Agro∼News

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Month

May 2018

Green tea molecule could prevent heart attacks

Green tea could hold the key to preventing deaths from heart attacks and strokes caused by atherosclerosis, according to research funded by the British Heart Foundation and published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Scientists from Lancaster University and the… Continue Reading →

For anxiety, a single intervention is not enough

No matter which treatment they get, only 20 percent of young people diagnosed with anxiety will stay well over the long term, UConn Health researchers report in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. "When you… Continue Reading →

Handgun purchaser licensing laws linked to fewer firearm homicides in large, urban areas

State laws that require gun purchasers to obtain a license contingent on passing a background check performed by state or local law enforcement are associated with a 14 percent reduction in firearm homicides in large, urban counties, a new study… Continue Reading →

Bigger human brain prioritizes thinking hub — at a cost

Some human brains are nearly twice the size of others — but how might that matter? Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and their NIH grant-funded colleagues have discovered that these differences in size are related to… Continue Reading →

New guidelines recommend earlier colorectal cancer screening

New guidelines developed by the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommend that screening for colorectal cancer for average-risk adults begin at age 45, five years earlier than the previous recommendation. The guideline update, published as an Early View paper in CA:… Continue Reading →

Hydropower in Cambodia could threaten food security of region

Farmers and anglers in Cambodia depend on the Mekong River's predictable seasonal patterns, but new dams for hydroelectricity are altering the hydrology of the river. These changes have the potential to threaten fish migration, livelihoods, and regional food security. A… Continue Reading →

Drowsy worms offer new insights into the neuroscience of sleep

A good night of sleep entails about eight hours of blissful immobility — a state of near paralysis that, though welcome at night, would be inconvenient during the day. In a recent paper published in Cell Reports, Rockefeller scientists shed… Continue Reading →

Combining experts and automation in 3D printing

Researchers in Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering have developed a novel approach to optimizing soft material 3-D printing. The researchers' Expert-Guided Optimization (EGO) method combines expert judgment with an optimization algorithm that efficiently searches combinations of parameters relevant for… Continue Reading →

John Deere Introducing Updated Harvest Equipment

A new track system and a new draper lineup are among updates to harvest equipment coming from John Deere. A new track system is now fully suspended, offering the ability to transport up to 25 miles per hour from field… Continue Reading →

An artificial nerve system gives prosthetic devices and robots a sense of touch

Stanford and Seoul National University researchers have developed an artificial sensory nerve system that can activate the twitch reflex in a cockroach and identify letters in the Braille alphabet. The work, reported May 31 in Science, is a step toward… Continue Reading →

Discovery reveals how cells try to control levels of key HIV protein

One of the many challenges in treating HIV is that the virus can lie dormant in cells, quietly evading immune detection until it suddenly roars to life without warning and begins replicating furiously. Salk Institute researchers discovered a small molecule… Continue Reading →

Symptoms worsen around menses for people with borderline personality disorder

Symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder — a severe and chronic mood disorder characterized by an inability to manage strong emotions — tend to worsen just before and during menses, according to a study in Psychological Medicine. Borderline personality disorder… Continue Reading →

Mother knows best — how plants help offspring by passing on seasonal clues

New research carried out by the John Innes Centre has delved into the genetic memory systems through which plants pass seasonal information down to their seeds to give them the best chance of reproductive success. Plants integrate seasonal signals such… Continue Reading →

Price competition for generic drugs linked to increase in manufacturing-related recalls

Researchers from three universities have found that extreme price competition in the generic pharmaceutical market — designed to make medications more affordable — may be putting more patients at serious health risk, as evidenced by a higher number of product… Continue Reading →

Impact of dengue virus on Ethiopia

Dengue, a mosquito-borne RNA virus, is one of the most serious and rapidly spreading arboviral diseases in the world. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have provided the first baseline data on the prevalence and risk factors of… Continue Reading →

