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Recent Researches

Seven Sweet Facts About How Chocolate Is Made

Cocoa trees produce pods, which is the fruit chocolate comes from. Large harvests occur by hand twice annually throughout the year. Chocolate liquor is the thick paste generated when chocolate nibs, the roasted and de-shelled chocolate beans, are heated to a high temperature; it’s then separated into cocoa butter and …

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Why Common Tree Is Toxic to Snowshoe Hares

Boise State University biologists have uncovered why the chemical defenses in birch, a common type of tree found in North America, are toxic to snowshoe hares. The snowshoe hare, also commonly called the snowshoe rabbit, is found throughout North America and plays an integral part in the food chain. Understanding …

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Spider Web’s Strength Lies in More Than Its Silk

While researchers have long known of the incredible strength of spider silk, the robust nature of the tiny filaments cannot alone explain how webs survive multiple tears and winds that exceed hurricane strength. Now, a study that combines experimental observations of spider webs with complex computer simulations shows that web …

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First Plants Caused Ice Ages

New research reveals how the arrival of the first plants 470 million years ago triggered a series of ice ages. Led by the Universities of Exeter and Oxford, the study is published in Nature Geoscience. The team set out to identify the effects that the first land plants had on the …

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Genetic Information Migrates from Plant to Plant

To generate phylogenetic trees and investigate relationships between organisms, scientists usually look for similarities and differences in the DNA. Plant scientists were confounded by the fact that the DNA extracted from the plants’ green chloroplasts sometimes showed the greatest similarities when related species grew in the same area. They tried …

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