Bruise-Free Apples Getting Mixed Reaction

Pipestone Flyer

 

 

According to a report in the New York Times, a Canadian fruit grower is facing some tough opposition to the acceptance of the company’s genetically modified apple they have dubbed “The Arctic Apple” into the American Market. The engineered wonders contain a gene that limits production of polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme that causes bruising in apples. Many retailers and distributors are hoping it catches on as they throw away many thousands of dollars in slightly bruised fruit per year.

There is a lot of pushback to the idea of genetically modified foods, however. ‘How do we know we’re not eating rotten fruit that still looks good?’ appears to be one of the prevailing concerns. The firm, Okanagan Specialty Fruits was quick to calm fears about such doubts.

“The stuff that is really bad and people won’t want to eat will still be bad,” claims Neal Carter, founder and president of the company. He asserts that lack of bruising can in no way harm consumers and if a piece of his fruit were truly rotten, it would still change colour. He asserted they have the same nutritional content as regular apples. So far they are available in two varieties; Golden Delicious and Granny Smith.

Even still, the report notes the genetically altered fruit is having trouble gaining a market in its homeland. They quoted one survey that showed 70 per cent of those asked would not buy the new version of their old favourites.

 

Finnish Scientists Prove Northern Lights Make Sound

 

There has been some controversy regarding whether ‘The Northern Lights’ can be heard or not. Northerners, who have witnessed the sound of the aurora borealis for themselves, scoff at scientists who have said that they couldn’t possibly have heard magnetic emissions from the sun any more than we can hear the intense burning on the surface when it’s so far away; not to mention that pesky vacuum that sound waves can’t travel in. 

Now, however, scientists based out of the Aalto University in Finland have discovered that the sound heard during a Northern Light event, actually only originates 70 meters above the ground.

In an article published in the EurekaAlert website operated by the AAAS Science Society, investigators installed three microphones at a Northern Lights observatory.

Professor Unto K. Laine of the Aalto University was quoted as saying, "Our research proved that, during the occurrence of the northern lights, people can hear natural aurora sounds related to what they see. In the past, researchers thought that the aurora borealis was too far away for people to hear the sounds it made. This is true; however, our research proves that the source of the sounds that are associated with the aurora borealis we see is likely caused by the same energetic particles from the sun that create the northern lights far away in the sky. These particles or the geomagnetic disturbance produced by them seem to create sound much closer to the ground." 

Professor Laine admitted his team speculated the sound was produced by charged particles in Earth’s atmosphere that are similar to the ones that produce the aurora could not speculate on why this occurred. Many facets of this finding remain to be discovered, including why it doesn’t happen every time the Northern Lights are ablaze in a dark, Nordic sky.

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