Sunlight is vital for life on Earth, as -through photosynthesis- it provides the energy all food chains ultimately rely on. Light also gives surface dwelling organisms the ability to sense the environment around them, but not all perceive light in the same way. Some, like humans, have complex eyes, but even plants use light as […]
Out of energy? Get some electrons!
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but luckily, it can be transformed. But where does the energy on Earth come from and how does this energy reach humans so they can use it?
Bioavailability of secondary metabolites
Manipulating environmental growing conditions (for example light quality) to enhance health-promoting secondary metabolites in plant crops may improve the health benefits from our salads. But after eating a healthy meal, do we know how much of those healthy nutritional food components are actually absorbed in our body?
How many plant biologists does it take to change a light bulb?
Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer
A special (UV) Christmas story For generations, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has been a beloved Christmas character. The story of Rudolf, first written and published by Robert L May in 1939, describes how Rudolf’s luminous red nose illuminates the way for Santa’s sleigh through the dark winter night. Robert L May’s story displays a fair […]
Can functional foods be obtained by exposing plants to UV-B?
The awareness of the link between human food consumption and health continues to drive the demand for foods that provide both basic nutrition and improve health (e.g. prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes). Such foods are termed functional foods 1, 2. Examples of functional […]
Ultraviolet back in time
For me, as for everyone, the past 4 months have brought unexpected changes to work and research activities. Just as long-awaited lab supplies were finally delivered, the University was shut down as part of infection prevention measures. For months I had been planning lab work and […]
UV effects on Melissa officinalis (lemon balm)
Melissa officinalis L., commonly known as lemon balm (Figure 1), belongs to the family of Lamiaceae, like many aromatic plants such as mint, sage, rosemary, thyme and basil. It is a herbaceous perennial, native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean where it grows freely. The […]