Archive for the ‘food’ category

Jul 16, 2024

The Role of Aromas in Astronaut Nutrition: Findings from ISS Simulation

Posted by in categories: food, space, virtual reality

“One of the long-term aims of the research is to make better tailored foods for astronauts, as well as other people who are in isolated environments, to increase their nutritional intake closer to 100%,” said Dr. Julia Low.

Does food smell and taste different to astronauts in space and what steps can be taken to mitigate this in the future? This is what a recent study published in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology as an international team of researchers investigated how food aromas could be altered to amplify food taste. This study holds the potential to help researchers improve diets for isolated individuals, specifically in space or nursing home residents.

For the study, the researchers analyzed food odor perception of vanilla, almond, and lemon among 54 participants between 18 to 39 years old in a neutral setting and a virtual reality (VR) simulation of the International Space Station (ISS) with a key trait being they had no history of vertigo or motion sickness. The participants were asked to rate the potency of the aromas in both settings to compare any differences between the two environments.

Continue reading “The Role of Aromas in Astronaut Nutrition: Findings from ISS Simulation” »

Jul 14, 2024

Scientists probe chilling behavior of promising solid-state cooling material

Posted by in categories: food, materials

A research team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has bridged a knowledge gap in atomic-scale heat motion. This new understanding holds promise for enhancing materials to advance an emerging technology called solid-state cooling.

An environmentally friendly innovation, solid-state cooling could efficiently chill many things in daily life from food to vehicles to electronics — without traditional refrigerant liquids and gases or moving parts. The system would operate via a quiet, compact and lightweight system that allows precise temperature control.

Although the discovery of improved materials and the invention of higher-quality devices are already helping to promote the growth of the new cooling method, a deeper understanding of material enhancements is essential. The research team used a suite of neutron-scattering instruments to examine at the atomic scale a material that scientists consider to be an optimal candidate for use in solid-state cooling.

Jul 14, 2024

Century-Old Biological Experiment Reveals Genetic Secrets of Important Crop

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, food, genetics

A long-term study since 1929 has revealed significant insights into barley’s evolution, showing its adaptation to different environments and the substantial impact of natural selection. This research underscores the limitations of evolutionary breeding and highlights the need for further exploration to enhance crop yields.

Utilizing one of the world’s oldest biological experiments, which commenced in 1929, researchers have revealed how barley, a major crop, has been influenced by agricultural pressures and its evolving natural environment. These findings highlight the significance of long-term studies in comprehending the dynamics of adaptive evolution.

The survival of cultivated plants after their dispersal across different environments is a classic example of rapid adaptive evolution. For example, barley, an important neolithic crop, spread widely after domestication over 10,000 years ago to become a staple source of nutrition for humans and livestock throughout Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa over just a few thousand generations. Such rapid expansion and cultivation have subjected the plant to strong selective pressures, including artificial selection for desired traits and natural selection by being forced to adapt to diverse new environments.

Jul 13, 2024

Microclimates could bolster case for agrivoltaics

Posted by in category: food

A new paper finds that combining photovoltaics with crop farming can result in revenue gains over the life of a PV system at a diverse range of locations in the United Kingdom. Researcher Aritra Ghosh tells pv magazine that the benefits of agrivoltaics are ‘multifaceted.’

Jul 12, 2024

Frontiers: The current waste management system within the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) consists of a disposable diaper—

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health

The Maximum Absorbency Garment (MAG)—that collects urine and feces during extravehicular activities (EVAs) that last up to 8 h. Such exposure to waste for prolonged periods of time contributes to hygiene-related medical events, including urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal distress. Historically, prior to using the MAG, astronauts have limited their food intake or eaten a low-residue diet before embarking on physically demanding spacewalks, reducing their work performance index (WPI) and posing a health risk. Furthermore, the current 0.95 L In-suit Drink Bag (IDB) does not provide sufficient water for more frequent, longer-range spacewalks, which carry greater potential for contingency scenarios requiring extended time away from a vehicle.

Jul 12, 2024

Tracking Ozempic’s Nausea Side Effect to Specific Neurons May Lead to Better Drugs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, neuroscience

The neurons that produce a sick feeling and food aversion are distinct from those that induce a feeling of fullness.

By Mariana Lenharo & Nature magazine

Next-generation anti-obesity drugs such as Wegovy can melt away weightbut they can also cause intolerable nausea. Now scientists have pinpointed a brain pathway that is involved in this common side effect, raising the prospect of effective weight-loss drugs that don’t make people sick1.

Jul 12, 2024

Aging Might Not Be Inevitable

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, food, life extension

There are biological underpinnings to aging—and so researchers are investigating cell manipulations, transfusions of young blood, and chemical compounds that can mimic low-calorie diets.

Jul 11, 2024

Robot-packed meals are coming to the frozen-food aisle

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

Advances in artificial intelligence are coming to your freezer, in the form of robot-assembled prepared meals.

Chef Robotics, a San Francisco–based startup, has launched a system of AI-powered robotic arms that can be quickly programmed with a recipe to dole out accurate portions of everything from tikka masala to pesto tortellini. After experiments with leading brands, including Amy’s Kitchen, the company says its robots have proved their worth and are being rolled out at scale to more production facilities. They are also being offered to new customers in the US and Canada.

Jul 11, 2024

Watch these hungry waxworms eat through plastic and digest it too

Posted by in category: food

Wriggling critters armed with enzymes can break down plastics that would otherwise take decades, or even centuries to degrade.

At first glance there’s nothing particularly remarkable about waxworms. The larval form of wax moths, these pale wriggling grubs feed on the wax that bees use to make their honeycomb. For beekeepers, the pests are something to swiftly get rid of without a second thought.

But in 2017 molecular biologist Federica Bertocchini, who at the time was researching the embryonic development of vertebrates at the Spanish National Research Council, stumbled on a potentially game-changing discovery about these creatures.

Jul 11, 2024

Synthetic Biology is in Fashion

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, food, internet, military, sustainability

Spider spidroin revives the silken splendor.

In their quest to make silk powerful again, not by status but rather by thread strength, scientists turned to an arachnoid. Dragline silk, the thread by which the spider hangs itself from the web, is one of the strongest fibers; its tensile strength—a measure of how much a polymer deforms when strained—is almost thrice that of silkworm silk.2

Beyond durable fashion garments, tough silk fibers are coveted in parachutes, military protective gear, and automobile safety belts, among other applications, so scientists are keen to pull on these threads. While traditional silk production relies on sericulture, arachnophobes can relax: spider farms are not a thing.

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