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Amazonian mushroom eats plastic (Pestalotiopsis microspora)

Amazonian mushroom eats plastic (Pestalotiopsis microspora)


Since the first plastic polymer polyurethane was discovered back in 1937 by I.G. Farben [3], polyurethane, a synthetic polymer derived from the condensation of polyisocyanate and polyol widely used as a base material in various industries [2], became more and more a concern for the amounts of this type of plastic produced by the industry and the pollution generated by its disposal. Image: Morguefile.


Rafflesia arnoldii, the biggest flower on earth


Rafflesia arnoldii, commonly known as the corpse flower, is the biggest flower on earth. It received its nickname "corpse flower" as a result of its characteristic odour.

There are approximately 17 different species of Rafflesia. Most of these Rafflesia species tend to grow in south-east Asia, mostly in Borneo, and most of them bloom in different shades of red, although some flowers appear pink or brown.

This parasitic plant shows no roots or leaves and radiates the smell of a decaying corpse. This attracts pollinators which in return pollinate the flower. The Rafflesia is the largest flower known on earth, measuring up to 90 cm across and having a weight up to 11 kg. Image: Rafflesia 3 by MaewNam under Creative Common license (CC BY-SA 2.0).


Family: Rafflesiaceae

Genus: Rafflesia

Common name: Corpse flower


Baobab the oldest known angiosperm tree

Baobab tree can hold up to 25,000 liters of water


Baobab trees (Adansonia digitata), are very common in most of the dry parts of Africa. The Baobab tree botanical name is Adansonia digitata but it is also known in The English language as African baobab, Baobab of Mahajanga (Madagascar), Cream-tartar tree, Dead-rat tree (South Africa), Ethiopian sour bread, Monkey-bread tree (South Africa), Sour gourd and बाओबाब Baaobaab in Hindi.

Baobab trees usually grow solitary, as a distinctive image of the African Savannah [10] being commonly found in many countries as Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Senegal [11], but Baobabs can also be found in India, where it was brought from Africa hundreds of years ago. Some individual Baobab trees living over a thousand years of age [10].

The largest known Baobab tree, the Grootboom, collapsed unexpectedly in north-eastern Namibia back in 2004. Image: Baobab by Stuart Basil under Creative Common license (CC BY 2.0). 


Family: Malvaceae

Genus: Adansonia

Common name: African baobab, Baobab of Mahajanga (Madagascar), Cream-tartar tree, Dead-rat tree (South Africa), Ethiopian sour bread, Monkey-bread tree (South Africa), Sour gourd and बाओबाब Baaobaab in Hindi [8]


Health benefits of Achiote (Bixa orellana)



Annatto or Achiote (Bixa orellana), is a shrub native to tropical areas of America which names derives from the name given to this shrub in the Aztecan dialect Nahuatl.

Achiote is mainly known for being the source of the Annatto, also known as roucou, a carotenoid-based food colorant used very broadly, especially in the United States, where its commercialization doesn't require certification due to the fact that it is considered a natural colorant [3,4]. The main carotenoid detected in annatto seeds is bixin [6], a carotenoid soluble in fats but not in water. Image: See credits under ref. [21] below.


Family: Bixaceae

Genus: Bixa

Common names: Achiote, Annatto, Aploppas


Health benefits of Argan oil


An ancient oil, used by African tribes for its culinary, medicinal and health beneficial properties, Argan oil, became in recent years the subject of studies and research from cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies that were looking for a way to make commercial use of all these health benefits of Argan oil. Image left: See credits under ref. [24] below.


Family: Sapotaceae

Genus: Argania

Common name: English, Argan almond, Argan fruit, Argan oil, Moroccan fodder tree [1].