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This discovery attains significance because it suggests that American mayapple soon offer an alternative to its Indian counterpart, which has been harvested almost to extinction because of its anti-cancer properties.
The researchers point out that podophyllotoxin is used in manufacturing etoposide, the active ingredient in a drug used for treating lung and testicular cancer.
Currently podophyllotoxin is produced commercially using the roots and rhizomes of Indian mayapple, the endangered species harvested from the wild in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and China.
The researchers studied the effect of location, plant nutrient concentration, and phytoavailable nutrients in soil on podophyllotoxin concentration in American mayapple across its natural habitats in the eastern US.

Soon ultra-flat loudspeakers
German scientists have come up with a new concept for ultra-flat loudspeakers that can deliver full sound reproduction.
Scientists at the Ilmenau-based Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT) say that such speakers can be integrated inconspicuously on walls or in furniture.
The loudspeaker membrane must have room to vibrate in order to maintain unimpaired enjoyment. The quality of the sound in conventional models suffers if speakers are installed on walls or in furniture.
The new loudspeaker is ultra-flat, but still resonant.
To make this possible, the researchers took their inspiration from the loudspeakers of premium headphones.

Asthma, allergy in daycare
Contrary to popular belief, taking children to daycare might not make them immune to asthma and allergies, say researchers.
Children in daycare definitely get more illnesses and experience more respiratory symptoms as a result, any perceived protection these exposures afford against asthma and allergy seem to disappear by the time the child hits the age of eight.
“We found no evidence for a protective or harmful effect of daycare on the development of asthma symptoms, allergic sensitisation, or airway hyper-responsiveness at the age of eight years,” said lead researcher Dr Johan C de Jongste, of Erasmus University in the Netherlands.
The study showed that children who started daycare early were twice as likely to experience wheezing in the first year of life compared to those who didn’t go to daycare. However, as the children aged, there was a shift. By age five, there was a trend for less wheezing among early attendees.

Dried fish can boost taste
For health conscious people who turn to low-salt foods adding dried bonito flakes made from fish may accentuate the salty taste of products, according to a new study.
Low sodium diets are generally regarded as tasteless.
Dried bonito is made through various processes such as boiling, smoke drying and inoculation with molds. Its taste and aroma are appealing to the consumers.
The researchers said palatable salt-reduced foods may be prepared by using the stock of Karebushi combined with dried kelp.

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