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Preview: EurekAlert! - Agriculture

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: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:03:01 EDT

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

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) Double-blind test bolsters observational data that walnuts promote feelings of fullness. Results provide a quantitative measure for testing other compounds' ability to control appetite, including potential medications for the treatment of obesity.

Comparing the jaws of porcupine fish reveals three new species

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and colleagues compared fossil porcupine fish jaws and tooth plates collected on expeditions to Panama, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil with those from museum specimens and modern porcupine fish, revealing three new species.

Injecting manure instead of spreading on surface reduces estrogen loads

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Penn State) With water quality in the Chesapeake Bay suffering from excess nutrients and fish populations in rivers such as the Susquehanna experiencing gender skewing and other reproductive abnormalities, understanding how to minimize runoff of both nutrients and endocrine-disrupting compounds from farm fields after manure applications is a critical objective for agriculture.

USGS news: Changing tides: Lake Michigan could best support lake trout and steelhead

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(US Geological Survey) Invasive mussels and less nutrients from tributaries have altered the Lake Michigan ecosystem, making it more conducive to the stocking of lake trout and steelhead than Chinook salmon, according to a recent US Geological Survey and Michigan State University study.

Magnetic resonance is used to evaluate food quality

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) A Brazilian company has developed a low-field nuclear magnetic resonance device that takes a few seconds to perform chemical and physical analyses of fruit, grains, olive oil, milk and meat, among other products.

Molecule increases pregnancy rate and number of offspring in cattle

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) Researchers at Inprenha Biotecnologia and the University of São Paulo, in Brazil, have discovered a molecule that can increase bovine pregnancy rates and reduce early embryo loss. The discovery gave rise to a product that enhances reproductive efficiency in domestic animals such as cattle and horses. Product was patented in nine countries and in the European Union.

Larvaceans provide a pathway for transporting microplastics into deep-sea food webs

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) A new paper by MBARI researchers shows that filter-feeding animals called giant larvaceans can collect and consume microplastic particles, potentially carrying microplastics to the deep seafloor.

Heavily used pesticide linked to breathing problems in farmworkers' children

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Berkeley) New study finds that elemental sulfur is linked to reduced lung function, more asthma-related symptoms and higher asthma medication use in children living about a half-mile or less from farms that use the pesticide.

Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Washington) As corals face threats from ocean warming, a new study uses the latest genetic-sequencing tools to help unravel the relationships between three similar-looking corals.

Harnessing rich satellite data to estimate crop yield

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences) Without advanced sensing technology, humans see only a small portion of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Satellites see the full range -- from high-energy gamma rays, to visible, infrared, and low-energy microwaves. The images and data they collect can be used to solve complex problems. For example, satellite data is being harnessed by researchers at the University of Illinois for a more complete picture of cropland and to estimate crop yield in the US Corn Belt.

A new critically endangered tree species depends on unique habitat found only on Kaua'i

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Pensoft Publishers) A new tree species, endemic to the floristically rich high Hawaiian island Kaua'i, is already assessed as Critically Endangered according to IUCN criteria. First collected and documented as early as 1988, the new species, Melicope stonei, has been officially described and named in the open access journal PhytoKeys.

Understanding how fish grow their hearts could help humans, professor finds

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Guelph) A University of Guelph professor has identified a protein that enables fish to change the size of their hearts based on the temperature of the water. Understanding how fish are able to naturally add and remove collagen could lead to the development of treatment modalities for humans that enables a more controlled way for the heart to repair itself after a heart attack.

Fish database could help eliminate the ultimate bait and switch

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Chemical Society) Fish fraud, the misrepresentation of cheaper fish as more expensive ones, is a rampant problem worldwide. Now in a study appearing ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists report that they are making strides toward the development of a protein database capable of definitively identifying fish species. This information could help nab imposters of salmon, tuna and other popular fish before they reach people's plates.

A decade of monitoring shows the dynamics of a conserved Atlantic tropical forest

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Pensoft Publishers) Characterized with high levels of biodiversity and endemism, the Atlantic Tropical Forest has been facing serious anthropogenic threats over the last several decades. Having put important ecosystem services at risk, such activities need to be closely studied as part of the forest dynamics. Thus, a Brazilian team of researchers spent a decade monitoring a semi-deciduous forest located in an ecological park in Southeast Brazil. Their observations are published in the open-access Biodiversity Data Journal.

Deafness in farmed salmon linked to accelerated growth

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Melbourne) Half of the world's farmed salmon are part deaf due to accelerated growth rates in aquaculture, new research has found. The results now offer a better understanding of the effects of a common inner ear deformity, and some specific actions to tackle this welfare issue.

Going 'green' with plant-based resins

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Chemical Society) Airplanes, electronics and solar cells are all in demand, but the materials holding these items together -- epoxy thermosets -- are not environmentally friendly. Now, a group reports in ACS' journal Macromolecules that they have created a plant-based thermoset that could make devices 'greener.'

Turning pollen into a low-cost fertilizer

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Chemical Society) As the world population continues to balloon, agricultural experts puzzle over how farms will produce enough food to keep up with demand. One tactic involves boosting crop yields. Toward that end, scientists have developed a method to make a low-cost, biocompatible fertilizer with carbon dots derived from rapeseed pollen. The study, appearing in ACS Omega, found that applying the carbon dots to hydroponically cultivated lettuce promoted its growth by 50 percent.

University of Stirling team discovers new plant in Shetland

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Stirling) Scientists at the University of Stirling have discovered a new type of plant growing in Shetland -- with its evolution only having occurred in the last 200 years.

Mosses used to evaluate atmospheric conditions in urban areas

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Hokkaido University) Researchers have developed a method to evaluate atmospheric conditions using mosses (bryophytes) in urban areas, a development that could facilitate broader evaluations of atmospheric environments.

The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology) Vinegar flies should normally try to avoid their sick conspecifics to prevent becoming infected themselves. Nevertheless they are irresistibly attracted to the smell given off by sick flies. A dramatic increase in the production of the sex pheromones responsible for the attractive odor of the infected flies is caused by pathogens: this perfidious strategy is used by the deadly germs to enable them to infect healthy flies and spread even further.

Study reveals the evolutionary history of imperiled salmon stocks

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of California - Davis) New technologies for analyzing DNA may transform how imperiled species are considered and managed for conservation protection, according to a study published today in the journal Science Advances and led by the University of California, Davis. These technologies can be applied to a wide range of species around the world -- from mushrooms to walruses -- but the study focuses on two iconic species of Pacific salmon: steelhead and chinook.

Pig-to-person spread of flu at fairs a continued concern

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ohio State University) The spread of influenza among pigs is common at fairs and other gatherings, and protective measures including cutting the length of time pigs and people congregate make good sense for both the animals and humans, say the authors of a new study.

Tropical trees maintain high carbon accumulation rates into old age

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(PLOS) Tropical trees maintain high carbon accumulation rates into old age, according to a study published Aug. 16, 2017, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Michael Köhl from the Universität Hamburg, Germany, and colleagues.

Soil microbes persist through National Mall facelift

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Society of Agronomy) It's not every day United States history mixes with microbes in the soil. But when the turf on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was replaced, it offered scientists the opportunity to study changes in the soil microbiome underneath.

The key to drought-tolerant crops may be in the leaves

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Southern California) Scientists at the University of Southern California and Texas A&M University are exploring how to generate plants that are more drought-resistant as the water supplies decline in major agricultural states.