Although only low amounts of pesticides appeared in the fruit in the study, the scientists advise that commercial farmers use gcautionh when grafting watermelon plants to squash in a report that appears in ACSf Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Mehmet Isleyen and colleagues explain that farmers graft watermelon and other fruits onto the roots of gourd plants because it makes the fruit more resistant to diseases. In Turkey, where the group did the study, more than 95 percent of watermelons grow from grafted seedlings. Although the gourds are hardier, previous research has shown they accumulate pesticides called organochlorines. Organochlorines have been widely banned because of concerns about their effects on human health and wildlife. Despite the fact that their remnants can linger in the soil for decades, some organochlorines remain in use. While traditional watermelon plants do not take up these compounds, the researchers wanted to resolve uncertainty about watermelon grown on the roots of plants in the squash family.
The group grew common Turkish watermelon-squash graft seedlings in soil taken from a farming region there. They tested the roots, stems, leaves and fruit of the plants and found that organochlorine levels were as much as 140 times higher in the stems of squash-grafted watermelons than in intact watermelons. However, while still urging caution, the group notes that these levels are 6-12 times lower than accepted limits of the pesticides in produce in the U.S. and Turkey.
The authors acknowledge funding from The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey.Accumulation of Weathered p,pŒ-DDTs in Grafted Watermelon
Michael Woods | Newswise Science News
Filling intercropping info gap
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
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