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Month

November 2018

Ethanol Report from 2018 NAFB Convention

The new president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) met with farm broadcasters from around the country recently at the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk. While Geoff Cooper has been with RFA since 2008, it… Continue Reading →

Zimfo Bytes 11/21

The National Corn Growers Association welcomes back Robyn Allscheid, who rejoins the organization as the director of Research and Productivity in the St. Louis, Mo. office. Allscheid previously served at NCGA as manager of research and business development from 2008… Continue Reading →

Native American Farmers are Growing a Sustainable Market

Thirty miles south of Phoenix, green fields of alfalfa and pima cotton stretch toward a triple-digit sun. Hundreds of yellow butterflies dance above the purple flowers that dapple the tops of the young alfalfa stalks—to expert eyes, the flowers signal… Continue Reading →

Women benefit from mammography screening beyond age 75

Women age 75 years and older should continue to get screening mammograms because of the comparatively high incidence of breast cancer found in this age group, according to a new study being presented next week at the annual meeting of… Continue Reading →

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

Water which has been contaminated with mercury and other toxic heavy metals is a major cause of environmental damage and health problems worldwide. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, present a totally new way to clean contaminated water,… Continue Reading →

Concerned About Climate Change? Nature Wants to Help

Some see concern about nature as a distraction from the important work of addressing climate change when, in fact, it’s central In the midst of months of heat and wildfires and a fall full of hurricanes—phrases like “unprecedented” and “record-breaking”… Continue Reading →

A Sharing Economy for Plants: Seed Libraries Are Sprouting Up

Food activists, garden enthusiasts and community leaders are trying to make it easier to share seeds through libraries. Surely there’s nothing controversial about that, right? Actually, there is. Thanksgiving may be uniquely American, but its core spirit was exported from… Continue Reading →

Choline Is Crucial for Liver Health

Choline, found in ample amounts in egg yolks, was first discovered in 1862.1 Since then, we've learned that this is a truly essential nutrient for a healthy brain, nervous system and cardiovascular function. It's particularly crucial during fetal development,2 so… Continue Reading →

A $12 Billion Program to Help Farmers Stung by Trump's Trade War Has Aided Few

America’s farmers have been shut out of foreign markets, hit with retaliatory tariffs and lost lucrative contracts in the face of President Trump’s trade war. But a $12 billion bailout program Mr. Trump created to “make it up” to farmers… Continue Reading →

Thanksgiving Promotes Whitewashed History, so I Organized Truthsgiving Instead

There are many settler colonial mythologies about Native Americans. These widely held but false beliefs are rooted in deeply entrenched discriminatory attitudes and behaviors that are perpetuated by institutionalized racism. One of the most celebrated mythologies is the holiday of… Continue Reading →

Transparency International Germany Dances with the Chemical Industry

Earlier this year, Transparency International Germany and the German chemical industry association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie or VCI) entered into a joint project they claimed was to push for legislation that would bring transparency to lobbying in Germany. “Clear and… Continue Reading →

Antioxidants may prevent cognitive impairment in diabetes

Cognitive difficulties in patients with diabetes, caused by repeated episodes of low blood sugar, could be reduced with antioxidants, according to a new study presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Glasgow. The study findings suggest that stimulating… Continue Reading →

Traffic noise stresses out frogs, but some have adapted

Frogs from noisy ponds near highways have altered stress and immune profiles compared to frogs from more quiet ponds — changes that reduce the negative effects of traffic noise on the amphibians. According to a new study, when frogs from… Continue Reading →

Parental ‘feeding styles’ reflect children’s genes

New research from King's College London and UCL challenges the idea that a child's weight largely reflects the way their parents feed them. Instead, parents appear to adopt feeding styles in response to their children's natural body weight, which is… Continue Reading →

Exoplanet stepping stones

Astronomers have gleaned some of the best data yet on the composition of a planet known as HR 8799c — a young giant gas planet about 7 times the mass of Jupiter that orbits its star every 200 years. The… Continue Reading →

