Search! What You See

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Plant Hormone Regulates Nectar Production

Jasmonic acid triggers nectar accumulation in rapeseed flowers

Rapeseed is one of the ten most important agricultural crops worldwide. In spring, the rapeseed fields with their bright yellow flowers are widely visible: this year winter rapeseed is being cultivated on 1.46 million hectares in Germany; at least 2.2 million tons of rapeseed oil can be expected. Beekeepers set up their beehives in the vicinity of rapeseed fields, so that the worker bees can gather nectar This ensures that the rapeseed flowers are pollinated and a high crop yield will be obtained. During her studies, a scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology has discovered that the plant hormone jasmonic acid – known as a signaling molecule after herbivory – not only regulates flower development in the bud stage, but also triggers nectar production.

Jasmonic acid and related molecules are constituents of molecular signal transduction chains in plant tissues. These compounds – generally referred to as jasmonates – are synthesized when caterpillars feed on plants; they are signaling substances and belong to the group of plant hormones. By producing jasmonates the plant regulates its defense against herbivores e.g. by stimulating the synthesis of toxins. Moreover, previous studies have shown that jasmonates regulate the production of "extrafloral nectar". This particular nectar, which is produced by special glands called "extrafloral nectaries", has nothing to do with pollination, but attracts ants to the herbivore-attacked plants as defenders against their pests. The sugars in the nectar reward the ants for defending the plant. The same principle applies to floral nectar: nectar production in the flowers attracts and rewards pollinators which in turn contribute substantially to the seed yield. However, up to now, it has not been clear how nectar production is regulated in the flowers.

Different effects in flowers and leaves

Radhika Venkatesan, PhD student at the International Max Planck Research School in Jena, studied Brassica napus, a widespread and agriculturally important plant species. She found that when its flower tissues produced jasmonates during an early developmental stage, nectar production was immediately activated, regardless of whether the plant had been attacked by herbivores or not. "When we put caterpillars on the rapeseed leaves to elicit jasmonic acid production, the nectar secretion of the flowers was not affected," the researcher says. Spraying jasmonic acid on the green leaves also did not have an impact on the production of nectar in the flowers. However, when the scientist sprayed jasmonic acid directly on the flowers, nectar production increased dramatically. This clearly indicates that jasmonic acid has different functions in the different plant tissues: whereas the hormone activates defense mechanisms against herbivores in the leaves and the shoot of the plant, it regulates nectar production in the flower tissue.

The correlation between the production of jasmonic acid and nectar accumulation was demonstrated in experiments with an inhibitor: if the flowers had been treated with an inhibitor of jasmonic acid synthesis, the so-called phenidone, nectar production failed. If the substance was sprayed on young, still closed flower buds, however, their opening was inhibited, which confirms the importance of jasmonic acid also during the development of the flowers.

"The fact that jasmonic acid regulates so many functions, such as plant defense and pollination, is extremely interesting and raises new questions, especially concerning the evolution of these control mechanisms," says Martin Heil, the leader of the study. Wilhelm Boland, director at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, emphasizes: "The more we know about the hormonal effects on flower development and nectar production in agricultural crops like rapeseed, the better we can use this knowledge to ensure high yields." Even beekeepers could benefit from increased nectar production.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tiny high resolution 5MP Digital camera

In the race of the SPY camera ,a latest gadget is introduced in this race which is Tiny as compared to previous.The word”TINY” doesn’t meant that the features will also be some what related to this word,but this time the camera is much more enhanced.Its feature includes a massive 5 mega pixel camera which is capable of capturing 2048 x 1536 resolution of still images and 1280 x 960 HD video at 29fps in AVI format.These all features are installed in 4.3 x 2.8 x 15 cm of small box,which is Cool.Its is more equipped with a microSD/SDHC and TF card slot with a built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery.Its pricing details are not yet confirmed but this will be soon available in the market.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks Hit WoW Gamers

Logging in with the authenticator couldn't stop it

World of Warcraft users won't be happy to hear that hackers have managed to pull a man-in-the-middle attack on several servers hosted in Europe. This happened even with the extra security barriers added by the use of an external authenticator. The attack is suspected to have came from China or/and Malaysia.
The attack basically happened like this: while a regular user accessed a WoW-themed infected site on the web, they installed a trojan, named Malware.NSPack, thinking that they were installing a game add-on. That trojan would then go to install suspicious files on the user's computer (emcor.dll copied to ../users/username/appdata/Temp) and log all key strokes, sending back data related to WoW authentication credentials.

The data acquired was then employed by attackers to circumvent WoW's login system and empty the user's account of all of their in-game (“fake”) money. Subsequently, those sums can be transferred to other accounts, which then can be put up for sale and turn real profit for the hackers.

The keylogger trojans that infected the users were hosted on Chinese-based websites, were graphically cloned after the WoWMatrix website and advertised using Google AdWords service. The spoofed data was relayed using a server hosted in Malaysia. Websites reported by users as being attack sources are,, and The sites were taken down, along with the Google AdWords banner.

WoW tech admins were quick to reply and investigate, offering this answer within 24 hours of the first report, “After looking into this, it has been escalated, but it is a Man in the Middle attack. This is still perpetrated by key loggers, and no method is always 100% secure,“ trying to excuse the authenticator's failure in supplying full protection.

The attacks themselves don't differ very much from other man-in-the-middle hacks on banking sites, the only difference being that this latest target wasn't harboring real money like banks do, but fake in-game gold.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Emerges on Video

Japanese-Swedish mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson unveiled officially, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, two new handsets powered by Google's Android operating system, namely the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini and the Xperia X10 Mini Pro, and now the former emerged in a video hands-on. Interestingly enough, while the entire mobile phone industry (and the smartphone area specifically) tends to move towards larger screens on handsets, Sony Ericsson came to the table with mini versions of its already unveiled Xperia X10, and it managed to impress with them, that's for sure.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro are two variants of the same device, with the latter featuring a side sliding QWERTY keyboard in addition to the touch-enabled display the former includes. The 2.55-inch screen these devices include boasts a 240 x 320 pixel (QVGA) resolution and support for 262,144 colors, and it is complemented by the powerful UX platform from Sony Ericsson that is available with the larger Xperia X10 too.

The specifications list of the two mini devices also includes a 600 MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 CPU, a 5-megapixel photo snapper with auto focus and video recording, 128MB of internal memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, micro USB and a 3.5 mm audio jack on the connectivity side, built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS, FM Radio, support for Email, SMS, MMS and IM, and a microSD memory card with support for up to 32GB of additional storage space.
The two phones come with about the same capabilities as the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, but they include a series of modifications from their predecessor, dictated mainly by the smaller form factor they come with. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini, which can be admired in the video below, available courtesy of leakdroid, measures 83 x 50 x 16 mm and weighs in at 88 grams. The handset is expected to land on the market in Pearl White, Black, Pink, Lime, Red and Silver color versions, while being powered by Google's Android 1.6 platform.