One of the coolest things about plants is their unlimited ability to manufacture some of the most amazing biochemicals. This week’s podcast will brief you on some of these phytochemicals in the news – they’re good for you as well as for plants! We’ll also explore whether natural organic compounds are really all that much safer than synthetic chemicals. (You can probably already guess the answer to that one.)
Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets.
Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019).
In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.
"The Garden Professors" Facebook page - www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors
"The Garden Professors" Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/GardenProfessors
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2 thoughts on “Podcast – Better living through chemistry”
Terrific podcast- loved the content!
A purified compound in an in-vitro assay can lead to more interesting research or explain other observations, but using a study based on in-vitro bioassays as evidence for a food preventing human cancer isn’t justified. It can even be argued that the same is true for mouse / rat assays. These experiments indicate that human trials or epidemiological studies may be warranted, and allow for hypothesis development, but human trials or studies are still necessary. And in fact, there is evidence that some compounds in mate CAUSE other types of cancer! (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/17/5/1262.full.pdf+html). This study is powerful because it gives a mechanism (PAH) to explain the positive correlation between mate consumption and cancer risk. Darn caveats!