Dormant cytomegalovirus resides in eyes of healthy mice long after infection

Infection with cytomegalovirus triggers long-lasting eye inflammation and establishes a dormant pool of the virus in the eyes of mice with healthy immune systems, according to new research presented in PLOS Pathogens by Valentina Voigt of the Lions Eye Institute… Continue Reading →

Biosecurity reduces invasions of plant pathogens over a national border

A new study appearing in PLOS Biology on May 31 examines more than a century of fungal pathogens, finding well-aimed biosecurity measures cut the spread of unwanted fungi into a nation, even in the face of increased globalized trade. "Although… Continue Reading →

Research reveals how the same foods create markedly different environmental impacts

Researchers at Oxford University and the Swiss agricultural research institute, Agroscope, have created the most comprehensive database yet on the environmental impacts of nearly 40,000 farms, and 1,600 processors, packaging types, and retailers. This allows them to assess how different… Continue Reading →

Synthetic ’tissues’ build themselves

How do complex biological structures — an eye, a hand, a brain — emerge from a single fertilized egg? This is the fundamental question of developmental biology, and a mystery still being grappled with by scientists who hope to one… Continue Reading →

Bacteria ensure square meal for bloodsucking ticks

How do ticks live solely on blood? A study presented in Current Biology (May 31, 2018) has elucidated the crucial role played by symbiotic bacteria that synthesize B vitamins. These nutrients are scarcely found in the blood ticks ingest but… Continue Reading →

Two ancient populations that diverged later ‘reconverged’ in the Americas

A new genetic study of ancient individuals in the Americas and their contemporary descendants finds that two populations that diverged from one another 18,000 to 15,000 years ago remained apart for millennia before mixing again. This historic "reconvergence" occurred before… Continue Reading →

Atherosclerosis: Stopped on time

The internal clock controls all vital functions in the body. Body temperature as well as blood pressure or the release of certain enzymes are subject to oscillations throughout the day, the so-called circadian rhythm. For the first time, a team… Continue Reading →

Antifungal drug eliminates sleeping bowel cancer cells in mice

An antifungal medication, commonly prescribed for toenail infections, could help eliminate dormant cells within bowel tumours, according to new research funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine today (Thursday). Researchers at the Cancer Research… Continue Reading →

Scientists rethink co-evolution of marine life, oxygenated oceans

Researchers in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University have confirmed that rising oceanic and atmospheric oxygen levels co-evolved with marine life hundreds of millions of years ago. Wanyi Lu, a Ph.D. candidate studying under associate professor Zunli Lu… Continue Reading →

Abnormal lipid metabolism in fat cells predicts future weight gain and diabetes in women

The inefficient breakdown of fats predicts later weight gain and metabolic complications such as type 2 diabetes in women, researchers report May 31 in the journal Cell Metabolism. Low levels of hormone-stimulated lipolysis — a biochemical process by which triglycerides… Continue Reading →

Secrets behind Pluto’s dunes revealed

Scientists have discovered dunes on Pluto, and say they are likely to have been formed of methane ice grains released into its rarefied atmosphere. Writing in Science, an international team of geographers, physicists and planetary scientists have analysed detailed images… Continue Reading →

Lego-like chemical building blocks self-assemble into catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells

What's better than platinum? In hydrogen fuel cells, the answer is cofacial cobalt porphyrins. It's a mouthful to say, and if you're not a chemist, you've probably never heard of these compounds before. But these molecules — which are great… Continue Reading →

Sintering solutions aboard the International Space Station

A centuries-old materials bonding process is being tested aboard the International Space Station in an experiment that could pave the way for more materials research of its kind aboard the orbiting laboratory. Sintering is the process of heating different materials… Continue Reading →

Poultry Researchers Tackle Woody Breast Syndrome

A growing problem for the poultry industry is woody breast syndrome, a muscle myopathy that affects the most popular cut of poultry. While it doesn’t pose any harm to the consumer or the bird, it results in a product that… Continue Reading →

