Current Apples News and Events

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German researchers compile world's largest inventory of known plant species
Researchers at Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) have compiled the world's most comprehensive list of known plant species. It contains 1,315,562 names of vascular plants, thus extending the number by some 70,000 - equivalent to about 20%. The researchers have also succeeded in clarifying 181,000 hitherto unclear species names. The data set has now been published in Scientific Data. This marks the culmination of ten years of intensive research work. (2020-11-26)

Sociologists dispel the 'bad apple' excuse for racialized policing
According to a study by University of Miami sociologists published in the American Sociological Association's Contexts magazine, almost one of five police officers exhibit high levels of implicit, or unconscious, pro-white/anti-Black bias, and roughly one of eight officers exhibit high levels of explicit, or conscious, pro-white bias. (2020-11-11)

Breakdown of gene coordination during aging suggests a substantial challenge to longevity
In a study published in the journal Nature Metabolism, researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Israel report evidence that supports, for the first time, a longstanding theory on the aging process in cells. Using a novel approach from physics, they developed a computational method that quantifies the coordination level between different genes. With this approach, they measured the gene activity of individual cells and compared cells from old and young subjects, discovering phenomena never before observed. (2020-11-02)

Silk road contains genomic resources for improving apples
The fabled Silk Road is responsible for one of our favorite and most valuable fruits: the domesticated apple. Researchers have now assembled complete reference genomes and pan-genomes for apple and its two main wild progenitors, providing detailed genetic insights into apple domestication and important fruit traits that could help plant breeders improve the crop's flavor, texture, and resistance to stress and disease. (2020-11-02)

High flavanol diet may lead to lower blood pressure
People who consume a diet including flavanol-rich foods and drinks, including tea, apples and berries, could lead to lower blood pressure, according to the first study using objective measures of thousands of UK residents' diet. (2020-10-21)

Scientists "scent train" honeybees to boost sunflowers' seed production
If you want a dog to hunt something down, it helps to let them sniff an item to pick up the scent. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on September 17 have found that scent training honeybees might work in a similar way--and that this approach could make bees more efficient in pollinating crops. The findings show that honeybees given food scented with sunflower odors led to a significant increase in sunflower crop production. (2020-09-17)

Food mechanics recipe to serve up healthy food that lasts
Researchers are investigating the science of food drying to design faster, cheaper and better ways to store food. (2020-09-13)

Mold now associated with food quality
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have studied a range of perceptions among Danes about good, healthy and safe foodstuffs. Their findings report that mold prone foods are considered to be more natural than those with long shelf lives. This perception has changed in recent years and researchers believe that it may reverse itself in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (2020-09-10)

Beating HIV and COVID-19 may depend on tweaking vaccine molecules
In a new Immunity study, researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) show that one way to improve the body's immune response to vaccines is to factor in antigen valency. Valency refers to the number of antibody binding sites on an antigen. (2020-08-27)

Toddlers who use touchscreens show attention differences
New research from the TABLET project recruited 12-month-old infants who had different levels of touchscreen usage. (2020-08-19)

Sounds of action: Using ears, not just eyes, improves robot perception
People rarely use just one sense to understand the world, but robots usually only rely on vision and, increasingly, touch. Carnegie Mellon University researchers find that robot perception could improve markedly by adding another sense: hearing. (2020-08-14)

Research helps explain source of pathogen that causes bitter rot disease
Fungal spores responsible for bitter rot disease, a common and devastating infection in fruit, do not encounter their host plants by chance. Turns out, they have a symbiotic association with the plant, often living inside its leaves. The new way of looking at the fungal pathogen, Colletotrichum fioriniae, as a leaf endophyte -- bacterial or fungal microorganisms that colonize healthy plant tissue -- was the outcome of a two-year study conducted by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. (2020-08-14)

Decline in plant breeding programs could impact food security
A team of scientists led by Kate Evans, a Washington State University horticulture professor who leads WSU's pome fruit (apples and pears) breeding program, found that public plant breeding programs are seeing decreases in funding and personnel. (2020-08-07)

