Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Coconut


Escherichia coli is most widely used prokaryotic expression system for the production of recombinant proteins. Several strategies have been employed for expressing recombinant proteins in E.coli. This includes the development of novel host systems, expression vectors and cost effective media. In this study, we exploit tender coconut water (TCW) as a natural and cheaper growth medium for E.coli and Pichia pastoris.Result: E.coli and P.pastoris were cultivated in TCW and the growth rate was monitored by measuring optical density at 600nm (OD600nm), where 1.55 for E.coli and 8.7 for P.pastoris was obtained after 12 and 60 hours, respectively. However, variation in growth rate was observed among TCW when collected from different localities (0.15-2.5 at OD600nm), which is attributed to the varying chemical profile among samples. In this regard, we attempted the supplementation of TCW with different carbon and nitrogen sources to attain consistency in growth rate. Here, supplementation of TCW with 25mM ammonium sulphate (TCW-S) was noted efficient for the normalization of inconsistency, which further increased the biomass of E.coli by 2 to 10 folds, and 1.5 to 2 fold in P.pastoris. These results indicate that nitrogen source is the major limiting factor for growth. This was supported by total nitrogen and carbon estimation where, nitrogen varies from 20 to 60mg/100ml while carbohydrates showed no considerable variation (2.32 to 3.96 g/100 ml). In this study, we also employed TCW as an expression media for recombinant proteins by demonstrating successful expression of maltose binding protein (MBP), MBP-TEV protease fusion and a photo switchable fluorescent protein (mEos2) using TCW and the expression level was found to be equivalent to Luria Broth (LB).

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Oxygen, Bacteria, Recombinant DNA, Escherichia coli, Nitrogen, Coconut


The hypothesis that oral supplementation with virgin coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.) and exercise training would improve impaired baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and reduce oxidative stress in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) was tested. Adult male SHR and Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) were divided into 5 groups: WKY + saline (n = 8); SHR + saline (n = 8); SHR + coconut oil (2 mL·day(-1), n = 8); SHR + trained (n = 8); and SHR + trained + coconut oil (n = 8). Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was recorded and BRS was tested using phenylephrine (8 μg/kg, intravenous) and sodium nitroprusside (25 μg·kg(-1), intravenous). Oxidative stress was measured using dihydroethidium in heart and aorta. SHR + saline, SHR + coconut oil, and SHR + trained group showed higher MAP compared with WKY + saline (175 ± 6, 148 ± 6, 147 ± 7 vs. 113 ± 2 mm Hg; p < 0.05). SHR + coconut oil, SHR + trained group, and SHR + trained + coconut oil groups presented lower MAP compared with SHR + saline group (148 ± 6, 147 ± 7, 134 ± 8 vs. 175 ± 6 mm Hg; p < 0.05). Coconut oil combined with exercise training improved BRS in SHR compared with SHR + saline group (-2.47 ± 0.3 vs. -1.39 ± 0.09 beats·min(-1)·mm Hg(-1); p < 0.05). SHR + saline group showed higher superoxide levels when compared with WKY + saline (774 ± 31 vs. 634 ± 19 arbitrary units (AU), respectively; p < 0.05). SHR + trained + coconut oil group presented reduced oxidative stress compared with SHR + saline in heart (622 ± 16 vs. 774 ± 31 AU, p < 0.05). In aorta, coconut oil reduced oxidative stress in SHR compared with SHR + saline group (454 ± 33 vs. 689 ± 29 AU, p < 0.05). Oral supplementation with coconut oil combined with exercise training improved impaired BRS and reduced oxidative stress in SHR.

