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EurekAlert! - Agriculture



The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Last Build Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 03:03:02 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Biofuel produced by microalgae

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Tokyo Institute of Technology) Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have identified unique lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferases as being the central enzymes for triacylglycerol synthesis by oleaginous alga Nannochloropsis, thus uncovering the mechanisms of biofuel production in microalgae.



Reducing pressure on predators, prey simultaneously is best for species' recovery

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Oregon State University) Reducing human pressure on exploited predators and prey at the same time is the best way to help their populations recover, a new study indicates.



Recovering predators and prey

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Santa Barbara) Researchers show how simultaneously restoring predators and prey is much faster and more effective than doing so one at a time.



Nutrient Sensor Challenge winners to be announced at ASLO conference March 2

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science) The winners of the Nutrient Sensor Challenge will be announced at a special awards session at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography Aquatic Sciences (ASLO) meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Thursday, March 2, at 5:30 p.m. HAST. The Challenge aimed to accelerate the development, production, and use of affordable, reliable, and accurate nutrient sensors. These sensors will enable automated and high-resolution nutrient monitoring in aquatic environments ranging from freshwater lakes and streams to the coastal ocean.



Sponge bacterium found to encapsulate arsenic drawn from environment

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American Friends of Tel Aviv University) A new Tel Aviv University study sheds light on a unique biological model of arsenic detoxification. According to the new research, the Entotheonella bacterium that inhabits the Theonella swinhoei sponge is one of the only known cases of a bacterium protecting its host from metal poisoning.



$2.5 million fund available for climate change adaptation projects

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Wildlife Conservation Society) Through its Climate Adaptation Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society today solicited proposals from nonprofit conservation organizations to explore and implement new methods for helping wildlife adapt to rapidly-shifting environmental conditions brought about by climate change.



It may not have been too late to save 'extinct' pigeon

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Kent) The Passenger Pigeon, a species of pigeon that died out in the early years of the 20th century, could have been saved even after it was considered doomed to extinction.As a result of this research, conservationists now have a model to test for functional extinction -- defined as a total reproductive failure -- allowing them to question species' extinctions in the past, as well as those that may be heading towards extinction.



Coming soon: Oil spill-mapping swarms of flying drones

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University at Buffalo) Partly inspired by the dynamics of a flock of birds, engineers devised a computational method for drones to quickly record whether they are over water, oil or the edge of the spill. This simple information is shared with the other drones in the swarm, as opposed to sharing actual images or video, which would require too much bandwidth.



New use for paper industry's sludge and fly ash in plastics

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland) VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland examined, as part of the EU's Reffibre project, whether new industrial applications could be developed for various types of sludge and fly ash generated by the paper and board industry.



Greater prairie chickens cannot persist in Illinois without help, researchers report

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) An iconic bird whose booming mating calls once reverberated across 'the Prairie State' can survive in Illinois with the help of periodic human interventions, researchers report.



Planned protection area would help basking sharks

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Exeter) A proposed Marine Protected Area off Scotland's west coast would help basking sharks, researchers say.



Common bacterium may help control disease-bearing mosquitoes

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Yale University) Genes from a common bacterium can be harnessed to sterilize male insects, a tool that can potentially control populations of both disease-bearing mosquitoes and agricultural pests, researchers at Yale University and Vanderbilt University report in related studies published Feb. 27 in two Nature journals.



New tool for combating mosquito-borne disease: Insect parasite genes

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Vanderbilt University) Discovery of the genes the insect parasite Wolbachia uses to control its hosts' reproduction provides a powerful new tool for enhancing biological control efforts for mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, Zika and malaria.



How to reduce the environmental impact of a loaf of bread?

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Sheffield) With an estimated 12 million loaves sold in the UK every year, bread remains a staple of the British diet. In a groundbreaking study researchers from the University of Sheffield have now calculated the environmental impact of a loaf of bread and which part of its production contributes the most greenhouse gas.



Humans sparked 84 percent of US wildfires, increased fire season over 2 decades

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Colorado at Boulder) Humans have dramatically increased the spatial and seasonal extent of wildfires across the US in recent decades and ignited more than 840,000 blazes in the spring, fall and winter seasons over a 21-year period, according to new research.



A rose to store energy

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Linköping University) A special structure for storing energy known as a supercapacitor has been constructed in a plant for the first time. The plant, a rose, can be charged and discharged hundreds of times. This breakthrough is the result of research at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics at Linköping University.



Humans responsible for more wildfires than lightning, longer season and larger fire niche

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) A recent first-of-its-kind analysis of wildfire records over 20 years shows that human-started fires accounted for 84 percent of all wildfires, tripled the length of the fire season and dominated an area seven times greater than that affected by lightning-caused fires. Humans have 'a remarkable influence' on modern US wildfire regimes, they conclude.



New York schools help Cornell monitor local waterways for invasive species

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Cornell University) With 7,600 lakes and 70,000 miles of creeks and rivers to monitor, Cornell researchers struggled to stay ahead of round goby and other invasive species -- until they tapped into New York's network of teachers looking to bring science alive for their students. Good story for National Invasive Species Awareness Week (Feb. 27-March 3).



Study catalogs the complex flavors of American-made goat cheese

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Kansas State University) Researchers generated a flavor lexicon that lists the 39 flavor attributes in cheeses made with goat milk. Flavor lexicons are important tools for cheesemakers because they help with development, product benchmarking and quality control.



Two types of sensors that provide information on vineyard water status are designed

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Elhuyar Fundazioa) Researchers at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre have designed two types of sensors whose technologies allow information on the water status of the vineyard to be obtained by means of innovative methods. The work has been developed by a NUP/UPNA multidisciplinary team in collaboration with various Navarrese companies.



Hammerhead shark migration gives new hope for conservation

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Frontiers) Great Hammerhead sharks have been tagged and tracked across the USA and Bahamas in a bid to shed light on their migration habits. Researchers suggest that these sharks are more at risk than previously thought because of their predictable and seasonal migratory patterns. As an endangered species, the Great Hammerhead shark is in desperate need of effective conservation management. This new information will allow marine planners to improve the protection of this iconic animal.



Study offers guidance on how to protect olive trees from being ravaged by deadly pathogen

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) Expert ecologists at the UK-based Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have devised a scientific model which could help predict the spread of the deadly Xylella fastidiosa which is threatening to destroy Europe's olive trees.The CEH scientists have created a model which is able to qualitatively and quantitatively predict how the deadly bacterial pathogen may spread as well as offer guidance on how buffer zones should be arranged to protect uninfected olive trees.



Government of Myanmar unveils new plan to protect marine wildlife and resources

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Wildlife Conservation Society) The Government of Myanmar and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) announced today a comprehensive plan to protect the country's diverse fisheries and marine life -- including dolphins, sea turtles, and other species -- and other marine resources.



New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences) Waterhemp, a common agricultural weed, has become increasingly resistant to atrazine and other herbicides. Waterhemp uses a class of enzymes known as GSTs to detoxify herbicides, but the exact GST responsible for atrazine resistance was not known until recently. University of Illinois researchers used molecular methods to identify a gene for GST-based atrazine resistance. Knowledge of the gene will allow for easier diagnosis and could lead to the development of more targeted control options.



Agricultural robot may be 'game changer' for crop growers, breeders

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) A robot under development at the University of Illinois automates the labor-intensive process of crop phenotyping, enabling scientists to scan crops and match genetic data with the highest-yielding plants. The TERRA-Mobile Energy-crop Phenotyping Platform robot is funded by the US Department of Energy.