A Research on Moringa Oleifera

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Research on Moringa Oleifera
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Moringa: the science behind the miracle tree
Submitted by rau on 03 March 2011 A flower from a moringa tree
© WEDC, Loughborough University | Moringas have long been known as miracle trees. Now scientists are investigating their properties in depth, as Sue Nelson andMarlene Rau report.In the foothills of the Himalayas grow trees, five to ten metres tall, with clusters of small oval leaves and delicately perfumed cream-coloured flowers. These are Moringa oleifera – the most widely cultivated of the 14 species of the genusMoringa, known as ‘miracle trees’.“It is called a miracle tree because every part of the tree has benefits,” says Balbir Mathur,
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wavelength), telling scientists how many molecules thick the layer is, how densely packed the molecules are, and how rough the surface of the layer is.In the M. oleifera experiment, the scientists found that the seed protein forms dense layers thicker than a single molecule even at concentrations as low as 0.025 wt% – so the binding is very efficient. The surface of the layers is remarkably smooth, but the array of M. oleifera protein is not uniform: further away from the silica surface, the number of water molecules among the protein increases, which can be seen as a change in density, as measured by neutron reflection (see diagram, left).This suggests that the clumping is so efficient because M. oleifera protein has a strong tendency to bind both to mineral surfaces and to other M. oleifera protein molecules, even at very low protein concentrations, due to hydrophobic regions and to the fact that, even when the overall protein is electrically neutral, different subgroups of opposite charge will be ionised.Work on M. oleifera proteins continues, to develop a non-toxic, biodegradable water purification treatment for which materials are available locally and at a much lower cost than aluminium salts. Questions being addressed include how much seed protein is needed, whether other proteins or biopolymers are suitable, and if other impurities in water, such as natural detergents,
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