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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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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.