Fish can detox too — but not so well, when it comes to mercury

It takes six months to get really good at accurately gauging the age of yelloweye rockfish. Because they can live for up to 120 years, this species is of particular interest to Benjamin Barst and scientists like him who study… Continue Reading →

Fish and veggies: Water flow for more efficient aquaponic systems

An aquaponic system is an example of an integrated farming method in which the waste byproduct from one production process, like raising fish and other seafood, serves as a nutrient for another part of the system — like growing plants,… Continue Reading →

A Trojan horse delivery method for miRNA-enriched extracellular vesicles

A method for large-scale production of extracellular vesicles enriched with specific microRNAs (miRNAs) has been developed in the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) labs, offering a manufacturing standardization process which may have therapeutic applications and clinical impact. Extracellular… Continue Reading →

To predict the future, the brain uses two clocks

That moment when you step on the gas pedal a split second before the light changes, or when you tap your toes even before the first piano note of Camila Cabello's "Havana" is struck. That's anticipatory timing. One type relies… Continue Reading →

Machine learning can help healthcare workers predict whether patients may require emergency hospital admission, new study finds

Machine learning — a field of artificial intelligence that uses statistical techniques to enable computer systems to 'learn' from data — can be used to analyse electronic health records and predict the risk of emergency hospital admissions, a new study… Continue Reading →

Among birds-of-paradise, good looks are not enough to win a mate

Male birds-of-paradise are justly world famous for their wildly extravagant feather ornaments, complex calls, and shape-shifting dance moves — all evolved to attract a mate. New research published in the open-access journal PLOS Biology suggests for the first time that… Continue Reading →

Australian mammals at greatest risk from cats and foxes

New research led by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub has revealed which Australian mammals are most vulnerable to cats and foxes, and many much-loved potoroos, bandicoots and bettongs, as well as native rodents, are at the top of the list…. Continue Reading →

Hungry ticks work harder to find you

Ticks are hardy little brutes that can go as long as a year without a meal. Now scientists at the University of Cincinnati say the hungrier ticks are, the harder they try to find you or other hosts. The findings… Continue Reading →

New NCGA CEO Talks Corn Issues at #NAFB18

Jon Doggett participated in his first NAFB Trade Talk this year as CEO of the National Corn Growers Association. Doggett is no stranger to farm broadcasters, having served as head of NCGA’s policy efforts in Washington D.C. since 2002 and… Continue Reading →

Driving Ethanol Series on 10 Years of Growth Energy

Growth Energy was created in November 2008 and so is celebrating ten years of advocating for ethanol this month. This edition of the Driving Ethanol podcast is the first in a series of three focusing on a decade of accomplishments… Continue Reading →

Electrical cable triggers lightweight, fire-resistant cladding discovery

A University of Melbourne researcher has led the successful development of an organic, non-combustible and lightweight cladding core — a product that was previously thought to be impossible to create. Typically, lightweight cladding is made from organic, carbon-based, composite materials… Continue Reading →

Reducing the impact forces of water entry

When professional divers jump from a springboard, their hands are perpendicular to the water, with wrists pointed upward, as they continue toward their plunge at 30 mph. As they complete what's known as a rip dive, their hands remove water… Continue Reading →

Aquatic animals that jump out of water inspire leaping robots

Ever watch aquatic animals jump out of the water and wonder how they manage to do it in such a streamlined and graceful way? A group of researchers who specialize in water entry and exit in nature had the same… Continue Reading →

The Trojan horse of Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus causes different types of infections in humans, some of which are lethal. One of its most powerful weapons is α-toxin, which destroys host cells by forming pores in their membranes. Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland,… Continue Reading →

A Mexican cavefish with a scarred heart

Scientists are studying a guppy-sized, blind, translucent fish that lives in the cave systems of northern Mexico to figure out why some animals can regenerate their hearts, while others just scar. Their research appears November 20 in the journal Cell… Continue Reading →

