… is a widespread fungus recognizable for its foul odor and its phallic shape when mature, the latter feature giving rise to several names in 17th-century England. It is a common mushroom in Europe and western North America, where it occurs in habitats rich in wood debris such as forests and mulched gardens. It appears from summer to late autumn.
The fruiting structure is tall and white with a slimy, dark olive colored conical head. Known as the gleba, this material contains the spores, and is transported by insects which are attracted by the odor—described as resembling carrion. Despite its foul smell, it is not poisonous and the young mushroom is consumed in parts of France and Germany…
Mature fruit bodies are up to 25 cm (10 in) tall with a conical to bell-shaped cap that is 1.5–4 cm (0.6–1.6 in) wide. The cap is covered with a greenish-brown spore-containing slime, which attracts flies and other insects that eat the spores and disperse them. It has a cosmopolitan distribution in tropical areas, and is found in southern Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia, where it grows in woodlands and gardens in rich soil and well-rotted woody material.
A flock of vultures devoured the body of a woman just minutes after she fell to her death while hiking in the Pyrenees Mountains in France.
The woman, 52, had been hiking with two friends when she fell about 1,000 feet (300 meters) down the side of a steep mountain. Police believed she died from injuries sustained during the fall, the Daily Mail reports.
A Hard Look at 3 Myths about Genetically Modified Crops
Superweeds? Suicides? Stealthy genes? The true, the false and the still unknown about transgenic crops
by Natasha Gilbert and Nature magazine
In the pitched debate over genetically modified (GM) foods and crops, it can be hard to see where scientific evidence ends and dogma and speculation begin. In the nearly 20 years since they were first commercialized, GM crop technologies have seen dramatic uptake. Advocates say that they have increased agricultural production by more than US$98 billion and saved an estimated 473 million kilograms of pesticides from being sprayed. But critics question their environmental, social and economic impacts.
Researchers, farmers, activists and GM seed companies all stridently promote their views, but the scientific data are often inconclusive or contradictory. Complicated truths have long been obscured by the fierce rhetoric. “I find it frustrating that the debate has not moved on,” says Dominic Glover, an agricultural socioeconomist at Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands. “The two sides speak different languages and have different opinions on what evidence and issues matter,” he says.
Here, Nature takes a look at three pressing questions: are GM crops fuelling the rise of herbicide-resistant ‘superweeds’? Are they driving farmers in India to suicide? And are the foreign transgenes in GM crops spreading into other plants? These controversial case studies show how blame shifts, myths are spread and cultural insensitivities can inflame debate…
… is a spectacularly beautiful, bright red mushroom. It occurs in the eastern United States from Maine to Georgia and Arizona, and south to Mexico and Costa Rica. Its fruiting bodies are typically found growing near hardwood trees, especially oak.
Frost’s bolete is edible and commonly sold in farmer’s markets in Mexico. But inexperienced mushroom hunters must be careful since there are poisonous mushrooms that look very similar to this species.
Sweet, spicy and savory, all in one bowl. This salsa is a fresh and interesting take on more traditional salsas, and is a wonderful way to celebrate the transition from late spring into early summer. The bright strawberries, creamy avocado and crunchy cucumber is an irresistible combination.
… is native to the Bering Sea (North Pacific). It grows to a leg span of 1.8 m (5.9 ft) and is heavily targeted by fisheries.
During the 1960s this crab was introduced into the Barents Sea (North Atlantic) to provide new, valuable catch for Soviet fishermen. While populations in the species’ native range are experiencing a steady decline, the crabs are quickly expanding in the North Atlantic raising concerns about their impacts on native communities.
Lean steak is low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein — qualities normally considered healthy. But eating a lot of it can still cause heart disease. Researchers have now laid the blame on bacteria in the human gut that convert a common nutrient found in beef into a compound that may speed up the build-up of plaques in the arteries.
The results are published in Nature Medicine today. Co-author Stanley Hazen, head of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, says that the study could signal a new approach to diet and health. In some cases, an individual’s collection of intestinal microbes may be as important to their diet as anything on a nutrition label, he says. “Bacteria make a whole slew of molecules from food,” he says, “and those molecules can have a huge effect on our metabolic processes.”
Consumption of red meat has been found to increase the risk of death from heart disease, even when controlling for levels of fat and cholesterol. To find out why, Hazen and his colleagues gave the nutrient l-carnitine — found in red meat and dairy products — to 77 volunteers, including 26 who were vegans or vegetarians. One committed vegan even agreed to eat a 200-gram sirloin steak…
Hominy is a traditional food for Native Americans during the winter. To help restore this tradition, NRCS provided the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, comprised of about 10,000 members across the region, with conservation technical assistance, helping them transform idle land into a hominy-making enterprise.
Making hominy starts in the fields, when the corn is left to dry for 120 days. Then, the corn is harvested and kernels are removed from cobs. The kernels are stored in a cool location and left to dry for an additional three months. This step is important because it kills the seed germ inside.
Next, the work begins. The Choctaw pound the corn, using a wooden mortise called a kiti. The smashed kernels are sifted and cleaned, resulting in the final product—powdered corn that is used for cornmeal
The whole hominy experience, from soil to spoon, gives the tribe’s members a chance to rekindle the agricultural traditions of their ancestors. Keeping those traditions alive is a major emphasis of NRCS’ work with Native Americans, says Tim Oakes, the agency’s tribal liaison to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.