Santa Clarita Autosound – Banner
Patterson’s Collision Center – Banner
SCV Senior Center – Touch A Truck 2015 – Banner
All Americans Bail Bonds – Banner
SCV Chinese School – Banner 2
California High Speed Rail – Palmdale – Banner
Simply Taylored – Banner
SCV Chinese School – Banner 3
Santa Clarita Transit – Dump the Pump – Banner
Galpin Motors – Banner
San Diego Zoo – Generic – Banner
Newhall Land – 2015 – Banner
Adage IT – Banner
Disneyland – Diamond Celebration – Banner
Hugo Naturals – Banner
Union Bank – Banner
Valencia Town Center – Farmer’s Market – Banner
IHOP – Banner
Green Convergence – Sun Power – Banner
SCV Chinese School – Banner
Newhall Land – Banner
Beyond Harmony – Banner
Action Family Counseling – Banner
Facey – Banner
Brent’s Carpet One – Banner
AV Party Rental – Banner
Nothing Bundt Cakes – Banner
College Of The Canyons – Banner
Academy Swim Club – Banner
Today
It is forecast to be Clear at 7:00 PM PDT on May 27, 2015
Clear
83°/56°
Home » Santa Clarita News » Environment » SCV Outdoor Report » SCV Outdoor Report: Wasabi

SCV Outdoor Report: Wasabi

khts_scvoutdoorreport

By Wendy Langhans

 

A dab of that green paste, smooshed with a dollop of soy sauce. Put too much on a tuna roll and it will bring tears to your eyes. That’s because mustard oil, the pungent ingredient found in mustard, garlic and Wasabi, activates our TRPA1 pain receptor. But that’s not all the TRPA1 does. Recently, scientists have discovered another purpose for this protein receptor. It also allows Western Diamondback rattlesnakes to detect infared radiation.

wendy_westerndiamondrattler

Western Diamondback rattlesnakes are part of the sub-family of snakes known as pit vipers. Rattlesnakes have a pair of “pit organs” that detect temperature differences between the snake and it’s surrounding environment. The pit openings are located on each side of the head, between the eye and the nostril. At the back of each pit is a membrane that is packed with 6-7,000 sensory nerves, which allows the snake to detect temperature changes of as little as 0.003°C and over a distance of 1 meter.

wendy_Diagram_of_the_Crotaline_Pit_Organ

This ability is useful, especially at night, when the snake is hunting for warm-blooded prey, since “…typical prey, such as mice and rabbits, have a surface temperature of about 25 degrees C and emit body heat at wavelengths under 75 micrometers, in the infrared range.”

Now scientists at UCSF have discovered the bio-chemical mechanism – a protein receptor that detects the heat energy from infared radiation. It’s the wasabi-detecting protein, known as TRPA1.

Now that got me to thinking (always a dangerous undertaking). While I appreciate that rattlesnakes play an important role in keeping the rodent population in check, I’m not fond of them hanging around my backyard. Would growing wasabi plants in my garden keep the snakes out? So I looked up wasabi (wasabia japonica) – and found it requires a cool, shady and humid climate – something we’re not going to find in my neighborhood. But what if I sprayed a solution of mustard oil around the perimeter of our yard. Would that do the trick? I don’t know, but when was the last time I saw a rattlesnake hanging around a sushi restaurant?


Upcoming Outdoor Events:

For Facebook Users: 90 Days of Santa Clarita Valley Wildflowers.
Here’s a new way to familiarize yourself with our local wildflowers. Become a fan of the page, “90 Days of Santa Clarita Valley Wildflowers” and from now through April, each day you’ll receive a photo of a local wildflower and a link to a website where you can learn more.

Saturday, March 20, 8-10 AM. Early morning bird hike at Towsley Canyon. March is a special time to glimpse unique migratory birds as they travel North. Enjoy another wonderful walk with our in-house birder, Volunteer Naturalist Roger. Beginners are welcome. Bring binoculars. Heavy rains cancel. For map, click here.

Saturday, March 27, 1-3 PM. Wildflowers Galore at Towsley Canyon. It’s that time of year! Join Wendy on a hunt for the colorful wildflowers. Heavy rains cancel. For map, click here.

 


You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on “The Hike Report”, brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, click here or go to www.LAMountains.com.

SCV Outdoor Report: Wasabi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About KHTS AM 1220

AV Party Rental – News Banner
Academy Swim Club – News Banner
Hugo Naturals – News Banner
Beyond Harmony – News Banner
All American Bail Bonds – News Banner
Action Family Counseling – News Banner
College Of The Canyons – News Banner
AV Party Rental – Tile
SCV Chinese School – Tile
Beyond Harmony – Tile
SCV Senior Center – Touch A Truck 2015 – Tile
Facey – Tile
Academy Swim Club – Tile