Scientists develop ‘contact lens’ patch to treat eye diseases

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) scientists have developed a 'contact lens' patch with microneedles that could provide a painless and efficient alternative to current methods of treating eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Current localised treatment methods… Continue Reading →

Frogs breed young to beat virus

Frogs from groups exposed to a deadly virus are breeding at younger ages, new research suggests. Scientists studying European common frogs in the UK compared groups ("populations") exposed to ranavirus and those free from the disease. While the youngest breeding… Continue Reading →

Responses of waterbirds to climate change is linked to their preferred wintering habitats

A new scientific article shows that 25 European waterbird species can change their wintering areas depending on winter weather. Warm winters allow them to shift their wintering areas northeastwards, whereas cold spells push birds southwestwards. Species wintering in deep waters… Continue Reading →

When storing memories, brain prioritizes those experiences that are most rewarding

The brain's ability to preserve memories lies at the heart of our basic human experience. But how does the brain's mechanism for memory make sure we remember the most significant events and not clog our minds with superfluous details? According… Continue Reading →

How your moving brain sees the world

What we see is not only determined by what is really there, but also depends on whether we are paying attention, whether we are moving, excited or interested. In a new study published in Nature Communications, scientists from NERF (Neuro-Electronics… Continue Reading →

Hyena population recovered slowly from a disease epidemic

Infectious diseases can substantially reduce the size of wildlife populations, thereby affecting both the dynamics of ecosystems and biodiversity. Predicting the long-term consequences of epidemics is thus essential for conservation. Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research… Continue Reading →

Tropical fish adapt to cold temperatures in coordination with their microbiome

Scientists have discovered that tropical fish can control their gut microbes to better survive extremes of temperature, a study in eLife reveals. The results add further weight to the concept of a 'hologenome' — where a living organism is not… Continue Reading →

The taming of the dog, cow, horse, pig and rabbit

Research at the Earlham Institute into one of the 'genetic orchestra conductors', microRNAs, sheds light on our selectively guided evolution of domestic pets and farmyard animals such as dogs and cows. What does a cow, a horse, a pig, a… Continue Reading →

Model of quantum artificial life on quantum computer

A scenario of artificial intelligence could see the emergence of circumstances in which models of simple organisms could be capable of experiencing the various phases of life in a controlled virtual environment. This is what has been designed by the… Continue Reading →

Smart car technologies save drivers $6.2 billion on fuel costs each year

On one of the busiest traveling holidays of the year, drivers may be focusing on getting to grandma's house for Thanksgiving dinner, not on what smart car technologies are saving them in fuel costs. But in the first study to… Continue Reading →

Could yesterday’s Earth contain clues for making tomorrow’s medicines?

Several billion years ago, as the recently formed planet Earth cooled down from a long and brutal period of heavy meteor bombardment, pools of primordial muck began to swirl with the chemical precursors to life. Today, scientists are devising chemical… Continue Reading →

Mmore effective hydrogel for healing wounds

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have created an easy-to-make, low-cost injectable hydrogel that could help wounds heal faster, especially for patients with compromised health issues. Wound healing can be complex and challenging, especially when a patient has other… Continue Reading →

When it comes to love: Personality matters

Men with a greater range of personality traits, especially those deemed extraverted, emotionally stable, agreeable or conscientious, have sex more often and produce more children, according to a new QUT study. QUT behavioural economists Dr Stephen Whyte, Dr Ho Fai… Continue Reading →

Being fair: The benefits of early childhood education

Children from low-income families who got intensive education early in life treat others with high levels of fairness in midlife, more than 40 years later, even when being fair comes at a high personal cost, according to a new study… Continue Reading →

Mars moon got its grooves from rolling stones

A new study bolsters the idea that strange grooves crisscrossing the surface of the Martian moon Phobos were made by rolling boulders blasted free from an ancient asteroid impact. The research, published in Planetary and Space Science, uses computer models… Continue Reading →

Is Antarctica becoming more like Greenland?