Concepts: Better, Hypertension, Blood pressure, Cortisol, Saturated fat, Coconut, Coconuts, Coconut oil


Coconut, Cocos nucifera L., is a tree that is cultivated to provide a large number of products, although it is mainly grown for its nutritional and medicinal values. Coconut oil, derived from the coconut fruit, has been recognised historically as containing high levels of saturated fat; however, closer scrutiny suggests that coconut should be regarded more favourably. Unlike most other dietary fats that are high in long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil comprises medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). MCFA are unique in that they are easily absorbed and metabolised by the liver, and can be converted to ketones. Ketone bodies are an important alternative energy source in the brain, and may be beneficial to people developing or already with memory impairment, as in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Coconut is classified as a highly nutritious ‘functional food’. It is rich in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals; however, notably, evidence is mounting to support the concept that coconut may be beneficial in the treatment of obesity, dyslipidaemia, elevated LDL, insulin resistance and hypertension - these are the risk factors for CVD and type 2 diabetes, and also for AD. In addition, phenolic compounds and hormones (cytokinins) found in coconut may assist in preventing the aggregation of amyloid-β peptide, potentially inhibiting a key step in the pathogenesis of AD. The purpose of the present review was to explore the literature related to coconut, outlining the known mechanistic physiology, and to discuss the potential role of coconut supplementation as a therapeutic option in the prevention and management of AD.

Concepts: Metabolism, Nutrition, Fatty acid, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Fat, Saturated fat, Coconut


In this chapter, we describe a real-time PCR detection system for fast, reliable, specific, and sensitive detection and discrimination of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’, ‘Ca. P. prunorum’, and ‘Ca. P. pyri’ from the 16SrX (apple proliferation-AP) group. These phytoplasmas are causal agents of fruit tree diseases within the Rosaceae family, namely apple proliferation, European stone fruit yellows, and pear decline. The assays use (hydrolysis) TaqMan(®) minor groove binder probes. The panel of assays comprises the same set of primers and specific probes for species-specific amplification, and an additional set of primers and probe for 18S rRNA as an endogenous quality control of DNA extraction. The assays described can be used in routine phytoplasma surveys and in certification programmes.

Concepts: DNA, Polymerase chain reaction, Fruit, Rosaceae, Coconut, Phytoplasma, Apple, Candidatus


FAD2 and FAD7 desaturases are involved in cold acclimation of olive (Olea europaea) mesocarp. There is no research information available on cold acclimation of seeds during mesocarp cold acclimation or on differences in the cold response of the seed coat and embryo. How FAD2 and FAD7 affect seed coat and embryo cold responses is unknown. Osmotin positively affects cold acclimation in olive tree vegetative organs, but its role in the seeds requires investigation. OeFAD2.1, OeFAD2.2, OeFAD7 and Oeosmotin were investigated before and after mesocarp acclimation by transcriptomic, lipidomic and immunolabelling analyses, and cytosolic calcium concentration ([Ca(2+) ](cyt) ) signalling, F-actin changes and seed development were investigated by epifluorescence/histological analyses. Transient [Ca(2+) ](cyt) rises and F-actin disassembly were found in cold-shocked protoplasts from the seed coat, but not from the embryo. The thickness of the outer endosperm cuticle increased during drupe exposure to lowering of temperature, whereas the embryo protoderm always lacked cuticle. OeFAD2 transcription increased in both the embryo and seed coat in the cold-acclimated drupe, but linoleic acid (i.e. the product of FAD2 activity) increased solely in the seed coat. Osmotin was immunodetected in the seed coat and endosperm of the cold-acclimated drupe, and not in the embryo. The results show cold responsiveness in the seed coat and cold tolerance in the embryo. We propose a role for the seed coat in maintaining embryo cold tolerance by increasing endosperm cutinization through FAD2 and osmotin activities.

Concepts: Fruit, Seed, Plant morphology, Olive, Drupe, Coconut, Olive oil, Oleaceae


The use of pesticides is directly linked to improvements in productivity and to the preservation of coconut palms. However pesticide analysis is necessary to determine whether pesticide residues in the food products containing coconut are within the maximum residue limits (MRLs), ensuring the quality of these products. This work aimed to develop a method for multiresidue determination of ten pesticides in coconut water and pulp using QuEChERS and LC-MS/MS. The method was effective in terms of selectivity, linearity, matrix effect, accuracy and precision, providing LOD of 3μgkg(-1), LOQ of 10μgkg(-1) and recoveries between 70 and 120% with RSD lower than 20%. The developed method was applied to 36 samples in which residues of carbendazim, carbofuran, cyproconazole and thiabendazole were found below the LOQ in coconut water and pulp.

