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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: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:03:01 EST

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

The latest poop from the turkey coop

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) Treated excrement from turkeys, chickens and other poultry, when converted to combustible solid biomass fuel, could replace approximately 10 percent of coal used in electricity generation, reducing greenhouse gases and providing an alternative energy source, according to a new study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers.

Recovery of West Coast marine mammals boosts consumption of chinook salmon

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Oregon State University) The researchers estimate that from 1975 to 2015, the yearly biomass of chinook salmon consumed by pinnipeds (sea lions and harbor seals) and killer whales increased from 6,100 to 15,200 metric tons, and from five to 31.5 million individual salmon.

Tiger bones? Lion bones? An almost extinct cycad? On-the-spot DNA checks at ports of entry

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Johannesburg) Wildlife species are going extinct faster than humankind can reliably keep track of. Meanwhile, wildlife crime evolves quickly, with new tricks fueling a lucrative illegal global trade. As a result, customs and other port-of-entry officials confronted with unidentifiable bits of animals and plants need to make rapid decisions based on reliable information. LifeScanner LAB-IN-A-BOX, a portable DNA barcoding lab can serve as a new tool for rapid on-site species identification, adding to law enforcement's arsenal.

UTSA researchers receive grant to help prevent contaminations in Edwards Aquifer

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Texas at San Antonio) Vikram Kapoor, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Drew Johnson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio, have been awarded a $692,452 funding agreement through the City of San Antonio's Proposition 1 Edwards Aquifer Protection Program to design and implement a way to track fecal bacteria in the Edwards Aquifer so that major contamination can be stopped before it starts.

When to fish: Timing matters for fish that migrate to reproduce

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Washington) A new University of Washington study points to yet another human factor that is hampering the ability of fish to reproduce: the timing of our fishing seasons. The study considers how the timing of fishing efforts might disproportionately target certain fish and change the life history patterns of entire populations.

Research shows drones could help crop management take off

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture) Initial results of an ongoing study show that aerial imagery produced by multi-spectral sensors as well as less-expensive digital cameras may improve accuracy and efficiency of plant stand assessment in cotton.

eDNA tool detects invasive clams before they become a nuisance

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences) When seeking a cure for a disease, early detection is often the key. The same is true for eliminating invasive species. Identifying their presence in a lake before they are abundant is vital. A recent University of Illinois study successfully used environmental DNA to detect invasive clams in California and Nevada lakes. Researchers believe this tool can help identify pests before they become a problem.

Inner clock: Biologists research the mechanism of an auxiliary clock

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Bielefeld University) In December, the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology will be awarded for the identification of genes that control the inner clock. The honored academics examined fruit flies to determine the biorhythm. Biochemist Professor Dr. Dorothee Staiger of Bielefeld University has been researching the inner clock of plants for 20 years. Her team has now published a new study in the research journal Genome Biology.

Warmer water signals change for Scotland's shags

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) An increasingly catholic diet among European shags at one of Scotland's best-studied breeding colonies has been linked to long-term climate change and may have important implications for Scotland's seabirds.

BfR supports EFSA and ECHA with the development of European guidelines for the health assessment of endocrine disruptors

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(BfR Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) On behalf of the European Food Safety Authority, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment hosted a hearing of experts on the practicability of hormone measurements in toxicological studies in Berlin on Oct. 18-19, 2017.

Plant respiration could become a bigger feedback on climate than expected

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) New research suggests that plant respiration is a larger source of carbon emissions than previously thought, and warns that as the world warms, this may reduce the ability of Earth's land surface to absorb emissions due to fossil fuel burning.

The tragedy of the seagrass commons

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Swansea University) Urgent action is required to stem the loss of the world's seagrass meadows to protect their associated fisheries.

Seagrass is a key fishing ground globally

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Stockholm University) New research demonstrates that seagrass meadows are important fishing grounds all around the globe. The work highlights that there is an urgent need to start appreciating and understanding this role to be able to build more sustainable fisheries. A study led by Dr. Lina Mtwana Nordlund at Stockholm University, published in the scientific journal Fish & Fisheries, examines the global extent to which these underwater meadows support fishing activity.

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig) Leipzig. Forests fulfil numerous important functions, and do so particularly well if they are rich in different species of trees. In addition, forest managers do not have to decide on the provision of solely one function, such as wood production or nature conservation: several services provided by forest ecosystems can be improved at the same time. These are the results of two studies led by scientists from Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and published in Ecology Letters.

Water world

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Washington University in St. Louis) Following the path of radicals and being able to identify many damaged residues because of incredibly accurate, expeditious and sensitive mass spectrometry, three scientists studied the great granddaddy of all photosynthetic organisms -- a strain of cyanobacteria -- to develop the first experimental map of that organism's water world.

Using eDNA to identify the breeding habitat of endangered species

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Kobe University) Using wide-ranging eDNA analysis combined with traditional collection survey methods, Japanese researchers have identified the breeding site of critically endangered fish species Acheilognathus typus in the mainstream of Omono River in Akita Prefecture, Japan. The findings were published on November 14 in the online edition of The Science of Nature - Naturwissenschaften.

New method analyzes corn kernel characteristics

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences) An ear of corn averages about 800 kernels. A traditional field method to estimate the number of kernels on the ear is to manually count the number of rows and multiply by the number of kernels in one length of the ear. With the help of a new imaging machine developed at the University of Illinois breeders can learn the number of kernels per ear, plus a lot more information than can be manually observed.

American Water Works Association and Wiley confirm new publishing partnership

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Wiley) John Wiley and Sons Inc., (NYSE:JW-A) (NYSE:JW-B) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) announced today that they have agreed to become publishing partners for the AWWA periodicals, Journal -- American Water Works Association (JAWWA) and Opflow.

Fossil that fills missing evolutionary link named after UChicago professors

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Chicago) Scientists recently announced the discovery of a missing evolutionary link--a fossil of the first known member of the modern bryozoans to grow up into a structure. Called Jablonskipora kidwellae, it is named after UChicago geophysical scientists David Jablonski and Susan Kidwell.

NIFA invests in programs to increase productivity, profitability, stewardship of 3 crops

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(National Institute of Food and Agriculture ) The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for research to increase the productivity, profitability, and natural resources stewardship of canola, potato, and alfalfa production systems. The grants are funded through three NIFA programs: Alfalfa and Forage Research, Supplemental and Alternative Crops, and Potato Breeding Research.

One Health researchers identify hot spots of tick-borne diseases in Mongolia

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(George Mason University) Given the critical role livestock play in Mongolia, transmission of tick-borne diseases can have very real health and economic implications for livestock and herders. George Mason University's Dr. Michael von Fricken and colleagues explored the interaction between nomadic herders, the livestock they own, and the tick-borne diseases they are exposed to.

Bacteria in a beetle makes it a leaf-eater

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Emory Health Sciences) A leaf-eating beetle has evolved a symbiotic relationship that allows the insect to break down pectin. The journal Cell published the findings on the novel function of the bacterium, which has a surprisingly tiny genome -- much smaller than previous reports on the minimum size required for an organism not subsisting within a host cell.

Production timings could stem illegal wildlife laundering

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Kent) Production timings for artificially propagated plants and animals could help flag items offered for sale before they should legally be available.

Gene discovery may halt worldwide wheat epidemic

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Davis) University of California, Davis, researchers have identified a gene that enables resistance to a new devastating strain of stem rust, a fungal disease that is hampering wheat production throughout Africa and Asia and threatening food security worldwide.

Groundwater depletion could be significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American Geophysical Union) Groundwater depletion could be significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide.