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Ancient Science of Life  1982;2(2):93-97.
In Rigveda Soma is an evergreen plant, with thousand stalks yellow hued bestowing auspicious energy. Resembling yellow fibres of hemp ephedra was rained in Chlnoso Ho-Ma, Yellow-hemp. It was Sanskritized as Soma. Being an energizer-cum-euphoriant its juice was consumed thrice daily. Finally it became a drug of longevity, rejuvenation and resurrection even god Soma. As drug it was substituted by Rasayana promisiig rejuvenation but also salvation. Soma with Water and Fire constitutes the proto-cosmology of Rigveda.
PMCID: PMC3336717  PMID: 22556961
2.  Effect of pasteurization temperature on quality of aonla juice during storage 
A study was carried out to detect the changes in colour and quality attributes of aonla juice during storage after pasteurization at different temperatures. After extracting juice from aonla cv. Chakaiya, it was pasteurized at five different temperatures and preserved with 500 ppm SO2 in PET bottles under ambient conditions. Juice was periodically analysed for colour and chemical characters up to 9 months of storage. Though the contents of ascorbic acid and polyphenols in juice decreased with increase in storage period, the effect of pasteurization temperature was not significant. High degree of browning was observed in juice heated at higher temperatures (90 and 95 °C) as compared to lower temperatures (75 and 80 °C) throughout the storage period as indicated by increase in NEB values. The degree of browning was further confirmed by higher negative numerical values of whiteness index in Hunter’s scale for intensity of colour. HPLC data indicated that content of gallic acid in juice decreased initially but increased sharply as the storage period prolonged. Higher amount of gallic acid was detected after 9 months of storage in juice pasteurized at 95 °C than in juice heated at 75 °C. The contents of kaempferol and caffeic acid decreased throughout the storage period irrespective of pasteurization temperature. Though least browning was observed in juice pasteurized at 75 °C, but microbial growth was observed after 9 months of storage. Hence, pasteurization temperature of 80 °C was found optimum for preservation of aonla juice under ambient conditions.
PMCID: PMC3551156  PMID: 23572745
Aonla juice; Pasteurization temperature; Storage; Browning; Polyphenols
3.  Effect of processing of dates into date juice concentrate and appraisal of its quality characteristics 
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is widely cultivated in Kutch district of Gujarat and the fruits are harvested at immature stage before the onset of monsoon to prevent spoilage. The immature date fruits with less commercial value were used for processing into date juice concentrate. Immature dates were crushed and treated with 0.1% pectinase enzyme for 120 min to obtain maximum juice. Date juice was found to be rich in reducing sugars (16.1%) and total sugars (18.3%). Juice was pasteurized at 85°C to inactivate the enzyme, cooled and centrifuged at 3000 rpm to get clear juice. The juice was concentrated in a thin film evaporator to a total soluble solids (TSS) of 76°Brix in 2 passes. Chemical composition of date juice during different stages of concentration was determined. Date juice concentrate was packed in low density polyethylene bags of size (22 cm × 14 cm) and frozen in blast freezer at −40°C and stored at −20°C. Storage of date juice concentrate at −20°C for 6 months indicated no significant changes in TSS, acidity, ascorbic acid, total sugars and pH. Hunter colour lightness L, and redness a values of date juice concentrate decreased whereas b values increased during storage. Date juice concentrate was stable during 6 months storage could be reconstituted for preparing ready-to-serve beverages with acceptable sensory quality.
PMCID: PMC3550972  PMID: 23572618
Dates; Date juice; Juice concentrate; Enzyme clarification; Date beverage
Ancient Science of Life  1984;3(3):161-168.
Specific features of Soma plant are implict from various references in Rigveda enabling its identity as ephedra. Its juice is an energizer – cum – euphoriant contrary to the intoxicant sura. Sura is beer prepared from barely malt. Soma is the juice of ephedra rich in ephedrine which is antisomnalent. At least one use of soma has never been substituted, as the drink of longevity for a newly born child.
PMCID: PMC3331558  PMID: 22557400
5.  Influence of Different Drinks on the Colour Stability of Dental Resin Composites 
European Journal of Dentistry  2009;3(1):50-56.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the discolouration effects of artificial saliva, granule lemon juice, coffee (without sugar), coca cola, sour cherry juice, fresh carrot juice and red wine on resin-based composite materials that are commonly used in restorative dentistry.
