Author Topic: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history  (Read 525 times)

tru

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Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« on: March 28, 2023, 05:02:14 PM »
Hey everyone, I'm making this thread after learning that Gamboge, or the sap from Garcinia species, will forever go down in history as the substance that proved Brownian Motion.

For those not well versed on Brownian Motion, Gamboge essentially proved the existence of the 'atom'. Before that fateful experiment, we didn't even know if atoms were real. Pretty cool right?
Another great example is the Madagascar Periwinkle flower; it produces vinblastine, a chemotherapy drug for lymphoma that gave my grandfather an extra decade.

Anyone else have some interesting fruit/plant facts with connections to science?
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Vegan Potato Man

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2023, 08:46:16 PM »
Aerogels for supercapacitors from durian/jackfruit waste

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/super-stinky-durian-fruit-could-charge-your-cell-phone-someday/


Monica Gagliano did pavlovian conditioning experiments with pea plants, but I'm pretty sure she said you could do it with almost any plant.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-15/researcher-teaching-plants-dog-tricks/10709530
« Last Edit: March 28, 2023, 08:48:40 PM by Vegan Potato Man »

tru

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2023, 10:20:50 PM »
The aerogel is extremely intriguing!!! I dream of a day we can grow ultra tropicals outside everywhere (and not because climate change lmao)
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Jaboticaba45

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2023, 10:23:12 PM »
Well you got the Mendelian genetics with the peas of Gregor Mendel. Pretty cool concept.

elouicious

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2023, 10:23:51 PM »
Taxol, another cancer drug, is derived from Taxus sumatrana

tru

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2023, 10:42:14 PM »
interesting you bring up Mendel, modern statistics shows he almost certainly fabricated his data to make dna appear more linear and less random! I think his heart was in the right place but still, bet he never expected that
« Last Edit: March 28, 2023, 10:55:36 PM by tru »
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tru

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2023, 10:45:26 PM »
I have another one, the Brazil Nut Theorem: If a mixture is shaken, larger items always trend to the top and smaller items always trend to the bottom. In theory if you shake something enough, you could sort anything at all by size

really useful if you wanted to say, get more marshmallows in your lucky charms bowl 🤣 among other things
« Last Edit: March 28, 2023, 10:51:23 PM by tru »
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pagnr

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2023, 06:06:51 AM »
interesting you bring up Mendel, modern statistics shows he almost certainly fabricated his data to make dna appear more linear and less random! I think his heart was in the right place but still, bet he never expected that

Not sure he fabricated the data to get a fraudulent result, as has been the case with others.
Possibly he included results that fit best, and ignored results that didn't fit well ?
Ultimately he was correct in what he saw, and made a great leap into later understanding.


tru

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2023, 01:02:53 PM »
interesting you bring up Mendel, modern statistics shows he almost certainly fabricated his data to make dna appear more linear and less random! I think his heart was in the right place but still, bet he never expected that

Not sure he fabricated the data to get a fraudulent result, as has been the case with others.
Possibly he included results that fit best, and ignored results that didn't fit well ?
Ultimately he was correct in what he saw, and made a great leap into later understanding.

Yeah don't get me wrong he was correct in his grand idea for what he was trying to prove, but in my 3rd of year statistics we had a lecture one day where we talked about why people say that. I just found a more detailed breakdown: https://sites.stat.washington.edu/thompson/Stat394_08/Notes/week9.pdf it gets way too mathy for the average person but if you're versed in it they explain it pretty well

Look, all of his tests look plausibly deniable right, extremely subtle z-scores. What is interesting is that he never has anything *weird* that happens, like what should be shown when you consider his other reported statistics. You don't just get a perfect z-score for every experiment. Probably the most egregious part is at questions 26.2-26.4: where he makes the same 'mistake' 10 times in a row, for experiments that specifically support his thesis. Perhaps the greatness of his findings perpetuated plant science, statistics, etc. in ways that we may never know if it wasn't so 'amazing', but his experiments fail most modern confidence intervals
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pagnr

