The Alnwick Garden Plants Can Kill You

smithsonianmag-mw_poison_garden_tunnel.jpg__1072x0_q85_upscale‘The Alnwick Garden is one of north England’s most beautiful attractions, where acres of colorful plants invite visitors to wander through rows of fragrant roses, manicured topiaries and cascading fountains. But within Alnwick’s boundaries, kept behind black iron gates, is a place where visitors are explicitly told not to stop and smell the flowers: the Poison Garden, home to 100 infamous killers.

‘In 1995, Jane Percy became the Duchess of Northumberland, a county in northeastern England that stretches to the border with Scotland, after her husband’s brother died unexpectedly. With the title came the Alnwick Castle, the traditional seat of the Duke of Northumberland (it also served as the setting for Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films). After the family took up residence in the castle, Percy’s husband asked her to do something with the gardens, which at the time were a disused commercial forestry boasting nothing more than rows and rows of Christmas trees…’

How Peanuts Become Allergens
Dry-roasting process may turn harmless peanuts into allergy nightmares

‘…All of the experiments seemed to suggest that something in the dry-roasting process turned essentially harmless peanuts into dangerous, allergy-inducing comestibles. That something is the Maillard reaction, which changes the “physiochemical properties of peanut proteins,” the study authors wrote. They isolated the allergen known as Ara h1 from raw and dry-roasted peanuts and found that the ones in the cooked peanuts had a shape that seemed to trigger the dramatic immune-system response.

‘The findings could explain why peanut allergies are so much more common in North America and Europe than they are in East Asia. Though people in both regions have similar levels of food allergies overall, peanuts are a “striking exception” to this trend, the researchers wrote. Peanuts are consumed in similar quantities in both places, but Westerners usually roast their peanuts and East Asians typically eat them raw, boiled or fried, according to the study…’

US to require online form from immigrant visa applicants starting Oct. 2
‘Starting October 2, applicants for immigrant visas to the United States will be required to complete an online immigrant visa application, the US Embassy in Manila said Tuesday.

‘In a blog post, the embassy said applicants will have to complete the application at before attending their visa interview appointment.

“‘Applicants who appear for an interview without completed application forms will be advised to reschedule the interview by visiting the online appointment website at or by calling the Embassy’s Visa Information and Appointment Service at (632) 982-5555 / (632) 902-8930,” it said…’


About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
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