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Food Roundup

July 25, 2008

Could watermelons be an aphrodisiac?



Living on cassava alone. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
The cassava plant produces a starchy root and protein-rich leaves that make it one of the world’s most nutritious crops. It’s the primary source of food for 800 million people. At the annual meeting of American Society of Plant Biologists, scientists working with the BioCassava Plus project report on efforts to improve the plant even further. They’ve developing a super cassava plant that’s resistant to insects and disease and that has more vitamins and protein. The new crop is being field-tested in Puerto Rico.

In other agricultural news, Texas A&M researchers report that watermelon may have effects similar to Viagra. The fruit has high concentrations of citrulline, a compound that metabolizes into arginine, which relaxes blood vessels. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.