For many of our readers and subscribers, it’s finally time for that big summer holiday. Whether you’re setting off for a fun and sunny (or for those of us already living in the desert, less sunny) destination, what would a holiday be without some excellent reading materials? So, in addition to your thrillers and romances, why not enjoy our June Top Picks – a specially curated selection of our Open Access articles from leading research journals around the world.
What Makes the Best Coffee?
Have you ever stood in the supermarket, staring at the dizzying array of coffee options and wondered which to buy? The choice is not only between instant, capsules, or ground – there is also strength, texture, and geographic origin to be determined. And then the flavours… Do we want cherry or chocolate undertones, floral highnotes or a touch of something muskier? The variations are seemingly endless, and each one has been rigorously examined and evaluated by coffee makers to ensure distinct flavours, pleasing aromas, appropriate caffeine content (as well as those all-important high yields and even higher profit margins). One fascinating new study offers an in-depth exploration of this process, as producers experiment with the fermentation of robusta coffee with termite enzymes.
Learn more about how a new type of coffee was developed, here.
How Can We Address Global Food Security Issues?
Food security is becoming an increasingly pressing issue, one compounded by the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 virus, unprecedented weather conditions (and the rampaging fires, droughts, and floods they trigger), together with the fallout from various geopolitical issues. Against this backdrop, there have been a number of prescient studies focusing on how government policies can help to alleviate national food security issues by stimulating innovative food production approaches, such as the urban farming system.
Discover how urban farming is contributing to Indonesia’s food security, here.
Is Green Tea Really Healthy?
As consumers, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements for healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. Phrases like ‘antioxidants’, ‘low-cholesterol’, ‘nutrient-rich’, and ‘super foods’ are everywhere, as products claim to provide protection against everything from cancer to diabetes. But, not only is it often difficult to identify the truth behind the branding, it is often even harder to evaluate the efficacy of the ‘active’ ingredients. One new scientific study set out to do just that, measuring the antioxidant activity in a specific type of green tea.
Read this article to learn how healthy green tea really is.
How Big of a Problem is Workplace Violence?
In honour of Safety Month, we have selected an article on workplace violence in the healthcare sector. Everyone should feel safe in their own workplace; corporate policies should ensure this, mandating everything from protective equipment to appropriate health and safety measures. Unfortunately, the one thing corporate policies cannot control is customer reactions when dissatisfied with service delivery, with negative responses including both verbal and physical abuse. As this new study demonstrates, this kind of workplace violence is becoming a serious issue in Sudanese healthcare facilities, exacerbated by Covid-linked stresses.
To learn more about the scope of this issue in Sudan, click here.
Can Diet Really Affect Fertility?
Even the most casual browsing of the internet reveals an overwhelming barrage of information and speculation about male and female fertility. However, while there is little indication that having a large red ball in the house, collecting crystals, or drinking gallons of cough syrup can make a woman more fertile, studies have conclusively demonstrated that cutting back on cholesterol and calcium can increase male fertility.
To discover more about the effects of fats and mineral intake on male fertility, click here.