive weeds, sex might be a useful weapon, according to research from UC Riverside geneticist Norman Ellstrand in an article in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science. (2007-01-09)

Risk of spina bifida associated with choline metabolism genes, but unrelated to choline intake
A new study finds an association between two genes involved in choline metabolism and the risk of spina bifida. The study, published today in the open access journal BMC Medicine, also shows that this association is independent of dietary choline intake by the mother during pregnancy. (2006-12-20)

Healthy bodies help fight disease? Clues to how diet affects the immune system
Scientists are proposing that dietary fats can affect how well our immune system works and have discovered that one of the earliest steps in immune system activation relies on a molecule that binds fats. (2006-11-30)

Food for flight
US Forest Service research in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas suggests that decades of fire suppression have reduced the area's food supply for migrating monarch butterflies, and that restoration efforts that include prescribed burning can reverse this trend. (2006-11-17)

New, hands-on science demos teach young students how volcanoes 'blow their tops,' spew lava
Geologists at Rutgers University have created three hands-on demonstrations that show how heat and pressure underground move rocks and earth to build up volcanic mountains, and in some cases, cause them to literally blow their tops. These activities, which depict the actual forces that caused Washington's Mt. St. Helens to blow or Hawaii's Kilauea to spew red-hot rivers of lava, captivate kids while giving them a foundation for studying earth science in high school. (2006-10-24)

Sunflower speciation highlights roles for transposable elements in evolution
In a finding that furthers our understanding of how hybridization may contribute to genome changes and the evolution of new species, researchers have found that the genomes of three sunflower species that arose in evolution as hybrids of the same two parental types have undergone a massive proliferation of genetic entities known as transposable elements. (2006-10-23)

Wild bees make honeybees better pollinators
Up to a third of our food supply depends on pollination by domesticated honeybees, but the insects are up to five times more efficient when wild bees buzz the same fields. (2006-09-21)

Low vitamin E intake during pregnancy can lead to childhood asthma
Children whose mothers had a low intake of vitamin E during pregnancy are more likely to develop wheezing and asthma by age five. (2006-09-01)

Brownfields may turn green with help from Michigan State research
Growing crops for biofuels summons images of fuel alternatives springing from the rural heartland. But a Michigan State University partnership with DaimlerChrysler is looking at turning industrial brownfields green. (2006-08-03)

Study provides new understanding of spontaneous hybridization
Plant and animal breeders have long used hybridization to transfer useful traits between species. But does the same process happen without human aid? In a new study in the June issue of American Naturalist, researchers from Indiana University and Rice University explore how spontaneous hybridization - known as adaptive trait introgression - has a vital impact on adaptation and evolutionary diversification. (2006-05-10)

Novel process reduces toxic chemical use
Research into leading-edge extraction and separation processes aims to improve productivity in the pharmaceutical, food, dairy and other sectors. (2006-03-23)

Nutritional friend or foe? Vitamin E sends mixed messages
One of the most powerful antioxidants is truly a double-edged sword, say researchers at Ohio State University who studied how two forms of vitamin E act once they are inside animal cells. (2006-03-02)

Pleasing plant shapes explained by new computer model
Botanists and computer scientists teamed up to produce the most detailed model yet of how plant growth occurs, beginning at the molecular level. (2006-01-23)

AIDS drug from sunflowers
Sunflowers can produce a substance which prevents the AIDS pathogen HIV from reproducing, at least in cell cultures. This is the result of research carried out by scientists at the University of Bonn in cooperation with the Caesar Research Center. (2006-01-09)

Sunflower seeds, pistachios among top nuts for lowering cholesterol
In what is believed to be the most comprehensive analysis to date of the phytosterol content of nuts and seeds, researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University analyzed some 27 food products and found that pistachios and sunflower kernels had the highest levels of phytosterols among the nuts and seeds that are most commonly consumed as snack foods in the United States. Their study appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. (2005-12-07)

Vineyard weeds found to host Pierce's disease of grapes
New research just released in the September issue of Plant Disease suggests that weeds commonly found in California's wine country may enable the spread of Pierce's disease of grapes, one of the most destructive plant diseases affecting grapes. (2005-09-21)

Nutrition scientists take a look at cataract prevention
Researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University recently sought, in three different studies, to determine if prevention of age-related cataracts is possible. Their findings suggest that vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids--two categories of nutrients believed to have health benefits--may both affect cataract development, although not necessarily in beneficial ways. (2005-08-09)

Baseball food and drink: Healthy chemistry scores a surprise hit
A baseball stadium may not be the first place that comes to mind when looking for healthy foods, but researchers are finding that ballpark favorites, including beer, are surprisingly good for you...in moderation, of course. The American Chemical Society has compiled a brief report on healthy compounds found in stadium foods based on studies published in its Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. (2005-07-07)

Ethanol and biodiesel from crops not worth the energy
David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell University, has co-authored an analysis that finds that producing ethanol or biodiesel from corn and other biomass uses more energy than is produced. (2005-07-05)

Poly/mono balance important to cholesterol-lowering diet
In the search for the best fats for a heart healthy diet, trans- and saturated fats have long been recognized as undesirable and those that contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are preferred -- with no clear benefit demonstrated for higher levels of either the PUFAs or the MUFAs within recommended limits. (2005-07-01)

New plant DNA libraries provides massive boost to world's plant researchers
Researchers at the University of Warwick's horticultural research arm Warwick HRI have created an extensive new range of libraries of plant DNA that will provide a massive boost to the world's plant researchers. The new collection of DNA libraries is the largest of its type in the world and will provide researchers with a unique resource. (2005-06-02)

Food fried in vegetable oil may contain toxic compound
When highly unsaturated vegetable oils are heated at frying temperature (365 F) for extended periods--or even for half an hour--a highly toxic compound, HNE (4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal) forms in the oil. (2005-05-02)

Sunflower seed oil can protect low birth weight babies from infection
Massaging low birth weight babies with sunflower seed oil is a low cost intervention that can protect them from infections, concludes a study published online by The Lancet. (2005-03-03)

Researchers compost old mobile phones & transform them into flowers
Researchers at the University of Warwick in England, in conjunction with PVAXX Research & Development Ltd, have devised a novel way to recycle discarded mobile telephones - bury them and watch them transform into the flower of your choice. (2004-11-29)

'Flower power' cars could be in your future
Get ready for (2004-08-25)

Study: A little help from friends makes wounds heal faster
New research in hamsters now suggests that without companionship, wounds on the animals don't heal as fast. Researchers looked at the effect social contact had on wound healing in stressed hamsters. Results showed that skin wounds healed nearly twice as fast in the hamsters paired with a sibling. These animals also produced less of the stress hormone cortisol than unpaired hamsters. (2004-08-03)

Chew on this for opening day: Baseball's longtime link with tobacco
Opening Day is April 5, and later that same week, University of Cincinnati sports researcher Kevin Grace will look back at how baseball has changed. He explores the rise and fall of baseball's (2004-04-01)

One form of vitamin E appears beneficial in reducing bladder cancer risk
One form of vitamin E appears to offer protection against development of bladder cancer, while a second form has no beneficial effect, say a team of researchers led by The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. These findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. (2004-03-30)

Diet high in vitamin C decreases stroke risk, especially among smokers
Eating a diet high in vitamin C may decrease your risk of stroke, particularly if you smoke, according to a study published in the November 11 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (2003-11-10)

Cross-species mating may be evolutionarily important and lead to rapid change, say IUB researchers
A study of sunflower species that began 15 years ago shows that the sudden mixing and matching of different species' genes can create genetic super-combinations that are considerably more advantageous to the survival and reproduction of their owners than the gene combinations their parents possess. (2003-08-07)

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