How Earth slows the solar wind to a gentle breeze

As Earth orbits the sun at supersonic speed, it cuts a path through the solar wind. This fast stream of charged particles, or plasma, launched from the sun's outer layers would bombard Earth's atmosphere if not for the protection of… Continue Reading →

Cool weather can amplify attacks of tree-killing bark beetle

As a warming climate invites the destructive southern pine beetle to expand its northern range, the cooler weather in this new habitat can potentially increase the lethality of the insect's assault on trees, according to a new study from Dartmouth… Continue Reading →

News flash about hot flashes: They can last longer than you think

Menopause symptoms are not just for midlife anymore, according to a new Mayo Clinic study published this month in the Journal of the North American Menopause Society. The study, conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic gathered data from nearly 5,000… Continue Reading →

New findings link estrogen and T cell immune response to autoimmune inflammation

Women are more prone to the development of autoimmune diseases. The female hormone estrogen is likely to affect the immune system. A team of scientists from Turku Center for Biotechnology and University of Georgia reported new findings related to the… Continue Reading →

‘Why not take a risk’ attitude widespread among patients and providers

"Antibiotics can't hurt. They might even make me feel better. Why not take a risk?" You may have had similar thoughts when sick with the flu or common cold. Your doctor may think so too. A new study led by… Continue Reading →

Psychologists: Women are not to blame for the wage gap

Women should not be blamed for the gender wage gap in the United States, according to psychologists at Rice University. To eliminate the gap, organizations must provide training, support and opportunities for growth, the researchers said. The authors of the… Continue Reading →

From face recognition to phase recognition

If you want to understand how a material changes from one atomic-level configuration to another, it's not enough to capture snapshots of before-and-after structures. It'd be better to track details of the transition as it happens. Same goes for studying… Continue Reading →

Memory depends on protein ‘off-switch’

Memory, learning and cognitive flexibility depend on a protein 'off-switch' in the brain, according to a breakthrough discovery made by an international research collaboration co-led by the University of Warwick. This new knowledge could enable us to better understand and… Continue Reading →

Funding Available for Rural Cooperative Development

Cooperative market in Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo credit: USDA. This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service announced the availability of nearly $9 million in grants to support rural cooperative development. $3 million of those funds are set-aside… Continue Reading →

Getting conservationists and fishers on the same page

Historically, fisheries and the conservation community have struggled to find common ground. The tension between one's desire to turn a profit and the other's to preserve endangered or protected marine species that can be killed as bycatch has made it… Continue Reading →

Alternative inflation rate may offer more accurate economic guidance

Consumer prices may be more volatile than are represented in current inflation indexes, which are used to guide a range of economic decisions, including guidance on interest rates and Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, according to a team of economists. In… Continue Reading →

Your brain is multitasking, using a hunger peptide that tells you when to eat

A USC study shows the brain's plumbing system serves double duty, flushing waste and channeling a hunger molecule that tells you when you should eat. "People usually think of brain cells as communicating signals through the synapses between them," said… Continue Reading →

This is your brain detecting patterns

Detecting patterns is an important part of how humans learn and make decisions. Now, researchers have seen what is happening in people's brains as they first find patterns in information they are presented. Findings showed that the brain processes pattern… Continue Reading →

Sugarcane pest produces foam to protect itself from heat

Tiny balls of froth can often be seen near the roots of plants in sugarcane plantations in Brazil during summer. The foam protects nymphs of the root spittlebug Mahanarva fimbriolata, a major pest of crops and pasture throughout the Neotropics…. Continue Reading →

Paving the way for safer, smaller batteries and fuel cells

Fuel cells and batteries provide electricity by generating and coaxing positively charged ions from a positive to a negative terminal which frees negatively charged electrons to power cellphones, cars, satellites, or whatever else they are connected to. A critical part… Continue Reading →

Micro-CT scans show 2,100-year-old ‘hawk’ mummy a stillborn baby

A tiny Egyptian mummy long believed to be that of a hawk is actually a rare example of a near-to-term, severely malformed fetus, says an examination led by mummy expert Andrew Nelson of Western University in London, Canada. Detailed micro-CT… Continue Reading →

