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a few leaves left on a tree
Chris Heller for Science Stories

Now we know why almonds become poisonous

Plants are biochemical factories, powered by sunlight. Birger Lindberg Møller has a dream of overtaking the oil-based industry and letting plants manufacture a wide range of our products. The dream is based on his work on the many active substances that plants produce. And these active molecules are also the starting point in this podcast, specifically the highly toxic bitter cyanide in almonds.

Henrik Prætorius has interviewed Birger Lindberg Møller, biochemist and professor at the Plant Biochemistry Laboratory of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen (in Danish). He calls himself a plant nerd, and studies how plants - with energy from photosynthesis - produce and handle a variety of bioactive substances.

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Science Stories is supported by the Novo Nordisk Fondation.