Solanine, the toxic compound in potatoes

Memories of a summer evening (yeah, I still cannot get over the idea that summer is gone), preparing dinner. A question about solanine in tomatoes comes up. A long discussion about solanine, tomatine and other glycoalkaloids produced by Solanaceae plants starts.It seems a nerdy conversation, and maybe it is, but it is actually also aContinue reading “Solanine, the toxic compound in potatoes”

Something against autumn blues…

Summer is almost over in Italy, but before moving on to the next season, I would like to talk about a plant that is somehow strongly connected to summer: Saint John’s Wort. Plants are wonderful organisms and some of their features make them look like magical beings to humans. If we have a look atContinue reading “Something against autumn blues…”

Why do plants produce painkillers?

Plants do not feel pain. They do not have a nervous system and even more important they do not have a brain to integrate external stimuli. Then, why do they synthesize painkillers? Ok, maybe we need to make a step back. Aspirin, morphine, codeine, and cannabinoids are all drugs with a significant analgesic effect, andContinue reading “Why do plants produce painkillers?”

I hate to break it to you, but you have been drinking an insecticide all along…

Early morning. You just woke up and you are trying to get in touch with reality. Somebody is talking to you, but you just hear a distant undefined noise and refuse to listen until you have your first cup of coffee. If you could see yourself in this description, you are in good company! AContinue reading “I hate to break it to you, but you have been drinking an insecticide all along…”