Antarctica is high and dry and mostly bitterly cold, and it's easy to think of its ice and snow as locked away in a freezer, protected from melt except around its low-lying coasts and floating ice shelves. But that view… Continue Reading →

The shape of things to come: Flexible, foldable supercapacitors for energy storage

A team of researchers from the Plasma Physics Research Centre, Science and Research Branch of Islamic Azad University in Tehran, Iran, have discovered a way of making paper supercapacitors for electricity storage, according to a new study published in the… Continue Reading →

Eyes of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients show evidence of prions

By the time symptoms of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) are typically discovered, death is looming and inevitable. But, in a new study, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine with colleagues at the National Institutes of Health… Continue Reading →

How to melt gold at room temperature

When the tension rises, unexpected things can happen — not least when it comes to gold atoms. Researchers from, among others, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have now managed, for the first time, to make the surface of a gold… Continue Reading →

Dogs know when they don’t know

Researchers at the DogStudies lab at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History have shown that dogs possess some "metacognitive" abilities — specifically, they are aware of when they do not have enough information to solve a… Continue Reading →

Precision Ag Bytes 11/20

Over 60 scholars representing 30 leading U.S. universities have shown their solidarity for the proposed Agriculture Data Act of the next Farm Bill in a letter sent to Senate and House Agriculture Committee leaders. The Ag Data Act would establish… Continue Reading →

For a New Generation of Farmers, Accessing Land is the First Step Toward Tackling Consolidation

The 22 acres comprising Jupiter Ridge Farm just outside of Garber, Iowa, (population 86) are unique in a state with 99 percent of its soil dedicated to commodity crops. Those acres grow a range of 49 vegetables, many of which… Continue Reading →

Language influences how consumers trust a brand

Consumers make assumptions based on the language used by a brand or advertiser, and politeness does matter, say researchers at the University of Oregon and University of Washington. In a series of three studies, Aparna Sundar, a professor of marketing… Continue Reading →

Explaining the plummeting cost of solar power

The dramatic drop in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, which has fallen by 99 percent over the last four decades, is often touted as a major success story for renewable energy technology. But one question has never been… Continue Reading →

Volcanoes and glaciers combine as powerful methane producers

Large amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane are being released from an Icelandic glacier, scientists have discovered. A study of Sólheimajökull glacier, which flows from the active, ice-covered volcano Katla, shows that up to 41 tonnes of methane is… Continue Reading →

Healthcare providers — not hackers — leak more of your data

Your personal identity may fall at the mercy of sophisticated hackers on many websites, but when it comes to health data breaches, hospitals, doctors offices and even insurance companies are oftentimes the culprits. New research from Michigan State University and… Continue Reading →

How female hyaenas came to dominate males

In most animal societies, members of one sex dominate those of the other. Is this, as widely believed, an inevitable consequence of a disparity in strength and ferocity between males and females? Not necessarily. A new study on wild spotted… Continue Reading →

4,000-year-old termite mounds found in Brazil are visible from space

Researchers reporting in Current Biology on November 19 have found that a vast array of regularly spaced, still-inhabited termite mounds in northeastern Brazil — covering an area the size of Great Britain — are up to about 4,000 years old…. Continue Reading →

Scientists discover new ‘pinwheel’ star system

An international team of scientists has discovered a new, massive star system — one that also challenges existing theories of how large stars eventually die. "This system is likely the first of its kind ever discovered in our own galaxy,"… Continue Reading →

Major natural carbon sink may soon become carbon source

Until humans can find a way to geoengineer ourselves out of the climate disaster we've created, we must rely on natural carbon sinks, such as oceans and forests, to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. These ecosystems are deteriorating… Continue Reading →

Ecstacy makes people cooperative, but not gullible

New research from King's College London has found that MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy, causes people to cooperate better — but only with trustworthy people. In the first study to look in detail at how MDMA impacts cooperative behaviour… Continue Reading →

