Grapevine: FreezePruf, Climate, Vermicompost, Bees, Seeds, Reeds, Mistletoe

Joseph V. Mascelli, 1964. An elderly woman uses her vast fortune to convince an eccentric yet brilliant scientist to transplant her brain into a new, youthful body.


– New Eco-Friendly Foliar Spray Provides Natural Anti-Freeze

Researchers at The University of Alabama and Miami University of Ohio have introduced an innovative, all-natural foliar spray that protects plants, both externally and systemically, by enhancing their natural “anti-freeze” properties. According to the scientists, using the new product is like moving the planting location 200 miles south — the equivalent of about one-half of a USDA hardiness zone. The patent-pending formula has been commercialized under the trade name FreezePruf. Science Daily

– Climate Change May Bring Big Ecosystem Changes

By 2100, global climate change will modify plant communities covering almost half of Earth’s land surface and will drive the conversion of nearly 40 percent of land-based ecosystems from one major ecological community type – such as forest, grassland or tundra – toward another, according to a new NASA and university computer modeling study.

In addition to altering plant communities, the study predicts climate change will disrupt the ecological balance between interdependent and often endangered plant and animal species, reduce biodiversity and adversely affect Earth’s water, energy, carbon and other element cycles. NASA

– Worm compost can suppress plant disease, regulate nutrients, research finds

Cornell researchers have found that vermicompost — the product if composting using various species of worms — is not only an excellent fertilizer, but could also help prevent a pathogen that has been a scourge to greenhouse growers. By teaming up with a New York composting business, they believe they have found an organic way to raise healthier plants with less environmental impact. Cornell University

– New York City buzzing with new species of bees

The American Museum of Natural History has announced the discovery of eleven new species of bees, including four from New York City and its suburbs.

“Declines in honey bees and other bees have received a lot of attention in recent years, but it is not generally appreciated that bee species entirely new to science are still being discovered even within our largest cities,” John Ascher, a research scientist in the museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology, was quoted as saying in a press release. “New York City has a surprising diversity of bees, with more than 250 described species recorded.” Discovery News

– Q. How can plant seeds — tomatoes, for example — survive the digestive processes of birds and other animals and thus be spread in their droppings? New York Times

Giant reed, Arundo donax, targeted by Dept. of Homeland Security

Weed control has become a matter of national security. Along U.S. southern coastal rivers, most particularly Texas’ Rio Grande, an invasive species of plant known as giant reed is encroaching on the water, overrunning international border access roads, and creating a dense cover for illegal activities. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has called for a plan to control this weed. Environmental Protection

The True Story of Mistletoe 

Baldur, grandson of the Norse god Thor, woke up one morning certain that each and every plant and animal on earth wanted to kill him. His mother consoled him. His wife consoled him, but all to no avail. As Baldur cowered in his room, half-wild with fear, his mother and wife decided to ask every living thing to leave their poor Baldur in peace. They begged the kindness of the oak tree, the pig, the cow, the crow, the ant and even the worm. Each agreed. Then, as Baldur paused to celebrate his release from torment, he felt a pain in his chest. He had been stabbed and killed by an arrow made from the wood of a mistletoe plant. Mistletoe was the one species on earth his wife and mother had failed to notice. Smithsonian Magazine

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