Colour of four brands of resin composites (Filtek Z 250 (3M Espe), Filtek Supreme (3M Espe), Quadrant (Cavex), Charisma (Heraeus-Kulzer)) of A2 shade was measured after one day of immersion in eight different solutions. Colour measurements were obtained by using a XL-20 Trismus Colourimeter and colour differences (ΔE) were estimated. For statistical evaluation, analysis of variance (ANOVA), Dunnett and Tukey tests were used at a significance level of 0.05.
For the four restorative materials tested, the lowest ΔE values were observed in the artificial saliva, while ΔE values were the highest in red wine group. When comparing the four different restorative materials, Filtek Supreme exhibited the least colour changes whereas Filtek Z250 was the least colour-stable.
Dental resin composites and drinking solutions were significant factors that may affect the colour stability. After immersion for one day, all materials showed visible colour changes. The red wine solution exhibited more staining than others in three groups. Filtek Supreme showed significantly the least colour change due to its nano particle sizes.
PMCID: PMC2647959  PMID: 19262731
Colour; Composite; Drink
6.  Lemon juice has protective activity in a rat urolithiasis model 
BMC Urology  2007;7:18.
The use of herbal medicines (medicinal plants or phytotherapy) has recently gained popularity in Europe and the United States. Nevertheless the exact mechanism of the preventive effects of these products is still far to be clearly established, being its knowledge necessary to successfully apply these therapies to avoid stone formation.
The effect of oral lemon juice administration on calcium oxalate urolithiasis was studied in male Wistar rats. Rats were rendered nephrolithic by providing drinking water containing 0.75% ethylene glycol [v/v] (EG) and 2% ammonium chloride [w/v] (AC) for 10 days. In addition to EG/AC treatment, three groups of rats were also gavage-administered solutions containing 100%, 75% or 50% lemon juice [v/v] (6 μl solution/g body weight). Positive control rats were treated with EG/AC but not lemon juice. Negative control rats were provided with normal drinking water, and were administered normal water by gavage. Each group contained 6 rats. After 10 days, serum samples were collected for analysis, the left kidney was removed and assessed for calcium levels using flame spectroscopy, and the right kidney was sectioned for histopathological analysis using light microscopy.
Analysis showed that the rats treated with EG/AC alone had higher amounts of calcium in the kidneys compared to negative control rats. This EG/AC-induced increase in kidney calcium levels was inhibited by the administration of lemon juice. Histology showed that rats treated with EG/AC alone had large deposits of calcium oxalate crystals in all parts of the kidney, and that such deposits were not present in rats also treated with either 100% or 75% lemon juice.
These data suggest that lemon juice has a protective activity against urolithiasis.
PMCID: PMC2194764  PMID: 17919315
7.  Structural Remodeling of Fibrous Astrocytes after Axonal Injury 
Reactive astrocytes are a pathological hallmark of many CNS injuries and neurodegenerations. They are characterized by hypertrophy of the soma and processes and an increase in the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Because the cells obscure each other in immunostaining, little is known about the behavior of a single reactive astrocyte, nor how single astrocytes combine to form the glial scar. We have investigated the reaction of fibrous astrocytes to axonal degeneration using a transgenic mouse strain expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in small subsets of astrocytes. Fibrous astrocytes in the optic nerve and corpus callosum initially react to injury by hypertrophy of the soma and processes. They retract their primary processes, simplifying their shape and dramatically reducing their spatial coverage. At three days post-crush, quantitative analysis revealed nearly a two-fold increase in the thickness of the primary processes, a halving of the number of primary processes leaving the soma and an eight-fold reduction in the spatial coverage. In the subsequent week, they partially re-extend long processes, returning to a near normal morphology and an extensive spatial overlap. The resulting glial scar consists of an irregular array of astrocyte processes, contrasting with their original orderly arrangement. These changes are in distinct contrast to those reported for reactive protoplasmic astrocytes of the grey matter, in which the number of processes and branchings increase, but the cells continue to maintain non-overlapping individual territories throughout their response to injury.
PMCID: PMC3124820  PMID: 20962222
glial lamina; optic nerve; white matter astrocytes; reactive astrocytes; optic nerve crush; glaucoma
Ancient Science of Life  1987;7(2):105-109.
Ephedra was a source of anti-fatigue drink. In later period it became a drink of immortality and longevity. The use of Soma as the first drink of a newly born child is mentioned in Rigveda. The author identifies the Soma of Rigveda with the Ephedra and established its use in ancient Rome and also highlights here its continuity among Zorostrains.