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2023, 03:50:03 PM »
WOW. So Mendel not only founded Genetics, he also founded Statistical Manipulation ?? Now that is a True Genius.

bussone

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2023, 05:03:11 PM »
interesting you bring up Mendel, modern statistics shows he almost certainly fabricated his data to make dna appear more linear and less random! I think his heart was in the right place but still, bet he never expected that

If that were the case, Mendel's statistical knowledge would be nearly as breathtaking as his biological knowledge. 1856-1865 would be extremely early for central limit manipulation. Gauss didn't even formalize it until about 1808, and it wouldn't be until 1908 that hypothesis testing became semi-mainstream. (Gossett's t-test, published as "Student") The concept of the t-distribution only dates to 1876 -- after Mendel published.

Remember, statistics is a pretty recent field, younger even than genetic biology.

tru

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2023, 06:30:46 PM »
interesting you bring up Mendel, modern statistics shows he almost certainly fabricated his data to make dna appear more linear and less random! I think his heart was in the right place but still, bet he never expected that

If that were the case, Mendel's statistical knowledge would be nearly as breathtaking as his biological knowledge. 1856-1865 would be extremely early for central limit manipulation. Gauss didn't even formalize it until about 1808, and it wouldn't be until 1908 that hypothesis testing became semi-mainstream. (Gossett's t-test, published as "Student") The concept of the t-distribution only dates to 1876 -- after Mendel published.

Remember, statistics is a pretty recent field, younger even than genetic biology.

Youíre misinterpreting my quote! Mendel did not know about the statistical analysis used here. CLT/Rao-Blackwell/R.A.Fisher founded modern statistics, but these modern statistical methods were used with mendels reported data to show he was most likely lying about the answers

but I donít mean to place blame on you, I think I did a bad job of explaining. Z-scores are even more recent. A z-score of 0 means right on target, positive means above target, negative means below target (assuming the hypothesis match)

all of the Z-scores from mendels data are insanely close to 0; thatís what I mean by you donít get perfect zscores, especially with what we know about given data (s.d.) and our ability to estimate confidence based on sample size from Fisher. Using modern data accuracy methods we can check mendels work in the same way I could check someoneís data released today for accuracy
« Last Edit: March 29, 2023, 06:42:15 PM by tru »
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Aiptasia904

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2023, 06:46:53 PM »
Here's one. Certain plant based colors and dyes are pH reactive. For example, Elderberry juice can shift from bright pink to deep purple depending on if you mix it with an acid or a base. Mix with lemon juice, bright pink. Mix with alkaline water, deep purple.  Butterfly Pea Flower is also pH reactive and in powdered form is used in mixology tricks your bartender can use to blow drunk people's minds.

tru

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2023, 07:35:15 PM »
Here's one. Certain plant based colors and dyes are pH reactive. For example, Elderberry juice can shift from bright pink to deep purple depending on if you mix it with an acid or a base. Mix with lemon juice, bright pink. Mix with alkaline water, deep purple.  Butterfly Pea Flower is also pH reactive and in powdered form is used in mixology tricks your bartender can use to blow drunk people's minds.

extremely cool!!!! I have some butterfly pea flower seeds but I never planted them because I didnít think they are worth the space, but I really wanna try that
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Walt

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Re: Cool scientific uses of fruit/plants throughout history
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2023, 08:33:55 PM »
interesting you bring up Mendel, modern statistics shows he almost certainly fabricated his data to make dna appear more linear and less random! I think his heart was in the right place but still, bet he never expected that
 


One of my genetics professors pointed out that Mendel lived before modern statistical methods ere in use.  My prof thought Mendel kept counting until the numbers ere close enough that he noticed a pattern and then stopped.  That ould have been quite acceptable in his day.  And it is not the same as fabricating.  It as state of the art at the time. 
Today no one should judge the man or his motives.  And his discovery asn't recognized  until it as rediscovered by 2 more modern geneticists ho did a litterature search after discovering the same ratios in corn.  So Mendel's one publication had no influence on the science of genetics.

 

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