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Edible coatings may increase quality and shelf life of strawberries

( Strawberries are one of the most economically important fruits worldwide but are easily susceptible to bruising and are highly perishable. A new study in the August issue of the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) found that edible active coatings (EACs) based on pectin, pullulan and chitosan may improve quality and shelf life of strawberries. Edible coatings protect perishable food products from deterioration and act as a protective cover (Atress, 2010). Pectin is present in the cell walls of many fruits and vegetables; chitosan is a major component of crustacean shells and exhibits antifungal properties; and pullulan provides extracellular support. A team of researchers from Mexico discovered that EACs incorporated with sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate reduced fruit softening, reduced microbial growth, preserved the color, flavor and texture of strawberries, and increased the shelf life of strawberries from six to 15 days.


View the Journal of Food Science abstract here:


Biophysics: Formation of swarms in nanosystems

One of the striking features of self-organization in biomolecular systems is the capacity of assemblies of filamentous particles for synchronous motion. Physicists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich now provide new insights into how such movements are coordinated. Living matter, which consists largely of diverse polymeric structures assembled from various types of subunits, often exhibits striking behaviors, such as a capacity for self-organization and active motion. On an organismic scale, this type of collective motion is exemplified by the synchronous ...

Fossil study: Dogs evolved with climate change

Fossil study: Dogs evolved with climate change
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- Old dogs can teach humans new things about evolution. In Nature Communications a new study of North American dog fossils as old as 40 million years suggests that the evolutionary path of whole groups of predators can be a direct consequence of climate change. "It's reinforcing the idea that predators may be as directly sensitive to climate and habitat as herbivores," said Christine Janis, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University, who worked with lead author Borja Figueirido, a former Brown Fulbright postdoctoral ...

Stanford scientists say e-cigarettes could have health impacts in developing world

Most of the debate around e-cigarettes has focused on the developed world, but the devices are becoming more widely available in some low- and middle-income countries, where there is even greater potential for impact on public health, say two Stanford University School of Medicine researchers. "People don't think e-cigarettes will reach the developing world. But they are already being produced in developing countries, and they are cheap. People know they are available," said Andrew Chang, MD, a resident in internal medicine who focuses on global health. Chang and Michele ...

Teens who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to begin smoking

Among high school students in Los Angeles, those who had ever used electronic cigarettes were more likely to report initiation of smokable ("combustible") tobacco (such as cigarettes, cigars, and hookah) use over the next year compared with nonusers, according to a study in the August 18 issue of JAMA. Combustible tobacco, which has well-known health consequences, has long been the most common nicotine-delivering product used. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), which are devices that deliver inhaled aerosol usually containing nicotine, are becoming increasingly popular, ...

Drug helps patients with diabetes lose weight

Among overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes, daily injection of the diabetes drug liraglutide with a modified insulin pen device, in addition to diet and exercise, resulted in greater weight loss over 56 weeks compared with placebo, according to a study in the August 18 issue of JAMA. Obesity is a chronic disease and a significant global health challenge. Weight loss is recommended for patients with type 2 diabetes. Moderate weight loss (5 percent-10 percent) can improve glycemic control and other cardiometabolic risk factors and disorders. Weight loss is ...

Study compares heparin to warfarin for treatment of blood clots in patients with cancer

Among patients with active cancer and acute symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE; blood clots in the deep veins), the use of the low molecular-weight heparin tinzaparin daily for 6 months compared with warfarin did not significantly reduce recurrent VTE and was not associated with reductions in overall death or major bleeding, but was associated with a lower rate of clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding, according to a study in the August 18 issue of JAMA. Venous thromboembolism is a major cause of illness and death in patients with cancer. Treatment with low-molecular-weight ...

MRI scanners can steer tumor busting viruses to specific target sites within the body

Scientists from the University of Sheffield have discovered MRI scanners, normally used to produce images, can steer cell-based, tumour busting therapies to specific target sites in the body. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners have been used since the 1980s to take detailed images inside the body - helping doctors to make a medical diagnosis and investigate the staging of a disease. An international team of researchers, led by Dr Munitta Muthana from the University of Sheffield's Department of Oncology, have now found MRI scanners can non-invasively steer cells, ...

Increased risk of depression for mothers undergoing fertility treatment

Women giving birth after undergoing fertility treatment face an increased risk of depression compared to women ending up not having a child following fertility treatment, according to new research from the University of Copenhagen. According to the researchers, this has key implications for fertility treatment in future. Danish researchers are among the first worldwide to study the risk of developing a clinical depression for women undergoing fertility treatment. The new study shows that women who give birth after receiving fertility treatment are five times more likely ...

Satellite sees the end of Tropical Depression 11E

Satellite sees the end of Tropical Depression 11E
Tropical Depression 11E came to an end early today, Tuesday, August 18 when the National Hurricane Center noted that the storm degenerated into a remnant low pressure area. NOAA's GOES-West satellite caught an infrared image of the fizzling system. At 5 a.m. EDT (2 a.m. PDT/0900 UTC) the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued the final bulletin on Post-Tropical depression 11E. At that time, the center of Post-Tropical cyclone 11E was located near latitude 24.9 North and longitude 125.6 West. It had fizzled about 1,000 miles (1,610 km) west of the southern tip of Baja ...

Chengjiang biota: Bringing fossils into focus

Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have used computed microtomography (micro-CT) to identify to the species level an exceptionally wellpreserved fossil arthropod from the famous Chengjiang Lagerstätte in China. Modern imaging methods make it possible to perform detailed, non-invasive studies on the internal structures of irreplaceable fossil specimens. Researchers led by Dr. Yu Liu of LMU's Department of Biology II now demonstrate the power of this approach by using computed microtomography (micro-CT) to investigate a specimen recovered ...


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