PMCID: PMC3331384  PMID: 22557597
9.  Comparison of the Effects of Blending and Juicing on the Phytochemicals Contents and Antioxidant Capacity of Typical Korean Kernel Fruit Juices 
Four Korean kernel fruit (apple, pear, persimmon, and mandarin orange) juices were obtained by household processing techniques (i.e., blending, juicing). Whole and flesh fractions of each fruit were extracted by a blender or a juicer and then examined for phytochemical content (i.e., organic acids, polyphenol compounds). The antioxidant capacity of each juice was determined by ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays. Results revealed that juices that had been prepared by blending whole fruits had stronger antioxidant activities and contained larger amounts of phenolic compounds than juices that had been prepared by juicing the flesh fraction of the fruit. However, the concentration of ascorbic acid in apple, pear, and mandarin orange juices was significantly (P<0.05) higher in juice that had been processed by juicing, rather than blending. The juices with the highest ascorbic acid (233.9 mg/serving), total polyphenols (862.3 mg gallic acid equivalents/serving), and flavonoids (295.1 mg quercetin equivalents/serving) concentrations were blended persimmon juice, blended mandarin orange juice, and juiced apple juice, respectively. These results indicate that juice extraction techniques significantly (P<0.05) influences the phytochemical levels and antioxidant capacity of fruit juices.
PMCID: PMC4103735  PMID: 25054109
phenolic compounds; organic acids; antioxidant capacity; Korean kernel fruits; juice extraction
10.  Retinal Ganglion Cell Morphology after Optic Nerve Crush and Experimental Glaucoma 
To study sequential changes in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) morphology in mice after optic nerve crush and after induction of experimental glaucoma.
Nerve crush or experimental glaucoma was induced in mice that selectively express yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in RGCs. Mice were euthanized 1, 4, and 9 days after crush and 1, 3, and 6 weeks after induction of glaucoma by bead injection. All YFP-RGCs were identified in retinal whole mounts. Then confocal images of randomly selected RGCs were quantified for somal fluorescence brightness, soma size, neurite outgrowth, and dendritic complexity (Sholl analysis).
By 9 days after crush, 98% of RGC axons died and YFP-RGCs decreased by 64%. After 6 weeks of glaucoma, 31% of axons died, but there was no loss of YFP-RGC bodies. All crush retinas combined had significant decreases in neurite outgrowth parameters (P ≤ 0.036, generalized estimating equation [GEE] model) and dendritic complexity was lower than controls (P = 0.017, GEE model). There was no change in RGC soma area after crush. In combined glaucoma data, the RGC soma area was larger than control (P = 0.04, GEE model). At 3 weeks, glaucoma RGCs had significantly larger values for dendritic structure and complexity than controls (P = 0.044, GEE model), but no statistical difference was found at 6 weeks.
After nerve crush, RGCs and axons died rapidly, and dendritic structure decreased moderately in remaining RGCs. Glaucoma caused an increase in RGC dendrite structure and soma size at 3 weeks.
Retinal ganglion cell morphology after optic nerve crush and experimental glaucoma.
PMCID: PMC3630905  PMID: 22589442
11.  Correlates of soft drink and fruit juice consumption among Swedish adolescents 
The British journal of nutrition  2008;101(10):1541-1548.
The aim of the study was to investigate how soft drink and fruit juice consumption in teenagers is associated with life-style, other food choices, eating behaviour and maternal characteristics. A cross-sectional study of 16-year-old girls (n 275) and boys (n 199) and their mothers was undertaken. Questionnaires were used to assess habitual dietary intake, eating behaviour, physical activity, smoking and educational level. Weight and height were measured. It was found that eating breakfast less than five times per week was independently associated with a high soft drink consumption in both girls and boys. A low intake of cooked meals and milk and a high intake of salty snacks were associated with soft drinks in boys only, and a low intake of fruits in girls only. A high maternal juice intake, low milk and high fruit consumption were independent correlates of fruit juice intake in both girls and boys. In girls, being a smoker, having a smoking mother, a high soft drink intake, scoring low on emotional eating and high on cognitive restraint were also associated with fruit juice intake. A low intake of soft drinks and cooked meals was associated with fruit juice intake in boys only. Neither soft drinks nor fruit juice was associated with BMI. In conclusion, a high intake of both fruit juice and soft drinks were associated with a lower intake of foods such as milk and cooked meals. It might be possible to influence fruit juice intake among teenagers by aiming at their mothers, whereas the adolescents themselves should be targeted when the aim is to reduce soft drink consumption.
PMCID: PMC2875102  PMID: 18838019
Soft drinks; Fruit juice; Adolescents; Mother–child associations
12.  Morphology, Classification, and Distribution of the Projection Neurons in the Dorsal Lateral Geniculate Nucleus of the Rat 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49161.