Decline of bees, other pollinators threatens US crop yields
Crop yields for apples, cherries and blueberries across the United States are being reduced by a lack of pollinators, according to Rutgers-led research, the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. Most of the world's crops depend on honeybees and wild bees for pollination, so declines in both managed and wild bee populations raise concerns about food security, notes the study in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. (2020-07-28)

Visual working memory is hierarchically structured
Researchers from HSE University and the University of California San Diego, Igor Utochkin and Timothy Brady, have found new evidence of hierarchical encoding of images in visual working memory. It turns out that the precision of remembering and recalling individual objects in a group is affected by ensemble representations--the mean and standard deviation of all objects in the group. The study has been published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. (2020-07-22)

Geoengineering's benefits limited for apple crops in India
Geoengineering - spraying sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to combat global warming - would only temporarily and partially benefit apple production in northern India, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. But abruptly ending geoengineering might lead to total crop failure faster than if geoengineering were not done, according to the study - believed to be the first of its kind - in the journal Climatic Change. (2020-07-15)

Newly discovered pathogen in NY apples causes bitter rot disease
In a study of New York state apple orchards, Cornell University plant pathologists have identified a new fungal pathogen that causes bitter rot disease in apples. (2020-07-06)

Old drug standards delay new drug approvals
The more information the FDA has about existing drugs, the longer it takes to OK new ones for the same conditions. (2020-06-19)

Experts clarify subtypes of multiple sclerosis to improve care and clinical trials
An international committee has clarified previously published descriptors of courses of MS and disease activity. MS subtypes are consensus definitions rather than pathologically defined phenotypes, and easily misconstrued. The clarification was prompted in part by differences in specified indications for MS therapies recently approved by the FDA and EMA. The goal is to improve care and refine the selection of clinical trial participants so that trial outcomes can better inform clinical care. (2020-06-11)

More berries, apples and tea may have protective benefits against Alzheimer's
Older adults with low intake of foods and drinks containing flavonoids, such as berries, apples, and tea, were more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and related dementias over 20 years, compared with people who consumed more of those items, according to a new study. (2020-05-05)

Sensory information underpins abstract knowledge
What we learn through our senses drives how knowledge is sorted in our brains, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. (2020-03-09)

Study links three key variables to higher rural mortality rates in US
Since the 1980s, the all-cause mortality rate for rural residents in the US has exceeded that of urban residents. In a recently published study, researchers from the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center sought to determine why this disparity exists. The study results were presented in December 2019 at the Health Affairs Rural Health Forum hosted by the National Press Club in Washington D.C. (2020-02-05)

For complex decisions, narrow them down to two
When choosing between multiple alternatives, people usually focus their attention on the two most promising options. The quicker we do that, the faster we make the decision. Psychologists from the University of Basel have reported these findings in the scientific journal Nature Human Behaviour. (2020-02-03)

Plant pigment can significantly reduce blood pressure
A new paper in Nutrition Reviews finds that intake of the flavonoid quercetin can greatly reduce high blood pressure in patients suffering from cardiovascular disease. (2020-01-15)

Drones effective tools for fruit farmers
Unmanned aerial vehicles provide reliable, accurate data to growers. (2020-01-08)

Research explores how grape pests sniff out berries
A new study, published Nov. 21 in the Journal of Chemical Ecology, investigates how these pests find their target amid a sea of other plants in the landscape. (2019-12-10)

Scientists accidentally discover a new water mold threatening Christmas trees
Scientists in Connecticut were conducting experiments testing various methods to grow healthier Fraser trees when they accidentally discovered a new species of Phytophthora. They collected the diseased plants, isolated and grew the pathogen on artificial media, then inoculated it into healthy plants before re-isolating it to prove its pathogenicity. (2019-12-09)

