FOOD COLLAPSE imminent? Researchers create “robobees” as last ditch effort to compensate for collapsing bee populations

robobees to the resque

(Natural News) The invention of robot bees – robobees, for short – could be the long-awaited solution to all sorts of problems caused by the dwindling bee population all around the world. Just in case you haven’t heard, the world bee population has been steadily declining. As a result, a number of different environmental problems have emerged. With bees not fulfilling their role as far as pollination is concerned, some flowers and trees are unable to grow.

But things could change rather drastically with the introduction of robobees, as they could stand in for real bees in the meantime. This is according to Shashi Shekhar, one of the world’s foremost experts on mapping, citing the potential of robobees for serving as instruments in solving the catastrophic food shortages happening worldwide. Shekhar shared his thoughts on the matter as a speaker in the world’s biggest science conference. In his view, the time to embrace bee-sized drones to do things like pollinate crops.

According to a report, Shekhar sees the eventual use of robobees as a mere contingency if not a full necessity. “This is a back-up plan,” he explained. “With climate drying, if you look at areas like California and the West, you are losing lots of trees. If you lose the trees that’s the beginning.” Of course, with the loss of trees in forests, you can probably imagine what will be next to go, as there are a lot of animal species relying on them to survive.

Shekhar isn’t the only one who’s looking forward to a future where robobees are prevalent in case things ever truly go south for the environment. It is said that Japanese scientists have already developed a remotely controlled drone that’s as small as a dragonfly and can be used for the act of pollination. Meanwhile, U.S. scientists have also joined the fray. American researchers are currently planning to create an even smaller version of the above, focusing on the ability to carry pollen grains from one place to another and do it autonomously, at that.

Read more at naturalnews.com

Unrefined pumpkin seed oil increases antioxidant properties of bakery products

Fresh bread
Fresh bread

(Natural News) The antioxidant properties of bakery products can be increased by adding unrefined pumpkin seed oil, according to a study published in the journal Agronomy Research. The researchers from St. Petersburg Polytechnic University of Peter the Great examined the fatty acid compositions and biologically active components found in vegetable oils such as unrefined rice bran oil, unrefined pumpkin seed oil, and refined and deodorized sunflower oil. They assessed the antioxidant properties of the vegetable oils according to the different factors, such as the formation of the primary and secondary oxidation products; and the oxidation coefficient, which can be identified in the process of applying thermal treatment, resulting in vitamin E being destroyed. However, the resistance to the thermal oxidation process of the vegetable oils were affected due to their biochemical composition. The bakery products used in the study were made from wheat flour dough and were added with four percent of the corresponding vegetable oil and five percent sugar. The products were baked at two temperatures – at 200 C and at 220 C. The researchers looked at the antioxidant activity of the baked goods through chemiluminescence and through DPPH radical assay.

The findings of the study revealed that the vegetable oils increased the antioxidant activity in bakery products. The greatest increase in antioxidant activity was observed in baked goods added with pumpkin seed oil, followed by those with rice bran oil, and those with sunflower oil. In addition, the researchers observed that the total antioxidant activity was higher in the crumbs compared to the crust. Furthermore, the antioxidant activity increased as the baking temperature decreased. This effect was also observed in the antioxidant activity of aqueous extracts of crust and crumb in products with rice bran oil and sunflower oil as determined through chemiluminescence. On the other hand, the antioxidant activity of aqueous extracts in baked goods with pumpkin seed oil was found to be higher in the crust than in the crumb.