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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
Until recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) kept its plans for its $70 million portion of the...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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ScienceShot: Cotton Candy for Plants
19 March 2013 8:15 pm
Even plants like a sugar rush. Or so researchers have discovered while studying the sweetness of sap, which carries sugars from a plant's leaves to other locales, such as the roots. Plants face a tricky balancing act as they load sugar into their sap. Sap with too much sugar is too thick to flow easily, but sap with too little sugar makes for inefficient transport. In today's Journal of the Royal Society Interface, researchers say they devised a mathematical model that predicts the sweet spot for sap: 23.5% sugar by weight. That's far sweeter than Coke, which is 10% sugar. The researchers dug through the literature and found sap sugar-levels for 41 plants, which together average roughly 18%—not far from the model's predictions. The outliers include maize (41%; pictured above) and potato (50%), suggesting that humans have domesticated plants that are on a natural sugar high.
See more ScienceShots.