AI researchers design ‘privacy filter’ for your photos

Each time you upload a photo or video to a social media platform, its facial recognition systems learn a little more about you. These algorithms ingest data about who you are, your location and people you know — and they're… Continue Reading →

Ocean-migrating trout adapt to freshwater environment in 120 years

Steelhead trout, a member of the salmon family that live and grow in the Pacific Ocean, genetically adapted to the freshwater environment of Lake Michigan in less than 120 years. Steelhead were intentionally introduced into Lake Michigan in the late… Continue Reading →

Cosmic collision lights up the darkness

Though it resembles a peaceful rose swirling in the darkness of the cosmos, NGC 3256 is actually the site of a violent clash. This distorted galaxy is the relic of a collision between two spiral galaxies, estimated to have occured… Continue Reading →

Oil and gas wastewater as dust suppressant less than ideal

At the least, wastewater from oil and gas drilling should be treated in a waste treatment facility before it is used on dirt roads to suppress dust or deice roads. At the best, affordable, nontoxic dust suppressants should be developed… Continue Reading →

Widespread methane seeps off Oregon coast

For the past two years, scientists from Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have surveyed the Pacific Northwest near-shore region mapping sites where underwater bubble streams signify methane gas is being released from the seafloor…. Continue Reading →

Cell-like nanorobots clear bacteria and toxins from blood

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed tiny ultrasound-powered robots that can swim through blood, removing harmful bacteria along with the toxins they produce. These proof-of-concept nanorobots could one day offer a safe and efficient way to… Continue Reading →

Nanoplastics accumulate in marine organisms and may pose harm to aquatic food chains

Plastic nanoparticles — these are tiny pieces of plastic less than 1 micrometre in size — could potentially contaminate food chains, and ultimately affect human health, according to a recent study by scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS)…. Continue Reading →

Number of wild mountain gorillas exceeds 1,000

"This represents one of the rare success stories in conservation. The population of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes has more than doubled in the past three decades, despite intensive threats of poaching, habitat degradation, and civil conflict," stated Martha… Continue Reading →

Marion Nestle Looks Back at 30 years of Agitating for Better Food

On paper, Marion Nestle has recently retired. But there’s no sign that the New York University (NYU) nutrition professor—and one of the leading voices on nutrition and the food industry—plans to slow down. In April, NYU hosted an event series… Continue Reading →

Goodbye ‘stress granules’: Study expands possibilities for treating neurological diseases

Cell biologists have deepened understanding of proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases. The findings could open up new treatment approaches for disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), among others. Researchers in Japan have gained valuable insights… Continue Reading →

Scientists boost crop production by 47 percent by speeding up photorespiration

Plants such as soybeans and wheat waste between 20 and 50 percent of their energy recycling toxic chemicals created when the enzyme Rubisco — the most prevalent enzyme in the world — grabs oxygen molecules instead of carbon dioxide molecules…. Continue Reading →

Social ties could preserve memory, slow brain aging

A strong social network could be the key to preserving memory. New research from The Ohio State University found that mice housed in groups had better memories and healthier brains than animals that lived in pairs. The discovery bolsters a… Continue Reading →

Drugs that suppress immune system may protect against Parkinson’s

People who take drugs that suppress the immune system are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings, published May 31 in Annals of Clinical and Translational… Continue Reading →

Less is more when it comes to predicting molecules’ conductivity

The smaller and smarter that phones and devices become, the greater the need to build smaller circuits. Forward-thinking scientists in the 1970s suggested that circuits could be built using molecules instead of wires, and over the past decades that technology… Continue Reading →

Climate change increasing risks of lightning-ignited fires

Fires ignited by lightning have and will likely continue to increase across the Mediterranean and temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere under a warmer climate, according to a new study co-led by a Portland State University researcher. The study, published… Continue Reading →

Study estimates increased death rate in Puerto Rico in months after Hurricane Maria

