Could rosemary scent boost brain performance?

Hailed since ancient times for its medicinal properties, we still have a lot to learn about the effects of rosemary. Now researchers writing in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, published by SAGE, have shown for the first time that blood levels of a rosemary oil component correlate with improved cognitive performance. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is one […]

Sunflower seeds an Australian success story

Farmer Alan Lemon was instrumental in introducing high oil, semi-dwarf, sunflower germplasm to Australia and the innovative international marketing of the new oilseed crops. At the time the only oil available to make margarine was safflower. As Mr Lemon tells it in an interview with Queensland Country Life (25.5.2000) this crop doesn’t like wet feet […]

Backyard ban on ornamental plants

(published in Australian Horticulture April 2011) A proposal to amend the federal Criminal Code Act could see a number of plants species become outlawed. The proposed amendment is a result of the Labour Government’s “Organised Crime Strategic Framework that hopes to target one of the primary markets of organised crime – the importation, domestic production […]

Making sense of science visually

Some of science’s most powerful statements are not made in words. From the diagrams of DaVinci to Rosalind Franklins x-rays, visualization of research has a long and literally illustrious history. To illustrate is to enlighten. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Science created the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge to celebrate that grand tradition–and […]

How do plants grow?

At first, the back room of plant physiologist Edgar Spalding’s lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison might be mistaken for an alien space ship set straight out of a Hollywood movie. It’s a room bathed in low-red light with camera lenses pointing at strange looking entities encased in Petri dishes. A closer inspection reveals the […]

Manures fight fungus – alternative to chemical control

Researchers at the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, have confirmed that the use of semi-composted manure in combination with the plastic sealing of the soil is an effective control for Phytophthora capsici, a fungus responsible for a disease that seriously affects greenhouse-grown peppers. The research developed in the PhD thesis by the […]