From salting and drying to pickling and irradiating, humans have devised many ingenious ways of preserving their food from spoilage by microbes. The question of what microbes gain from making food go off in the first place has attracted less attention, but research presented at this years British Ecological Society Annual Meeting will shed new light on the problem.
Speaking at the meeting, taking place at Lancaster University on 7-9 September 2004, Dr Dave Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moores University and Dr Thomas Sherratt of Carleton University in Canada will cast doubt over Professor Dan Janzens seductive 1977 theory that microbes make food go off in order to make it objectionable or unusable by the larger animals they are competing with for food.
Janzen illustrated his theory thus: imagine a child left alone for a short time in the kitchen with two strawberries, one fresh and one mouldy. If the youngster pops the fresh one into its mouth, then the microbe has won.
Becky Allen | alfa
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Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI
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Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
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