Science News

~ new and interesting research reports

Pigments in our fruit and vegetables

There is a growing body of research on the effect of plant pigments (known as flavonoids) on health, with some extraordinary results. Dr Ling of the University of Medical Sciences reports how surprised he and his colleagues were by the potency of the pigments.

Flavonoids from purple grape skins produce benefits to the heart and blood vessels; as do similar ones in pomegranates and black rice, while those from purple corn have been shown to counter obesity and high blood sugar. The red carotenoid in tomatoes can help to fight cancer, and the red anthocyanins in tart red cherries are anti-inflammatory.
Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, and can help memory and mental agility. Some of the benefits to memory seem to be caused by enhanced brain cell signalling.

News from the centre of the galaxy

It has been known for some time now that at the centre of our galaxy is a super-massive black hole. There is now good evidence to suggest that this is surrounded by a swarm of 10,000 or more smaller black holes.

The effects of magnetism

There is now a large body of evidence that living creatures are affected by magnetic fields, but up to now there has been no experimental evidence of the bio-chemical processes involved. Research has shown effects on some chemical reactions, but not on the ones that go on in living cells. Researchers from Oxford University investigated a bacterium that, as part of its internal chemical processes, produces a form of oxygen that can be harmful to its own DNA and protein.
When the bacterium was placed in a magnetic field, the production of this unwanted form of oxygen was cut by up to 50%. This is the first time that a direct link between magnetism and chemical processes in cells has been proved.

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