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Picture of the Day

Rare discovery of new fatty acids

Decades after scientists discovered hundreds of different fatty acids in vegetable oils, two that had managed to elude detection have finally revealed themselves in a recent study: Nebraskanic acid and Wuhanic acid, which make up nearly half of the seed oil found in the Chinese violet cress, a flowering plant native to central China. According to the researchers involved in the study, the discovery may be the first of its kind since the 1960s and 1970s, when biochemists identified troves of new fatty acids in various vegetable oils. Fatty acids represent the primary components of vegetable oils, which are best known for their role in the kitchen but have also found use in biodiesel fuels, lubricants and other industrial applications.

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