The morphology of confirmed projection neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) of the rat was examined by filling these cells retrogradely with biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) injected into the visual cortex. BDA-labeled projection neurons varied widely in the shape and size of their cell somas, with mean cross-sectional areas ranging from 60–340 µm2. Labeled projection neurons supported 7–55 dendrites that spanned up to 300 µm in length and formed dendritic arbors with cross-sectional areas of up to 7.0×104 µm2. Primary dendrites emerged from cell somas in three broad patterns. In some dLGN projection neurons, primary dendrites arise from the cell soma at two poles spaced approximately 180° apart. In other projection neurons, dendrites emerge principally from one side of the cell soma, while in a third group of projection neurons primary dendrites emerge from the entire perimeter of the cell soma. Based on these three distinct patterns in the distribution of primary dendrites from cell somas, we have grouped dLGN projection neurons into three classes: bipolar cells, basket cells and radial cells, respectively. The appendages seen on dendrites also can be grouped into three classes according to differences in their structure. Short “tufted” appendages arise mainly from the distal branches of dendrites; “spine-like” appendages, fine stalks with ovoid heads, typically are seen along the middle segments of dendrites; and “grape-like” appendages, short stalks that terminate in a cluster of ovoid bulbs, appear most often along the proximal segments of secondary dendrites of neurons with medium or large cell somas. While morphologically diverse dLGN projection neurons are intermingled uniformly throughout the nucleus, the caudal pole of the dLGN contains more small projection neurons of all classes than the rostral pole.
PMCID: PMC3489731  PMID: 23139837
13.  Effects of Reduced Juice Allowances in Food Packages for the Women, Infants, and Children Program 
Pediatrics  2013;131(5):919-927.
In 2009, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) implemented revisions to the composition and quantities of WIC food packages. Juice allowances were reduced by approximately half. This report describes changes in purchases of 100% juice and other beverages among WIC participants after the WIC revisions.
Scanner data from a New England supermarket chain were used to assess juice and other beverage purchases among 2137 WIC-participating households during a 2-year period (N = 36 051 household-months). Purchased beverage amounts were compared before (January–September 2009) and after (January–September 2010) implementation of the revised WIC packages. Generalized estimating equation models were used.
Before the revisions, WIC juice accounted for two-thirds of purchased juice volume among WIC households. After implementation of the revisions, WIC juice purchases were reduced on par with allowance changes (43.5% of juice volume, 95% confidence interval [CI] 41.9%–45.1%). This reduction was only partly compensated for by an increase of 13.6% (8.4%–19.0%) in juice purchases using personal and other non-WIC funds. In total, juice purchases declined by 23.5% (21.4%–25.4%) from an adjusted monthly total of 238 oz to 182 oz per household. WIC households increased purchases of fruit drinks by 20.9% (14.9%–27.3%) and other noncarbonated beverages by 21.3% (12.1%–31.2%) but purchased 12.1% (8.1%–15.0%) less soft drinks.
After the WIC revisions, total purchases of 100% juice among WIC households declined by about a quarter, with little compensation occurring from non-WIC funds for juice and other beverages. The public health impact of the shift in beverage purchase patterns could be significant.
PMCID: PMC4074658  PMID: 23629613
food assistance; WIC; juice; food policy
Ancient Science of Life  2006;26(1-2):89-91.
Siddha is a traditional medical system of India. According to siddha system of medicine, chendooram is a red colour powder generally made of metallic compounds. Mercury is used in the form of rasa chendooram (red oxide of mercury). This paper deals with the standardization of Kantha chendooram. It is a Siddha preparation of 8 ingredients, viz. 1. Purified Lode Stone, 2. Purified Sulphur, 3. Lead wort root powder, 4. Eclipta juice, 5. Lime juice, 6. Milk, 7. Egg albumin, 8. Madar Latex. In this study an attempt was made to standardize Kantha chendooram which has not been attempted by researchers earlier. Standardization of Kantha chendooram was in terms of its organoleptic characters, qualitative identification of phytochemical constituents, metallic quantification and in terms of pharmacognostical standardization.
PMCID: PMC3335228  PMID: 22557232
15.  New Green Polymeric Composites Based on Hemp and Natural Rubber Processed by Electron Beam Irradiation 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:684047.