Concepts: Arecaceae, Pesticide, Accuracy and precision, Coconut, Codex Alimentarius, Coconut water, Coconut milk, Coconuts


Coconut oil is being heavily promoted as a healthy oil, with benefits that include support of heart health. To assess the merits of this claim, the literature on the effect of coconut consumption on cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes in humans was reviewed. Twenty-one research papers were identified for inclusion in the review: 8 clinical trials and 13 observational studies. The majority examined the effect of coconut oil or coconut products on serum lipid profiles. Coconut oil generally raised total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to a greater extent than cis unsaturated plant oils, but to a lesser extent than butter. The effect of coconut consumption on the ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was often not examined. Observational evidence suggests that consumption of coconut flesh or squeezed coconut in the context of traditional dietary patterns does not lead to adverse cardiovascular outcomes. However, due to large differences in dietary and lifestyle patterns, these findings cannot be applied to a typical Western diet. Overall, the weight of the evidence from intervention studies to date suggests that replacing coconut oil with cis unsaturated fats would alter blood lipid profiles in a manner consistent with a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Nutrition, Atherosclerosis, The Canon of Medicine, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Fat, Coconut


Certain dietary patterns, in which fruits and nuts are featured prominently, reduce risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, estimated fruit consumption historically in the U.S. has been lower than recommendations. Dried fruit intake is even lower with only about 6.9 % of the adult population reporting any consumption. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee identified a gap between recommended fruit and vegetable intakes and the amount the population consumes. Even fewer Americans consume tree nuts, which are a nutrient-dense food, rich in bioactive compounds and healthy fatty acids. Consumption of fruits and nuts has been associated with reduced risk of cardiometabolic disease. An estimated 5.5 to 8.4 % of U.S. adults consume tree nuts and/or tree nut butter. This review examines the potential of pairing nuts and dried fruit to reduce cardiometabolic risk factors and focuses on emerging data on raisins and pistachios as representative of each food category. Evidence suggests that increasing consumption of both could help improve Americans' nutritional status and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Concepts: Medicine, Nutrition, Plant, Fruit, Seed, Vegetarian cuisine, Coconut, Nut


Globally, death due to cancers is likely to rise to over 20 million by 2030, which has created an urgent need for novel approaches to anticancer therapies such as the development of host defence peptides. Cn-AMP2 (TESYFVFSVGM), an anionic host defence peptide from green coconut water of the plant Cocos nucifera, showed anti-proliferative activity against the 1321N1 and U87MG human glioma cell lines with IC50 values of 1.25 and 1.85 mM, respectively. The membrane interactive form of the peptide was found to be an extended conformation, which primarily included β-type structures (levels > 45%) and random coil architecture (levels > 45%). On the basis of these and other data, it is suggested that the short anionic N-terminal sequence (TES) of Cn-AMP2 interacts with positively charged moieties in the cancer cell membrane. Concomitantly, the long hydrophobic C-terminal sequence (YFVFSVGM) of the peptide penetrates the membrane core region, thereby driving the translocation of Cn-AMP2 across the cancer cell membrane to attack intracellular targets and induce anti-proliferative mechanisms. This work is the first to demonstrate that anionic host defence peptides have activity against human glioblastoma, which potentially provides an untapped source of lead compounds for development as novel agents in the treatment of these and other cancers. Copyright © 2014 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Cancer, Oncology, Cell membrane, Brain tumor, Coconut, Coconut water


Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst Malaysian women. Both the disease and its treatment can disrupt the lives of the woman and adversely affect all aspects of life and thus can alter a woman’s quality of life. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on the quality of life (QOL) of patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Effect, Estrogen, Affect, Woman, Coconut, Coconut oil