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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: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 19:03:01 EDT

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



6.5 million pounds (25 billion-pesos) to kick-start Colombian bioeconomy

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Earlham Institute) A four-year investment from RCUK's Global Challenges Research Fund is set to stimulate the bioeconomy by increasing knowledge of Colombia's greatest treasure: its biodiversity



UMass Amherst molecular biologist wins grant to outwit plant fungal diseases

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) The Fusarium oxysporum fungus causes wilt in over 100 plant species including tomato, cotton, watermelon and banana, costing farmers billions of dollars in losses worldwide each year. The disease is difficult to control. Once the soil is infected, the fungus can remain viable for 30 or 40 years, and at present "there really is no way to control it," Ma says. By advancing understanding of the molecular mechanism of fungal pathogenesis, she hopes to increase ways to develop disease-resistant crops.



University of Cincinnati creates new model to support workers with disabilities

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Cincinnati) The University of Cincinnati's Advancement and Transition Services trained Aramark dining services employees on evidence-based practices used by job coaches to support workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or I/DD. The result: the independence levels and social capital of workers with I/DD drastically improved over the course of a semester. The new model of support could help workers with I/DD in other workplaces.



On the path to vitamin A in rice

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Freiburg) Biochemists from the University of Freiburg have elucidated the structure of an enzyme that supplies carotenoid.



Sparkling springs aid quest for underground heat energy sources

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Edinburgh) Studies of naturally carbonated mineral water have given scientists insight on how to locate hot water springs -- potential sources of sustainable geothermal energy.



Native leech preys on invasive slug?

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Hokkaido University) Citizen science has revealed the spread of the invasive giant slug Limax maximus and its potential native predator in Japan, providing new insights into predator-prey dynamics between introduced prey and native predators.



Art inspiring ecological science, inspiring art

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ecological Society of America) Art and Science in dialog: sessions at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Portland, Ore., feature 5-minute presentations on collaborative projects that fuse contemporary art and ecological science to make new work that's not possible within each discipline alone. Explore artwork created by the session speakers in the Art:Sci Gallery.



USDA announces $15.1m for research on renewable energy, biobased products, agroecosystems

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Institute of Food and Agriculture ) The USDepartment of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 34 grants totaling $15.1 million for research on agricultural systems and production of biomaterials and fuels, socioeconomic implications and public policy challenges of bioenergy and bioproducts market development and expansion, understanding nutrient cycling in agricultural systems, and the management of agricultural ecosystems. The grants are funded through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.



USDA announces $4.6 million for nanotechnology research

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Institute of Food and Agriculture ) The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 13 grants totaling $4.6 million for research on the next generation of agricultural technologies and systems to meet the growing demand for food, fuel, and fiber. The grants are funded through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.



Shale gas development spurring spread of invasive plants in Pennsylvania forests

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Penn State) Vast swaths of Pennsylvania forests were clear-cut circa 1900 and regrowth has largely been from local native plant communities, but a team of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has found that invasive, non-native plants are making significant inroads with unconventional natural gas development.



Reciprocal effects

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Santa Barbara) Postdoctoral research fellow Julia Buck discovers a new paradigm for describing trophic cascades caused by infectious agents.



Using a pig model to study chronic diseases may help minimize drug failure rate

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Penn State) Scientists may be able to minimize the failure rate of drugs for diseases linked to high-calorie diets, such as colon cancer and type 2 diabetes, if they test treatments using a pig model, according to an international team of researchers.



Could sharks help save shipping industry billions?

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Portsmouth) Whales, sharks, butterflies and lotus leaves might together hold the secret to saving the shipping industry millions and help save the planet, according to a marine biologist at the University of Portsmouth, UK.



Heritage and ancient grain project feeds a growing demand

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Cornell University) After a century of markets dominated by a few types of wheat and white flour, ancient and heritage wheat varieties are making a comeback. Restaurants and bakeries that promote organic and local agriculture have sprouted up across the country in the last decade, meeting a rising consumer demand for tasty and nutritious foods that support an ethic of sustainability.



Study finds restoration at Illinois prairie is working in the soil, too

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Northern Illinois University) A Northern Illinois University study finds that tallgrass prairie restoration at a large Illinois preserve is working at a foundational level -- in the soil. Bacteria in the soil are recolonizing and recovering on their own to resemble soil found in remnant prairies. The study shows that a carefully managed restoration can produce successes even beyond plant and animal biodiversity.



Taste and health affect consumer choices for milk and nondairy beverages

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Elsevier) To learn more about what affects consumer decisions regarding fluid milk purchases, researchers from North Carolina State University used surveys, conjoint analysis, and means-end-chain analysis to uncover the underlying values among dairy milk and nondairy beverage consumers. The results of the study highlighted the most important factors for both milk and nondairy beverages, which were the same: they must be healthy and taste good.



Mixed outcomes for plants and animals in warmer 2080s climate

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of York) More than three quarters of plants and animals in England are likely to be significantly affected by climate change by the end of the century, say researchers.



The way rivers function reflects their ecological status and is rarely explored

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of the Basque Country ) A study conducted by a UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country research group within the framework of the European Globaqua project proposes going beyond the study of river ecosystems and incorporating into the studies routinely carried out a set of processes that regulate not only the fluxes of matter but also the fluxes of energy within an ecosystem. In a recently published paper, the group is proposing a new working framework to study the status of rivers.



A super-algae to save our seas

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Frontiers) Solutions to climate change, and particularly its effects on the ocean, are needed now more than ever. Coral bleaching caused by climate change is a huge threat to coral reefs. Recent extreme bleaching events have already killed corals worldwide and permanent destruction of reefs is projected within the century if immediate action is not taken. However, genetically engineering a group of microalgae found in corals may enhance their stress tolerance to ocean warming and save coral reefs.



Reintroduced Przewalski's horses have a different diet

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna) The preferred fodder of horses is grass. This is true for domestic horses and wild horses in the Gobi Desert. Researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna found out through tail hair analysis that before their extinction in the wild Przewalski's horses had been on a different diet than today. Thanks to improved societal attitude, the horses have now access to richer pastures. In former times, the wild horses were hunted and chased away. Published in Scientific Reports.



Shifting storms to bring extreme waves, seaside damage to once placid areas

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of New South Wales) The world's most extensive study of a major stormfront striking the coast has revealed a previously unrecognised danger from climate change: as storm patterns fluctuate, waterfront areas once thought safe are likely to be hammered and damaged as never before.



Nesting aids make agricultural fields attractive for bees

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Würzburg) Wild bees are important pollinators of many crop plants -- sometimes they are even more efficient than honeybees. Their numbers can be increased sustainably using simple means as a recent study has found.



Loma Linda University researchers finds links between meal frequency and BMI

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center) A study by researchers from Loma Linda University School of Public Health and the Czech Republic has found that timing and frequency of meals play a role in predicting weight loss or gain.



Stanford researchers discover biological hydraulic system in tuna fins

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Stanford University) The unique system of hydraulic control of fins discovered in tuna indicates a new role for the lymphatic system in vertebrates. This natural mechanism may inspire designs for new 'smart' control surfaces with changeable shape and stiffness for both air and underwater unmanned vehicles.



High levels of antibiotic-resistance in Indian poultry farming raises concerns

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Burness) A new study from India raises questions about the dangers to human health of farming chicken with growth-promoting antibiotics -- including some of the same drugs used in raising millions of chickens in the United States and worldwide.