A new polymeric composite based on natural rubber reinforced with hemp has been processed by electron beam irradiation and characterized by several methods. The mechanical characteristics: gel fraction, crosslink density, water uptake, swelling parameters, and FTIR of natural rubber/hemp fiber composites have been investigated as a function of the hemp content and absorbed dose. Physical and mechanical properties present a significant improvement as a result of adding hemp fibres in blends. Our experiments showed that the hemp fibers have a reinforcing effect on natural rubber similar to mineral fillers (chalk, carbon black, silica). The crosslinking rates of samples, measured using the Flory-Rehner equation, increase as a result of the amount of hemp in blends and the electron beam irradiation dose increasing. The swelling parameters of samples significantly depend on the amount of hemp in blends, because the latter have hydrophilic characteristics.
PMCID: PMC3928856  PMID: 24688419
16.  Electrolyte and Plasma Changes After Ingestion of Pickle Juice, Water, and a Common Carbohydrate-Electrolyte Solution 
Journal of Athletic Training  2009;44(5):454-461.
Health care professionals advocate that athletes who are susceptible to exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMCs) should moderately increase their fluid and electrolyte intake by drinking sport drinks. Some clinicians have also claimed drinking small volumes of pickle juice effectively relieves acute EAMCs, often alleviating them within 35 seconds. Others fear ingesting pickle juice will enhance dehydration-induced hypertonicity, thereby prolonging dehydration.
To determine if ingesting small quantities of pickle juice, a carbohydrate-electrolyte (CHO-e) drink, or water increases plasma electrolytes or other selected plasma variables.
Crossover study.
Exercise physiology laboratory.
Patients or Other Participants:
Nine euhydrated, healthy men (age  =  25 ± 2 years, height  =  179.4 ± 7.2 cm, mass  =  86.3 ± 15.9 kg) completed the study.
Resting blood samples were collected preingestion (−0.5 minutes); immediately postingestion (0 minutes); and at 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 45, and 60 minutes postingestion of 1 mL/kg body mass of pickle juice, CHO-e drink, or tap water.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
Plasma sodium concentration, plasma magnesium concentration, plasma calcium concentration, plasma potassium concentration, plasma osmolality, and changes in plasma volume were analyzed. Urine specific gravity, osmolality, and volume were also measured to characterize hydration status.
Mean fluid intake was 86.3 ± 16.7 mL. Plasma sodium concentration, plasma magnesium concentration, plasma calcium concentration, plasma osmolality, and plasma volume did not change during the 60 minutes after ingestion of each fluid (P ≥ .05). Water ingestion slightly decreased plasma potassium concentration at 60 minutes (0.21 ± 0.14 mg/dL [0.21 ± 0.14 mmol/L]; P ≤ .05).
At these volumes, ingestion of pickle juice and CHO-e drink did not cause substantial changes in plasma electrolyte concentrations, plasma osmolality, or plasma volume in rested, euhydrated men. Concern that ingesting these volumes of pickle juice might exacerbate an athlete's risk of dehydration-induced hypertonicity may be unwarranted. If EAMCs are caused by large electrolyte loss due to sweating, these volumes of pickle juice or CHO-e drink are unlikely to restore any deficit incurred by exercise.
PMCID: PMC2742453  PMID: 19771282
acetic acid; hydration; osmolality; sport drinks
17.  Environmental colour affects aspects of single-species population dynamics. 
Single-species populations of ciliates (Colpidium and Paramecium) experienced constant temperature or white or reddened temperature fluctuations in aquatic microcosms in order to test three hypotheses about how environmental colour influences population dynamics. (i) Models predict that the colour of population dynamics is tinged by the colour of the environmental variability. However, environmental colour had no effect on the colour of population dynamics. All population dynamics in this experiment were reddened, regardless of environmental colour. (ii) Models predict that populations will track reddened environmental variability more closely than white environmental variability and that populations with a higher intrinsic growth rate (r) will track environmental variability more closely than populations with a low r. The experimental populations behaved as predicted. (iii) Models predict that population variability is determined by interaction between r and the environmental variability. The experimental populations behaved as predicted. These results show that (i) reddened population dynamics may need no special explanation, such as reddened environments, spatial subdivision or interspecific interactions, and (ii) and (iii) that population dynamics are sensitive to environmental colour, in agreement with population models. Correct specification of the colour of the environmental variability in models is required for accurate predictions. Further work is needed to study the effects of environmental colour on communities and ecosystems.
