Type: Challenge (This is a Challenge; the Solver will need to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by the Seeker with a goal of establishing a collaborative partnership.)
Award: Co-authorship for substantial contributors
Overview: The production of coffee generates considerable quantities of by-products such as cherry husks (cascara), cherry pulps, mucilage, leaves, parchment, silver skin, and various other materials. Due to the considerably decreased coffee price, it might be beneficial for coffee farmers and the coffee industry to put these by-products into the value chain instead of wasting them as in the current practice. On overview of coffee by-products and their regulatory status has been recently provided by Klingel et al. Foods 2020, 9(5), 665 (https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9050665).The question for this CHALLENGES crowdsourcing project would be to gather "evidence of traditional food uses of coffee by-products". This evidence would be important for determining the novel food status of such products and possibly provide a history of safe use of these products.Such information is very difficult to find in scientific databases as it is mostly contained in the gray literature, historical literature and local, foreign language literature not typically accessible by google or international researchers.For example, there might be documents to prove that coffee leave tea from India was exported to England on a large scale towards the end of the 19th century, and even manufacturers for processing plants are said to have existed on the island at that time. But it is still difficult to find suitable evidence for human consumption to a significant degree of coffee leave tea during the 19th century.Therefore we would like to ask coffee researchers and other scientists including historians, but also practicians such as coffee farmers and industry to contribute in such a crowd project to identify evidence regarding worldwide past and/or current food use of coffee by-products or their derivatives (such as alcoholic beverages prepared from coffee pulp products, or bakery products containing coffee by-products as ingredients).Contributing researchers would be asked to provide an English translation and summarization of their evidence suitable for publication in a scientific journal (either providing suitable references or documentation of own evidence/observations).The combined evidence will be compiled into a review article in CHALLENGES, for which all contributors would be invited to be listed as co-authors (see https://www.mdpi.com/ethics#1 for authorship requirements and https://www.mdpi.com/ethics#10 for declaration of conflicts of interest).The principal investigators for this project are:
Steffen Schwarz, Coffee Consulate, Hans-Thoma-Strasse 20, 68163 Mannheim, Germany
Dirk W. Lachenmeier, Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weissenburger Strasse 3, 76187 Karlsruhe, Germany
Overview: Plants perceive the world without eyes, ears or brains. For this reason, their perception mechanisms have been too often overlooked. Being alive, they exhibit behaviour, mostly unknown and secrete to humans. Plants fight for territory, seek out food, evade predators and trap prey. They have a chemical language for communicating with other plants of the same or other species, and with fungi and animals too. Plants move slowly but with purpose, which means they are aware of what is going on around them. They are attracted by certain chemicals and sounds, while avoid others. Also, analogues for mechanoreceptors, photoreceptors and neurotransmitters have been found in plants. Understanding how can teach us a lot about them, and potentially a lot about us as well.
Proposal submitted by: Dr. Adriano Sofo, Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures: Architecture, Environment and Cultural Heritage (DiCEM), University of Basilicata, Via Lanera, 20, 75100 Matera, Italy
Actually many diseases in neurodegeneration (Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, parkinson, and others) and in neurodevelopment (bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, fetal alcohol syndrom, and others) are strongly related to inflammation. In some diseases, as Alzheimer's disease (AD), a clear relationship between a special virus and AD has been detected. A virus is a DNA or RNA that proced from a cell. This cell can death by apoptosis or necrosis because a toxic action by the enviorament or by human actions. In this group we can discuss the genetic, molecular biology, the different proteins in the viruses and the diseases that they can produced in the nervous system.
On behalf of the journal Biomolecules (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/biomolecules), we introduce the discussion group “Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and the Janus Challenge”.
To gain insight into the role of proteins in the origin of life on Earth, two leading experts in the field of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and the current Editors-in-Chief of the journal Biomolecules, Dr. Prakash Kulkarni and Dr. Vladimir N. Uversky, presented the Janus Challenge. This challenge consists in identifying an IDP, naturally occurring or synthetic, that has catalytic activity. Meeting this challenge may not only shed new light and even provide an alternative to the RNA world hypothesis, but may also serve as an impetus for technological advances with important biomedical applications.
A more comprehensive description of the Janus Challenge was published as an Editorial in the journal Biomolecules: https://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/8/4/179
In order to support the Janus Challenge and improve the communication within the IDP community, we have opened this discussion group. Herewith, we aim to set in motion a debate in which every scientist can share their interesting ideas and points of views regarding the science behind the Janus Challenge.