Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
by Leo Shapiro
Rosemary is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) that is native to the Mediterranean region and grows well near the sea. It was long ago introduced widely in Europe. It is an erect, bushy shrub that may reach 2 m in height.
As is the case for mints (family Lamiaceae) in general, Rosemary plants are self-compatible (i.e., they can fertilize themselves), but as is also typical for the family, the anthers (male pollen-producing structures in each flower) are finished producing pollen before the stigmas (female parts) in the same flower mature. Thus, the plants rely on insect pollinators to move their pollen from one flower to another.
Often, pollen from one flower is moved to a mature stigma on another flower on the same plant, resulting in self-fertilization. Self-fertilization in Rosemary plants tends to result in fewer and lighter seeds than cross-fertilization (i.e., fertilization of a flower by pollen from a flower on a different individual plant), an example of inbreeding depression…
(read more: EOL)
- BERRIES FOR BEAUTY: Blueberries, strawberries & blackberries are all super high in antioxidants. The beauty of antioxidants is they can protect your skin from the inside out by guarding your cells from damage. Eat them as a snack, blend them in a smoothie or add to you morning.
- GREEN BEANS-Wind back the clock and stock up on foods like spinach, kale, broccoli and romaine. All of these contain vitamin B, E and C, as well as antioxidants that help fight off free radicals. They’re also one of the top sources of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps repair and renew your skin to give it a youthful glow.
- ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS – Fish like Salmon, Tuna and Trout are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which are essential ingredients to baby soft skin. Omega 3 fatty acids are widely known to help soften dry skin by holding in moisture, which helps decrease the look of wrinkles and plumps up skin.
- EGGS – Eggs are widely recognized as a great source of protein, however it is also an important component for clear skin. Eggs are a good source of zinc which acts by controlling the production of oil in the skin, and can also help control some of the hormones that cause breakouts.
- AVOCADO– Avocado contains ‘good’ fats which are essential to a healthy diet and a smooth complexion. The monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E help soothe red, irritated skin, whilst Vitamin C helps fight inflammation.
- WATER – It’s no secret that water is the holy grail of health. Our body weight is made up of 70% water, so in order keep healthy, we need to stay hydrated. When the skin is properly hydrated, it looks fresh and radiant. Drink at least eight glasses of h20 a day and notice the difference in your energy levels and complexion.
- GREEN TEA – When we aren’t drinking our eight glasses of water a day, we should be having a cup of tea. Green tea is full of antioxidants and contains polyphenols which help to reduce the signs of aging like wrinkles and lost of skin elasticity.
The Secret History of the Domesticated Apple
by Sam Kean
Nearly every child has bitten into a crabapple (left) at some point and spit it back out—yuck! But a new study in PLoS Genetics shows that modern supermarket apples (right) are more closely related to crabapples than to other, better-tasting ancient species.
Apples originated in Kazakhstan, where they show incredible variety in taste and size, then spread along the Silk Road trading route thousands of years ago. The Romans brought sweet apples from western Asia into Europe (Europeans previously used the fruit for cider), but the domesticated apple’s history was murky after that. The new study looked at rapidly evolving DNA regions known as microsatellites in 839 apple samples representing five species ranging from Spain to China. Testing these microsatellites allowed scientists to tease out the impact of recent crossings with wild apples.
The researchers confirmed that modern apples were first domesticated from wild Asian apples, but they found that subsequent crosses with European crabapples—possibly selected for disease resistance, hardiness, or other traits—contributed the most DNA to modern domesticated apples. The scientists also found no evidence of genetic bottlenecks—a severe narrowing of genetic diversity—in domesticated apples, a pattern that contrasts with the earliest domesticated crops like barley, millet, and wheat.
(via: Science NOW)
(image: (left) Benjamin Cody/Wikipedia;(right) Éamonn Ó Muirí/Wikipedia)