Immigrants who naturalize outearn their peers
Looking at municipalities in Switzerland where citizenship applications were put to a popular vote, researchers identified immigrants who narrowly won or lost and tracked their earnings over the next several decades. After the vote, the winners began earning more, and the gap between the two groups widened over time. The earnings boost was about 5,637 CHF per year, on average, and was almost double among immigrants most likely to face discrimination in the job market. (2019-12-04)

Sustaining roads with grape and agricultural waste
The US spends $5 billion a year to repair damages to road infrastructure from winter snow and ice control operations and the use of traditional deicers. A team of researchers at WSU is developing a more sustainable solution using grape skins and other agricultural waste. (2019-12-02)

Minimizing post-harvest food losses
Research team from Graz, Austria, develops biological methods to improve the shelf life of fruit and vegetables. (2019-11-07)

Non-GM produce earns 'halo effect' under new labeling laws
Consumers were more willing to buy unlabeled produce after being shown food tagged as ''genetically modified'' in a new Cornell University study that comes two months before a new federal law, requiring genetically modified organism disclosure labels on food products, goes into effect. (2019-10-31)

Genetic differences in the immune system shape the microbiome
Genetic differences in the immune system shape the collections of bacteria that colonize the digestive system, according to new research by scientists at the University of Chicago. (2019-10-15)

First maps of areas suitable for spotted lanternfly's establishment in US and world
Maps identifying the areas suitable for establishment of the spotted lanternfly (SLF) in the United States and other countries have been published in the Journal of Economic Entomology by Agricultural Research Service scientists. (2019-10-03)

Research suggests there's a better way to teach physics to university students
Physicists and educators at the University of Kansas has developed a curriculum for college-level students that shows promise in helping students in introductory physics classes further practice and develop their calculus skills. (2019-09-25)

New standard of reference for assessing solar forecast proposed
Being able to accurately forecast how much solar energy reaches the surface of the Earth is key to guiding decisions for running solar power plants and new work in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy looks to provide a standard of reference to the field. Dazhi Yang proposes an improved way to assess day-ahead solar forecasting, which combines two popular reference methods for weather forecasting, namely persistence and climatology. His approach provides a new way to gauge the skill of a forecaster. (2019-09-24)

Brain: How to optimize decision making?
Our brains are constantly faced with different choices. Why is it so difficult to make up our mind when faced with two or more choices? Neuroscientists (UNIGE) developed a mathematical model of the optimal choice strategy. They demonstrated that optimal decisions must be based not on the true value of the possible choices but on the difference in value between them. (2019-09-11)

Bigger spend, same end: Post-hospital care study suggests ways to save Medicare money
A new study reveals that spending on post-hospital care for patients who have traditional Medicare coverage costs much more than it does for an identical patient with private insurance. And despite the difference in cost, both patients have about the same clinical ending -- as measured in their odds of ending up back in the hospital again, the study shows. (2019-09-03)

Hand- versus machine-harvested juice and cider apples: A comparison of phenolic profiles
Study conducted to determine if there is a measurable impact of harvest method on the phenolic profile of 'Brown Snout' juice and cider to better inform equipment adoption. Over-the-row machine harvesting resulted in a final product of similar quality at reduced labor costs, and thus shows potential for increasing the commercial sustainability of cider apple operations. (2019-08-30)

Highest-resolution human brain 'parts list' to date lays road map to better treatments
A new study from the Allen Institute for Brain Science has written the most detailed 'parts list' of the human brain to date. This categorization of our brain cell types lays the groundwork to improve our understanding of our own brains and to dramatically change how we treat human brain diseases and disorders. (2019-08-21)

California's rooftop-solar boom leaves equity gap
California leads the nation in the adoption of rooftop solar systems, but information on which communities do, and do not, benefit from these installations has been limited. The adoption of distributed solar -- rooftop installations as opposed to industrial-scale operations like solar farms -- is closely correlated with socioeconomic status and health, environmental and demographic indicators. The study, published online August 20, 2019 in Energy Policy, is the first peer-reviewed analysis of distributed solar adoption in disadvantaged communities. (2019-08-21)

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