Science to Start Your Week!

Walking trees. In all serious, trees that can move a couple centimeters a day ON THEIR OWN. That is all.

As a beer geek, I almost exclusively think of barley in terms of what it takes to brew beer. I rarely consider that it is and has been a staple food for a number of people. That, however, is a big part of the impact of finding ways to breed drought-resistant barley. While this is kind of the opposite of what U.S. barley growers needed last year, I am confident it will matter in the long term.

A tealight candle nestled into a jar half-filled with barley, for stability.

Ever heard of zonulin? I hadn’t, until I’d read this NPR “The Salt” piece about it and gluten sensitivity. I also didn’t know that “no human being completely digests gluten” according to gastroenterologist Alessio Fasano (quote from the story). It’s an interesting, albeit incredibly preliminary, piece of research.

So, I mentioned previously, that potential lack of conflict of interest disclosures from Dr. Kevin Folta had me wondering about him and his science communication. I did not expect there to be a follow up with the journalist who wrote the piece I linked to before. But there is, and it’s just as fascinating as the previous piece.

Speaking of ethics, one of my friends and favorite ethicists, Kelly Hills, has written an excellent piece on self-driving cars and why they won’t revolutionize the life of disabled people. But those who are able-bodied (myself included) are told self-driving cars (and other novel technology) will do just that.