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October 2001

From David Bradley Science Writer and
Advanced Chemistry Development

? Reactive Science News sciencebase science newsfeed
The spice is right??For most curry fans, there is nothing like that burning, yet morish, sensation provided by the hot chillies in the recipe, but chilli plants don't exude their spicy flavours for the benefit of humans dining on vindaloo. Their hot tastiness exists to deter herbivores that don't spread the plants seeds, at least according to former University of Montana, Missoula graduate student Josh Tewksbury and ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson.
Herbal remedy??Never has there been a better time to indulge in a curry unless you're a cactus mouse or packrat. Herbs and spices not only enhance even the most nouvelle of cuisine, but, as has been claimed by the alternative medicine movement and others for many years, can provide health-boosting benefits too. Now, scientists from Australia's national research organisation, CSIRO, have investigated the effects on cancer, memory function, and heart disease risk of certain plants, which hint that a decent curry can do more good than harm.
How to turn on a firefly?While environmental activists often make blanket statements about the wholesale banning of pesticides and herbicides, there is now evidence that much of their use could be wasted.
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