Friday, September 28, 2012

News and Notes for Friday September 28, 2012

India's Cooking-Oil Demand to Climb to 23 Million Tons by 2020
Rising Indian use of cooking oils may help Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's biggest palm oil producers, to reduce inventories, and potentially stem a decline in prices. India's imports are set to surpass 10 million tons for the first time next year. Read more from Bloomberg.

Amateur scientists build Lego-style synthetic BioBricks in public lab
Amateur biologists around the world have been setting-up makeshift biology labs in their homes, garages and community centres. Some of these "biohackers" or "DIY biologists" have political motivations to open up science for all, a few attempt to address an absence of research in rare genetic diseases, some are curious and have a desire to learn, while others are taking part just for the sheer fun of it all.  Read more from

Genetic mutation may have allowed early humans to migrate throughout Africa
Analysis of genetic sequence variation patterns in different populations around the world demonstrated that a critical genetic variant arose in a key gene cluster on chromosome 11, known as the fatty acid desaturase cluster or FADS, more than 85,000 years ago. Read more from Phys.Org.

Chemists develop reversible method of tagging proteins
Chemists at the University of California, San Diego have developed a method that provides scientists the ability to attach chemical probes onto proteins and subsequently remove them in a repeatable cycle. This will allow researchers to better understand the biochemistry of naturally formed proteins in order to create better antibiotics, anticancer drugs, biofuels, food crops, and other natural products. Read more at R & D Magazine.

Judge: No reasonable consumer would be misled by Benecol’s claims
A judge has dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit vs Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Nutritionals over the labeling and marketing of cholesterol-busting spread Benecol. Read more at FoodNavigator.

Value of Omega-3s: Not Up for Debate
A meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported no effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplements on cardiovascular event rates. Predictably, the study made headlines. It was welcomed by those inclined to disparage the touchy-feely world of alternative medical treatments and was lamented and rejected by advocates for the kinder, gentler remedies of nature. Which view is correct? Find out more on the U.S. News & World Report blog.

Testing device 'finds optimal growth conditions for oil algae'
Oil made from algae could reach near-commercial-scale production in four years thanks to a new testing device, researchers have claimed. Read more from The Engineer.


Abstract Alerts

Antibacterial Soybean-Oil-Based Cationic Polyurethane Coatings Prepared from Different Amino Polyols
Xia, Y., Zhang, Z., Kessler, M. R., Brehm-Stecher, B. and Larock, R. C. (2012), ChemSusChem. doi: 10.1002/cssc.201200352. Read the abstract.

Genetically modified crops: the fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture
Gurdev S Khush. Agriculture & Food Security 2012, 1:14 doi:10.1186/2048-7010-1-14. Published: 7 September 2012. Read the abstract.

Evaluation of antioxidant and cytoprotective activities of Arnica montana L. and Artemisia absinthium L. ethanolic extracts
Craciunescu O, Constantin D, Gaspar A, Toma L, Utoiu E, Moldovan L . Chemistry Central Journal 2012, 6:97 (9 September 2012). Read the abstract.

Improved ethanol yield and reduced minimum ethanol selling price (MESP) by modifying low severity dilute acid pretreatment with deacetylation and mechanical refining: 2) Techno-economic analysis
Tao L, Chen X, Kuhn E, Tucker M, Aden A, Elander RT, Himmel ME, Johnson DK, Franden MA, Zhang M, Dowe N. Biotechnology for Biofuels 2012, 5:69 (11 September 2012). Read the abstract.

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