The mortality rate in Puerto Rico rose by 62% [95% confidence interval (CI) 11% to 114%] after Hurricane Maria, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study was conducted in… Continue Reading →

Yes, You Do Sweat Out Toxins

When it comes to your health, sometimes the simplest strategies can have a tremendous impact. Sweating in a sauna is one simple change with many health benefits, including the ability to reduce cardiovascular risk and improve mitochondrial function. It also… Continue Reading →

Many Sunscreens Are Toxic and Only Half as Effective as Claimed

While regular, consistent, sensible sun exposure is vital for optimal health and well-being — having many benefits beyond vitamin D production — overexposure can result in skin damage that could raise your risk of skin cancer. This means if you're… Continue Reading →

Corporations Win Again as 'Toxic Mega Merger' Wins Approval From Trump DOJ

The American people, said Friends of the Earth, "deserve better than corporate monopolies that drive up food prices and put family farmers out of business." Green groups and opponents of the powerful corporate interests that dominate the global food system… Continue Reading →

Will Congress Use the Farm Bill to Undermine Organics?

It remains to be seen if Congress will get its act together to pass a Farm Bill before year’s end. But here’s what we do know. If Congress succeeds in passing a 2018 Farm Bill, it will almost certainly be… Continue Reading →

Justice Department Approves Bayer-Monsanto Merger in Landmark Settlement

Federal antitrust regulators have granted agribusiness giants Bayer and Monsanto permission to merge after the two companies agreed to spin off $9 billion worth of assets, the largest such sale of corporate assets ever required by the Justice Department. Under… Continue Reading →

Insufficient vitamin D linked to miscarriage among women with prior pregnancy loss

Among women planning to conceive after a pregnancy loss, those who had sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to become pregnant and have a live birth, compared to women with insufficient levels of the vitamin, according to an… Continue Reading →

Ban e-cig flavors and misleading advertisements to protect youth, says global respiratory group

In a statement published in the European Respiratory Journal, a coalition of respiratory doctors and scientists from six continents have warned of the dangers posed to children and adolescents by electronic cigarettes. They say there is mounting evidence that e-cigarettes… Continue Reading →

Bytes: Tech That Feeds Us

KEENAN CEO Robert Walker explored the future of technology and data as it relates to agriculture and the food chain at ONE 18: The Alltech Ideas Conference. “Ag tech is shrinking the food chain,” said Walker. “It’s making communication up… Continue Reading →

New research predicts likelihood that one will believe conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories about government officials and the institutions they represent are widespread and rooted deep in U.S. history according to the co-author of two new social psychology studies which predict the likelihood that one will believe conspiracy beliefs or theories…. Continue Reading →

Surgical technique improves sensation, control of prosthetic limb

Humans can accurately sense the position, speed and torque of their limbs, even with their eyes shut. This sense, known as proprioception, allows humans to precisely control their body movements. Despite significant improvements to prosthetic devices in recent years, researchers… Continue Reading →

Cellular recycling process is key to longer, healthier life

Building on two decades of research, investigators at UT Southwestern have determined that "cellular housekeeping" can extend the lifespan and healthspan of mammals. A study jointly led by Drs. Salwa Sebti and Álvaro Fernández, postdoctoral researchers in the Center for… Continue Reading →

In ancient boulders, new clues about the story of human migration to the Americas

When and how did the first people come to the Americas? The conventional story says that the earliest settlers came via Siberia, crossing the now-defunct Bering land bridge on foot and trekking through Canada when an ice-free corridor opened up… Continue Reading →

Lone water molecules turn out to be directors of supramolecular chemistry

Scientists in supramolecular chemistry often run into surprising outcomes. A broken seal of a lab cuvette led an American researcher at the Eindhoven University of Technology to the origin of these inexplicable results: the weather. Or the humidity, to be… Continue Reading →

Societies may help promote female representation within academic science

Academic societies may be able to increase gender equity through supporting female leadership and making an outward commitment of equality, according to a study published May 30, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Dominique Potvin from University of… Continue Reading →

