10 posts · 3,817 views
Embryologist with a penchant for plants.
Toxic Interloper: Not long ago, I planted a bunch of coriander/cilantro seeds in my back yard. When the seedlings emerged, I found not only cilantro, but also this: Senecio vulgaris, known as common groundsel to me, but also as Old-man-of-the-spring. … Continue reading →... Read more »
Wang, C., Li, Y., Gao, J., He, Y., Xiong, A., Yang, L., Cheng, X., Ma, Y., & Wang, Z. (2011) The comparative pharmacokinetics of two pyrrolizidine alkaloids, senecionine and adonifoline, and their main metabolites in rats after intravenous and oral administration by UPLC/ESIMS. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 401(1), 275-287. DOI: 10.1007/s00216-011-5075-3
There is a plant I keep encountering, both on foraging trips and while out running, and for a long time I had been entertaining the hope that it was wild carrot (Daucus carota), while secretly suspecting that it was actually … Continue reading →... Read more »
Radulović N, Dorđević N, Denić M, Pinheiro MM, Fernandes PD, & Boylan F. (2012) A novel toxic alkaloid from poison hemlock (Conium maculatum L., Apiaceae): identification, synthesis and antinociceptive activity. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 50(2), 274-9. PMID: 22063758
Back in 2002 I went to Prague, where I was able to legally sample that storied vice of brooding 19th-century artists, absinthe. The preferred method of preparation was to pour some of the liquor into a large spoon, add a … Continue reading →... Read more »
Padosch SA, Lachenmeier DW, & Kröner LU. (2006) Absinthism: a fictitious 19th century syndrome with present impact. Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy, 14. PMID: 16722551
Höld KM, Sirisoma NS, Ikeda T, Narahashi T, & Casida JE. (2000) Alpha-thujone (the active component of absinthe): gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor modulation and metabolic detoxification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97(8), 3826-31. PMID: 10725394
After last week’s perusal of 4-winged dinosaurs, my labmates and I got into a bit of a competition to find the most outlandish prehistoric animal, which led us to meter-long millipedes, 2-foot mayflies, and something called Hallucigenia. What most captured … Continue reading →... Read more »
Dudley R. (1998) Atmospheric oxygen, giant Paleozoic insects and the evolution of aerial locomotor performance. The Journal of experimental biology, 201(Pt 8), 1043-50. PMID: 9510518
The gorgeous display of magnolia flowers around campus has been capturing my attention over the last few weeks, but it turns out they’re just as noteworthy for their therapeutic potential as for their aesthetics. A new article in press for … Continue reading →... Read more »
Wang JH, Shih KS, Liou JP, Wu YW, Chang AS, Wang KL, Tsai CL, & Yang CR. (2012) Anti-arthritic effects of magnolol in human interleukin 1β-stimulated fibroblast-like synoviocytes and in a rat arthritis model. PloS one, 7(2). PMID: 22359588
By February I am generally fed up with the cold and flu season, and this year is no exception. Our household has been hit hard by a cold/bronchitis 1-2 punch, and we’ve been single-handedly keeping the makers of Ricola and … Continue reading →... Read more »
Josling, P. (2001) Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: A double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Advances in Therapy, 18(4), 189-193. DOI: 10.1007/BF02850113
Nantz MP, Rowe CA, Muller CE, Creasy RA, Stanilka JM, & Percival SS. (2012) Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention. Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland). PMID: 22280901
Right now the various species of Prunus are in flower all over northern California; the ornamental plums that are so popular as sidewalk decor are shedding petals everywhere, apricot blossoms are peeking out from yards, and the almond trees that … Continue reading →... Read more »
Sá:nchez-Perez, R., Saez, F., Borch, J., Dicenta, F., Moller, B., & Jorgensen, K. (2012) Prunasin hydrolases during fruit development in sweet and bitter almonds. PLANT PHYSIOLOGY. DOI: 10.1104/pp.111.192021
A while ago I posted about oleander and the structural similarities between the oleander cardiac glycoside oleandrin and the foxglove cardiac glycoside digoxin. But foxgloves express enough biologically useful (and harmful) molecules that they’re worth showcasing. Plus they’re such nice … Continue reading →... Read more »
Ather S, Peterson LE, Divakaran VG, Deswal A, Ramasubbu K, Giorgberidze I, Blaustein A, Wehrens XH, Mann DL, & Bozkurt B. (2011) Digoxin treatment in heart failure - unveiling risk by cluster analysis of DIG data. International journal of cardiology, 150(3), 264-9. PMID: 20471706
The California Bay tree (Umbellularia californica) is introduced, and a paper is discussed about headaches caused by the Bay tree ketone Umbellulone.... Read more »
Nassini R, Materazzi S, Vriens J, Prenen J, Benemei S, De Siena G, la Marca G, Andrè E, Preti D, Avonto C.... (2011) The 'headache tree' via umbellulone and TRPA1 activates the trigeminovascular system. Brain : a journal of neurology. PMID: 22036959
An intro to the lovely California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, its useful alkaloids, and molecular approaches to maximize their biosynthetic yield.... Read more »
Adhami VM, Aziz MH, Reagan-Shaw SR, Nihal M, Mukhtar H, & Ahmad N. (2004) Sanguinarine causes cell cycle blockade and apoptosis of human prostate carcinoma cells via modulation of cyclin kinase inhibitor-cyclin-cyclin-dependent kinase machinery. Molecular cancer therapeutics, 3(8), 933-40. PMID: 15299076
Cho, H., Son, S., Rhee, H., Yoon, S., Lee-Parsons, C., & Park, J. (2008) Synergistic effects of sequential treatment with methyl jasmonate, salicylic acid and yeast extract on benzophenanthridine alkaloid accumulation and protein expression in Eschscholtzia californica suspension cultures. Journal of Biotechnology, 135(1), 117-122. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2008.02.020
Takemura T,, Chow YL,, Todokoro T,, Okamoto T,, & Sato F. (2010) Over-expression of rate-limiting enzymes to improve alkaloid productivity. Methods Mol Biol, 95-109. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-60761-723-5_7
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