PMCID: PMC1690600  PMID: 10819142
18.  Validation of Different Methods of Preparation of Adhatoda vasica Leaf Juice by Quantification of Total Alkaloids and Vasicine 
Leaf of Adhatoda vasica (Vasaka) is an important drug of Ayurveda, prescribed as an expectorant. Quinazoline alkaloids present in the leaves are established as active principles. In Ayurveda, its leaf juice (Vasa swarasa) is incorporated in many formulations. Classical method for extracting the juice (swarasa) from the leaf is an elaborate process, which involves subjecting a bolus of crushed fresh leaf to heat followed by squeezing out the juice. Commercially, to prepare the juice of Vasaka, manufacturers have been adopting different methods other than the traditional method. In an effort to evaluate these modified processes phytochemically to identify the process which gives juice of the quality that is obtained by traditional method, in terms of its alkaloid content, we prepared the leaf juice by traditional Ayurvedic method, its modification by steaming of leaf to simulate the traditional method and other methods adopted by some manufacturers. These juice samples were evaluated for the total alkaloid content by spectrophotometric method and vasicine content by thin layer chromatography densitometric method using high performance thin layer chromatography. The high performance thin layer chromatography method was validated for precision, repeatability and accuracy. The total alkaloid content varied from 0.3 mg/ml to 5.93 mg/ml and that of vasicine content varied from 0.2 mg/ml to 5.64 mg/ml in the juice samples prepared by different methods. The present study revealed that steaming of fresh leaves under 15 lb pressure yielded same quantity of juice as the traditional bolus method (25 ml/100 g leaf) and its total alkaloid content and vasicine content (4.05±0.12 and 3.46±0.06 mg/ml, respectively) were very high when compared to the other methods, though the traditional method was found to give the best quality juice with highest amount of total alkaloids (5.93±0.55 mg/ml) and vasicine (5.64±0.10 mg/ml) content.
PMCID: PMC2852058  PMID: 20390078
Vasaka juice; total alkaloids; vasicine
19.  The Evolutionary Origin of Somatic Cells under the Dirty Work Hypothesis 
PLoS Biology  2014;12(5):e1001858.
Experimental evolution of digital organisms suggests that mutagenic side effects associated with performing valuable metabolic work can produce germ-soma differentiation in multicellular organisms.
Reproductive division of labor is a hallmark of multicellular organisms. However, the evolutionary pressures that give rise to delineated germ and somatic cells remain unclear. Here we propose a hypothesis that the mutagenic consequences associated with performing metabolic work favor such differentiation. We present evidence in support of this hypothesis gathered using a computational form of experimental evolution. Our digital organisms begin each experiment as undifferentiated multicellular individuals, and can evolve computational functions that improve their rate of reproduction. When such functions are associated with moderate mutagenic effects, we observe the evolution of reproductive division of labor within our multicellular organisms. Specifically, a fraction of the cells remove themselves from consideration as propagules for multicellular offspring, while simultaneously performing a disproportionately large amount of mutagenic work, and are thus classified as soma. As a consequence, other cells are able to take on the role of germ, remaining quiescent and thus protecting their genetic information. We analyze the lineages of multicellular organisms that successfully differentiate and discover that they display unforeseen evolutionary trajectories: cells first exhibit developmental patterns that concentrate metabolic work into a subset of germ cells (which we call “pseudo-somatic cells”) and later evolve to eliminate the reproductive potential of these cells and thus convert them to actual soma. We also demonstrate that the evolution of somatic cells enables phenotypic strategies that are otherwise not easily accessible to undifferentiated organisms, though expression of these new phenotypic traits typically includes negative side effects such as aging.
Author Summary
Cells within an organism are categorized as “germ” if they are able to grow into a whole new offspring organism or as “soma” if they contribute to the body's functionality but cannot produce an offspring themselves. From an evolutionary perspective, it is important to ask why and how a multicellular organism would demarcate the reproductive potential of its cells. Here we propose the “dirty work hypothesis,” which argues that germ–soma differentiation is an adaptation to allow metabolic work that damages a cell's DNA. Soma can afford to perform this “dirty work,” while germ cells must keep their DNA pristine for future multicellular offspring. We use digital organisms to provide experimental evidence in support of this hypothesis and present an unexpected evolutionary trajectory: multicellular organisms first evolve to confine damaging metabolic work to a subset of cells (which we label “pseudo-soma”) before more complex developmental patterns arise that allow for reproductive division of labor with a proper soma. Finally, we demonstrate that somatic cells allow organisms to evolve valuable functions that are otherwise too damaging to cells; however, they come with the side effect of rapid aging. Similar pressures may have produced reproductive division of labor in other contexts, such as the differentiation of reproductive queens and sterile workers in eusocial insect colonies.