New tool improves fishing efficiency and sustainability

Worldwide, fishing fleets discard as many as two of every five sea creatures they catch. Now, a new tool can help fishers locate the most productive fishing spots while avoiding unwanted or protected species such as sea turtles and dolphins…. Continue Reading →

Cometh the cyborg: Improved integration of living muscles into robots

The new field of biohybrid robotics involves the use of living tissue within robots, rather than just metal and plastic. Muscle is one potential key component of such robots, providing the driving force for movement and function. However, in efforts… Continue Reading →

Even a shark’s electrical ‘sixth sense’ may be tuned to attack

Imagine having superhuman hearing. You're at a noisy, cocktail party and yet your ears can detect normally inaudible sounds made by your friends' muscles as they lean in to dish the latest gossip. But, unlike normal hearing, each of these… Continue Reading →

Two-pronged antibodies draw immune killers directly to cancer cells

Our immune system's arsenal of defenses usually protects us from cancer. But sometimes, cancer cells overwhelm or evade this elaborate defense system. In the lab of biochemist and immunologist Christoph Rader, PhD, associate professor at The Scripps Research Institute in… Continue Reading →

Scientists show how tularemia bacteria trick cells to cause disease

Francisella tularensis is the bacterium that causes tularemia, a life-threatening disease spread to humans via contact with an infected animal or through mosquito, tick or deer fly bites. As few as 10 viable bacteria can cause the disease, which has… Continue Reading →

Iron-sulfur cluster research offers new avenues of investigating disease

Many important proteins in the human body need iron-sulfur clusters, tiny structures made of iron and sulfur atoms, in order to function correctly. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of… Continue Reading →

Disease-causing stomach bug attacks energy generation in host cells

Researchers report in a new study that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori — a major contributor to gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer — resists the body's immune defenses by shutting down energy production within the cells of the stomach lining that… Continue Reading →

World’s oldest lizard fossil discovered

An international team of paleontologists, which includes the University of Bristol, have identified the world's oldest lizard, providing key insight into the evolution of modern lizards and snakes. The 240-million-year-old fossil, Megachirella wachtleri, is the most ancient ancestor of all… Continue Reading →

$9 Million in Funding Available for Risk Management Training

Photo credit: USDA This week, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced the availability of nearly $9 million to support risk management farmer education grants. Funded projects will be awarded through two distinct but related RMA grant programs: the Risk Management… Continue Reading →

No more sweet tooth? Scientists switch off pleasure from food in brains of mice

New research in mice has revealed that the brain's underlying desire for sweet, and its distaste for bitter, can be erased by manipulating neurons in the amygdala, the emotion center of the brain. The study showed that removing an animal's… Continue Reading →

How to build a brain: Discovery answers evolutionary mystery

Researchers at King's College London have discovered a fundamental process by which brains are built, which may have profound implications for understanding neurodevelopmental conditions like autism and epilepsy. The study, published in Nature and funded by the Wellcome Trust, also… Continue Reading →

‘Hidden’ driver discovered that helps prime the anti-tumor immune response

Like exposing a crime boss whose authority has gone undetected, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified a hidden driver that influences production of the T cells that fight cancer and infections. The study appears today as an advance… Continue Reading →

Life recovered rapidly at impact site of dino-killing asteroid

About 66 million years ago, an asteroid smashed into Earth, triggering a mass extinction that ended the reign of the dinosaurs and snuffed out 75 percent of life. Although the asteroid killed off species, new research led by The University… Continue Reading →

CLL patient goes into remission thanks to single CAR T cell

The doctors who have spent years studying the case call it "a series of fortunate events." What began as a remarkable response to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy is now providing evidence about the human genome and immune… Continue Reading →

Supercomputers provide new window into the life and death of a neutron

Experiments that measure the lifetime of neutrons reveal a perplexing and unresolved discrepancy. While this lifetime has been measured to a precision within 1 percent using different techniques, apparent conflicts in the measurements offer the exciting possibility of learning about… Continue Reading →

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