Monday, October 2, 2017

Even My Blog Post is Getting a Pinch of Pumpkin Spice

I don't have any funny anecdotes to introduce my topic with.  After reading "The Evolutionary Event That Gave You Pumpkins and Squash," published by The New York Times, and the referenced abstract of the journal the journalist used to write their article, the only thing I'm thinking about is the fact that the author implied that it was normal to choose squash over watermelon just because of the season. I don't want to get too into it because I still have to talk about science stuff, but really how does someone turn their backs on watermelon?  It has everything you could possibly want in a fruit.  It's taste can only be described as sweet, there's literally water pouring out of every pore along the surface area of the melon, it feels like a soft and juicy cloud when you bite into it.  Don't even get me started on the vast amounts of ways you can eat a watermelon, the possibilities are endless.  And would you like to know what else is endless? My love for watermelon.  A squash is just some yellow-ish thing from the ground. Who wants that? The answer is not me.  The journalist also indicated at the end of the article that hot melon soup was a good idea.  I might be wrong here (I'm probably not), but melons should be eaten cold.  That's when they're at their best.  It's a scientific fact.  I don't know why the journalist would even suggest that, even as a joke.  I feel that it is a personal attack on the entire cucurbitaceae family and if I was more confrontational maybe I would give this journalist a piece of my mind.

Back to science, this article briefly summarizes the results that were published by a group of researchers.  During their research, the group was able to map out the points of divergence between the individuals in the cucurbitaceae family.  They found that all individuals evolved from a single melon-like fruit.  This fruit copied its genome in order to reproduce.  Over time, the changing environmental conditions allowed each new version of the melon to lose genes and modify their own genomes to become what they are today.  As a result of each major divergent event, genes were deleted, chromosomes were rearranged, and new genetic patterns were created.  This is an example of the process of divergence between a population to create a new species.  By understanding how the individuals in this family has evolved, scientists are now able to create new variations of these fruits.  After reading the results and this article, I think that this is a good advancement in food technology and might lead to the ability of third world countries to receive the nutrients they need from new strains of melons.  The future creation of new variants in this family may also lead to a strain that can produce a larger amount of crop yield than any other existing strain that can also assist third world countries. The increase in crop yield can also nutritionally support citizens at or below the poverty line because the increase in supply will decrease the price, and those citizens will have the ability to afford them more than they can now.  

1 comment:

  1. Your position on watermelons and seasons really resonated with me well. I really liked how you captured the beauty and wonder that is the watermelon. When I read it I felt like I was eating a watermelon right there and I don't say that to just any commentator of watermelons, I truly mean it! Happy watermeloning!