PMCID: PMC4019463  PMID: 24823361
20.  High concentrations of dried sorghum stalks as a biomass feedstock for single cell oil production by Rhodosporidium toruloides 
Environmental crisis and concerns for energy security have made the research for renewable fuels that will substitute the usage of fossil fuels an important priority. Biodiesel is a potential substitute for petroleum, but its feasibility is hindered by the utilization of edible vegetable oil as raw material, which is responsible for a large fraction of the production cost and fosters the food versus fuel competition. Microbial oils are an interesting alternative as they do not compete with food production, and low cost renewable materials could serve as raw materials during cultivation of microorganisms. Sweet sorghum is an excellent candidate as substrate for microbial oil production, as it possesses high photosynthetic activity yielding high amounts of soluble and insoluble carbohydrates, and does not require high fertilization and irrigation rates.
Initially the ability of sweet sorghum to fully support yeast growth, both as a carbon and nitrogen source was evaluated. It was found that addition of an external nitrogen source had a negative impact on single cell oil (SCO) production yields, which has a positive effect on the process economics. Subsequently the effect of the presence of a distinct saccharification step on SCO was examined. The presence of an enzymatic saccharification step prior to SCO production improved the production of SCO, especially in high solid concentrations. Removal of solids was also investigated and its positive effect on SCO production was also demonstrated. When juice from 20% w/w enzymatically liquefied sweet sorghum was used as the raw material, SCO production was 13.77 g/L. To the best of our knowledge this is one of the highest SCO titers reported in the literature when renewable raw materials were utilized.
The use of sweet sorghum at high solid concentrations as a feedstock for the efficient production of SCO by Rhodosporidium toruloides was demonstrated. Moreover, addition of enzymes not only led to liquefaction of sweet sorghum and permitted liquid fermentation, but also enhanced lipid production by 85.1% and 15.9% when dried stalks or stalk juice was used, respectively.
PMCID: PMC4308834  PMID: 25632300
Single cell oil; Rhodosporidium toruloides; Sweet sorghum; Enzymatic saccharification; Biodiesel
21.  Skin in Health and Diseases in Ṛgveda Saṃhiṭa: An Overview 
Indian Journal of Dermatology  2013;58(6):413-416.
Ṛgveda is the oldest religious book of the Aryans. It picturises the early lives of the Aryans. We get mention of various diseases in this Veda. Skin - both in health and diseases had caught attention of the Vedic sages. Skin was not merely an organ of attraction and look but its colour was important socially. Mentions of various diseases like leprosy, guinea worm, jaundice etc., are interesting. Mention of different disorders of the nails and hair are also there, though in a very primitive and mystic form. Management strategy was consisted of herbs, amulates, chanting of mantras, touching the body, uses of water and sunrays etc. This may be presumed that this Veda founded the base for the Āyurveda of the later period.
PMCID: PMC3827509  PMID: 24249889
Veda; Ṛgveda Saṃhiṭa; skin diseases
22.  Hesperidin Displays Relevant Role in the Nutrigenomic Effect of Orange Juice on Blood Leukocytes in Human Volunteers: A Randomized Controlled Cross-Over Study 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e26669.
We previously showed, in healthy, middle-aged, moderately overweight men, that orange juice decreases diastolic blood pressure and significantly improves postprandial microvascular endothelial reactivity and that hesperidin could be causally linked to the observed beneficial effect of orange juice. The objective was to determine the effect of chronic consumption of orange juice on the gene expression profile of leukocytes in healthy volunteers and to assess to what extent hesperidin is involved in the effect of orange juice.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Volunteers were included in a randomized, controlled, crossover study. Throughout three 4-week periods, volunteers consumed daily: 500 ml orange juice, 500 ml control drink plus hesperidin or 500 ml control drink and placebo. Blood samplings were performed on 10 overnight-fasted subjects after the 4-week treatment period. Global gene expression profiles were determined using human whole genome cDNA microarrays. Both orange juice and hesperidin consumption significantly affected leukocyte gene expression. Orange juice consumption induced changes in expression of, 3,422 genes, while hesperidin intake modulated the expression of 1,819 genes. Between the orange juice and hesperidin consumption groups, 1,582 regulated genes were in common. Many of these genes are implicated in chemotaxis, adhesion, infiltration and lipid transport, which is suggestive of lower recruitment and infiltration of circulating cells to vascular wall and lower lipid accumulation.
This study shows that regular consumption of orange juice for 4 weeks alters leukocyte gene expression to an anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic profile, and hesperidin displays a relevant role in the genomic effect of this beverage.
