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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: Sun, 04 Dec 2016 17:03:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Open-source tools accelerate plant breeding in developing countries

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Boyce Thompson Institute) The GOBII Project has developed new software to help plant breeders in developing countries to pick the best parent varieties for adding new traits into existing high-yield crops.



Environmental scientist's early warning indicators win the prize

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Umea University) Promising environmental researcher David Seekell has been awarded a prestigious prize: the Science and SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists. He was awarded the prize for his dissertation at Umeå University that developed early warning indicators for environmental tipping points practically usable to government officials and landowners.



Biologists unlock 51.7-million-year-old genetic secret to landmark Darwin theory

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of East Anglia) Scientists have identified the cluster of genes responsible for reproductive traits in the Primula flower, first noted as important by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago.



Seafood consumption 15 times higher among Indigenous than non-Indigenous people

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of British Columbia) Coastal Indigenous people eat on average 15 times more seafood per person than non-Indigenous people in the same country, according to new research from the University of British Columbia. The findings highlight the need to consider food sovereignty and cultural identity as part of fisheries policy and Indigenous human rights.



Researchers use genes as early warning system for harmful algae blooms

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have sequenced the genes of a harmful algae bloom, unveiling never-before-seen interactions between algae and bacteria that are thought to propagate their growth.



Indigenous seafood consumption 15 times higher per capita than national averages

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program) Coastal Indigenous people eat, on average, 15 times more seafood per person than non-Indigenous people in the same country, finds a Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published today in PLOS ONE. This highlights the need to consider food sovereignty and cultural identity as part of fisheries policy and Indigenous human rights.



China's pristine parks get more merit

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Griffith University) A first of its kind study has measured how parks in China have been affected by human impact, and found the most pristine areas are in Tibet and neighboring provinces.Researchers from Griffith University and Beijing's Chinese Academy of Sciences mapped and analyzed the Human Footprint Index for 1834 terrestrial Nature Reserves of mainland China.



Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Purdue University) Purdue University researchers have developed a hydrogenation process that could solidify soybean oil for food processing without creating trans fats, which have been linked to heart disease and stroke.



Study shows many lakes getting murkier, but gives hope for improvement

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Wisconsin-Madison) A study of more than 5,000 Wisconsin lakes shows that nearly a quarter of them have become murkier in the past two decades. It also shows this trend could get worse as a changing climate leads to increased precipitation.



Study: Restaurants not good at explaining risks of undercooked meat to customers

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(North Carolina State University) A recent study finds restaurants don't do an effective job of communicating with customers when it comes to addressing risks associated with eating undercooked meat -- specifically hamburgers.



The 4th International Symposium on Transformative Bio-Molecules (ISTbM-4)

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM), Nagoya University) The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan, will be holding the 4th International Symposium on Transformative Bio-Molecules (ISTbM-4) on Dec. 12-13, 2016 at Nagoya University. This international symposium brings together speakers who are world-class scientists in the fields of biology, chemistry, and theoretical sciences. In conjunction with ISTbM-4, award lectures from the 12th Hirata Award Winner and the 2nd Tsuneko and Reiji Okazaki Award Winner will also be delivered.



US public divided over food science

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Pew Research Center) New Pew Research Center Survey on views about food science, including attitudes about healthy eating, organics and genetically modified foods.



The coldest decade of the millennium? How the cold 1430s led to famine and disease

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(European Geosciences Union) A team of international researchers has looked into climate data and historical archives to find out more about the extraordinary climate of the 1430s and how it impacted societies in northwestern and central Europe. Their results are published today in Climate of the Past, a journal of the European Geosciences Union.



Natural alternatives to protect plants inspired by pharmaceutical research

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Cell Press) The bacteria Streptomyces could be used as an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides, scientists in France write in an Opinion published Dec. 1 in Trends in Plant Science. In addition to protecting plants from fungal and other threats, Streptomyces has been shown to keep roots healthy and promote plant growth. Streptomyces or their derived metabolites are already being used in six different agricultural products.



Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Riverside) A University of California, Riverside assistant professor has combined photosynthesis and physics to make a key discovery that could help make solar cells more efficient. The findings were recently published in the journal Nano Letters.



The economy of cold soil blues

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(American Society of Agronomy) For many farmers, in-furrow starter application is a cheaper alternative to other starter fertilizers. New research suggests it does not provide an economic benefit in most situations, however.



Permafrost loss changes Yukon River chemistry with global implications

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(US Geological Survey) New USGS-led research shows that permafrost loss due to a rapidly warming Alaska is leading to significant changes in the freshwater chemistry and hydrology of Alaska's Yukon River Basin with potential global climate implications. Such permafrost degradation is already fundamentally transforming the way that high-latitude, Northern Hemisphere ecosystems function.



Study finds recipes with hand-washing, temperature reminders improve food safety

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Kansas State University) Kansas State University researchers have discovered the secret ingredient to improving kitchen food safety: include hand-washing reminders and meat thermometer instructions in published recipes.



Corals much older than previously thought, study finds

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Penn State) Coral genotypes can survive for thousands of years, possibly making them the longest-lived animals in the world, according to researchers at Penn State, the National Marine Fisheries Service and Dial Cordy & Associates.



Laser technique boosts aerial imaging of woodlands

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Exeter) A ground-breaking technique which allows green spaces to be mapped in 3-D from an aircraft could boost biodiversity, aid human wellbeing and even help protect rainforests.



Certification would ensure quality welfare during cattle transport

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Elsevier) Over 530,000 cattle are shipped to slaughter plants each week, making the transport of cattle a vitally important part of the beef and dairy industries. Almost all beef or dairy cattle are transported once during their life, and often they may be transported as many as 6 times. A new report details how a cattle transporter quality assurance program could help ensure the safe, humane, and expeditious shipping of cattle and benefit the industry significantly in terms of both economics and efficiency.



UBC researcher says management of pine beetle not working

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of British Columbia Okanagan campus) A method to control the spread of mountain pine beetles -- pheromone baiting -- may actually help the pest's population increase, UBC research shows.he two-year simulation, which included then PhD candidate Shaun Strohm and University of Calgary professor Mary Reid, compared four separate management strategies: no management (monitoring only), pheromone baiting, tree removal, and finally, pheromone baiting combined with tree removal.



Shifts in mating strategies help herbicide-resistant 'superweeds' persist

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Michigan) Herbicide-resistant 'superweeds' change their mating strategies over time, an evolutionary shift that helps them hold onto valuable genes and outcompete other plants, according to a new study from University of Michigan researchers.



Intensification of land use leads to the same species everywhere

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Technical University of Munich (TUM)) In places where humans use grasslands more intensively, it is not only the species diversity which decreases -- the landscape also becomes more monotonous, and ultimately only the same species remain everywhere. This results in nature no longer being able to provide its 'services,' which range from soil formation for food production to pest control. Led by the Technical University of Munich, 300 scientists studied the consequences of land-use intensification across different species groups at the landscape level for the very first time.



'Mic check' for marine mammals

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Acoustical Society of America) Hearing is a vital sense for marine mammals who use it to forage, communicate and navigate. Many of these mammals produce specific vocalizations that can be used to identify the species and track locations via acoustic monitoring. Traditionally, scientists have used underwater microphones to listen for marine mammals, on the seafloor or towed behind a boat. Now scientists can use autonomous underwater vehicles with hydrophones to listen to marine mammals in ways impossible until now.