Trial Registration NCT 00983086
PMCID: PMC3217928  PMID: 22110589
23.  Development of a small scale orange juice extractor 
A small scale motorized orange juice extractor was designed and fabricated, using locally-available construction materials. The essential components of the machine include feeding hopper, top cover, worm shaft, juice sieve, juice collector, waste outlet, transmission belt, main frame, pulleys and bearings. In operation, the worm shaft conveys, crushes, presses and squeezes the fruit to extract the juice. The juice extracted is filtered through the juice sieve into juice collector while the residual waste is discharged through waste outlet. Result showed that the average juice yield and juice extraction efficiency were 41.6 and 57.4%, respectively. Powered by a 2 hp electric motor, the machine has a capacity of 14 kg/h. With a machine cost of about $100, it is affordable for small-scale citrus farmers in the rural communities.
PMCID: PMC3550988  PMID: 23572610
Orange fruits; Citrus sinensis; Juice extractor; Design; Construction; Testing; Juice yield; Extraction efficiency; Machine cost
24.  Consumption patterns of sweet drinks in a population of Australian children and adolescents (2003–2008) 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:771.
Intake of sweet drinks has previously been associated with the development of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents. The present study aimed to assess the consumption pattern of sweet drinks in a population of children and adolescents in Victoria, Australia.
Data on 1,604 children and adolescents (4–18 years) from the comparison groups of two quasi-experimental intervention studies from Victoria, Australia were analysed. Sweet drink consumption (soft drink and fruit juice/cordial) was assessed as one day’s intake and typical intake over the last week or month at two time points between 2003 and 2008 (mean time between measurement: 2.2 years).
Assessed using dietary recalls, more than 70% of the children and adolescents consumed sweet drinks, with no difference between age groups (p = 0.28). The median intake among consumers was 500 ml and almost a third consumed more than 750 ml per day. More children and adolescents consumed fruit juice/cordial (69%) than soft drink (33%) (p < 0.0001) and in larger volumes (median intake fruit juice/cordial: 500 ml and soft drink: 375 ml). Secular changes in sweet drink consumption were observed with a lower proportion of children and adolescents consuming sweet drinks at time 2 compared to time 1 (significant for age group 8 to <10 years, p = 0.001).
The proportion of Australian children and adolescents from the state of Victoria consuming sweet drinks has been stable or decreasing, although a high proportion of this sample consumed sweet drinks, especially fruit juice/cordial at both time points.
PMCID: PMC3549827  PMID: 22966937
Sweet beverages; Soft drink; Children and adolescents
25.  A holistic high-throughput screening framework for biofuel feedstock assessment that characterises variations in soluble sugars and cell wall composition in Sorghum bicolor 
A major hindrance to the development of high yielding biofuel feedstocks is the ability to rapidly assess large populations for fermentable sugar yields. Whilst recent advances have outlined methods for the rapid assessment of biomass saccharification efficiency, none take into account the total biomass, or the soluble sugar fraction of the plant. Here we present a holistic high-throughput methodology for assessing sweet Sorghum bicolor feedstocks at 10 days post-anthesis for total fermentable sugar yields including stalk biomass, soluble sugar concentrations, and cell wall saccharification efficiency.
A mathematical method for assessing whole S. bicolor stalks using the fourth internode from the base of the plant proved to be an effective high-throughput strategy for assessing stalk biomass, soluble sugar concentrations, and cell wall composition and allowed calculation of total stalk fermentable sugars. A high-throughput method for measuring soluble sucrose, glucose, and fructose using partial least squares (PLS) modelling of juice Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra was developed. The PLS prediction was shown to be highly accurate with each sugar attaining a coefficient of determination (R 2 ) of 0.99 with a root mean squared error of prediction (RMSEP) of 11.93, 5.52, and 3.23 mM for sucrose, glucose, and fructose, respectively, which constitutes an error of <4% in each case. The sugar PLS model correlated well with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and brix measures. Similarly, a high-throughput method for predicting enzymatic cell wall digestibility using PLS modelling of FTIR spectra obtained from S. bicolor bagasse was developed. The PLS prediction was shown to be accurate with an R 2 of 0.94 and RMSEP of 0.64 μg.mgDW-1.h-1.
This methodology has been demonstrated as an efficient and effective way to screen large biofuel feedstock populations for biomass, soluble sugar concentrations, and cell wall digestibility simultaneously allowing a total fermentable yield calculation. It unifies and simplifies previous screening methodologies to produce a holistic assessment of biofuel feedstock potential.
PMCID: PMC3892131  PMID: 24365407
FTIR; High-throughput; PLS modelling; Cell wall; Soluble sugar; Digestibility; Sorghum; Biofuel

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