504th International Conference on Food and Agricultural Engineering

477th International Conference on Agricultural and Biological Science

503rd International Conference on Food and Agricultural Engineering

International Conference on Forestry Food and Sustainable Agriculture (San Francisco)

476th International Conference on Agricultural and Biological Science

NAFB18 Participants Learn About Alternative Crops

A discussion about alternative crops was on the agenda at the 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City. Participants included Dr. Rob Myers from the University of Missouri Plant Science Department and Michael Bowman from the National… Continue Reading →

The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar – Your Brain's Silent Killers

Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist and fellow of the American College of Nutrition, recently released the fully revised edition of his incredibly successful book, "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar — Your Brain's Silent Killers." Having… Continue Reading →

California Wildfires: Where Is the Climate Change Outrage?

Unprecedented droughts, fires and floods are not the “new normal”: Climate change gets nonlinearly worse from here on out. Like an avalanche, the physics of warming determines that a little more warming doesn’t create a little more extremeness, but a… Continue Reading →

Digital offense: Anonymity dulls our moral outrage

From online forums to community groups, research and experience shows people are more willing to insult and use menacing language online than in person, especially when there's the protection of anonymity behind a computer. New research appearing in Social Psychological… Continue Reading →

Move over Rover: There’s a new sniffing powerhouse in the neighborhood

Some animals have a superpower in their sense of smell. They explore, interpret and understand their world with such sensitivity that people have enlisted canines to help solve crime and detect cancer on the breath. Scientists at the Georgia Institute… Continue Reading →

The ‘Swiss Army knife of prehistoric tools’ found in Asia, suggests homegrown technology

New analysis of artifacts found at a South China archaeological site shows that sophisticated tool technology emerged in East Asia earlier than previously thought. A study by an international team of researchers, including from the University of Washington, determines that… Continue Reading →

Using Skype to beat the blues

Imagine your family has moved across the state or across country. You're retired, and your spouse has passed away. Lacking the social connections previous generations once found in church or fraternal organizations, it doesn't take much time to begin feeling… Continue Reading →

Jumping genes shed light on how advanced life may have emerged

A previously unappreciated interaction in the genome turns out to have possibly been one of the driving forces in the emergence of advanced life, billions of years ago.? This discovery began with a curiosity for retrotransposons, known as "jumping genes,"… Continue Reading →

Powerful new map depicts environmental degradation across Earth

A powerful new map by the University of Cincinnati illustrates one motivating force behind migrant caravans leaving Guatemala and Honduras to reach the United States. UC geography professor Tomasz Stepinski created the new world map showing dramatic changes in land… Continue Reading →

Kindergarten difficulties may predict academic achievement across primary grades

Identifying factors that predict academic difficulties during elementary school should help inform efforts to help children who may be at risk. New Penn State research suggests that children's executive functions may be a particularly important risk factor for such difficulties…. Continue Reading →

As climate and land-use change accelerate, so must efforts to preserve California’s plants

As the IPCC warns that we have only 12 years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half or risk significantly greater impacts from climate change, University of California, Berkeley, scientists are charting the best course to save California's native… Continue Reading →

‘True polar wander’ may have caused ice age

Earth's latest ice age may have been caused by changes deep inside the planet. Based on evidence from the Pacific Ocean, including the position of the Hawaiian Islands, Rice University geophysicists have determined Earth shifted relative to its spin axis… Continue Reading →

Freeze-frame microscopy captures molecule’s ‘lock-and-load’ on DNA

Pushing the limits of cryo-electron microscopy, University of California, Berkeley, scientists have captured freeze-frames of the changing shape of a huge molecule, one of the body's key molecular machines, as it locks onto DNA and loads the machinery for reading… Continue Reading →

Bending light around tight corners without backscattering losses

Engineers at Duke University have demonstrated a device that can direct photons of light around sharp corners with virtually no losses due to backscattering, a key property that will be needed if electronics are ever to be replaced with light-based… Continue Reading →

Human images from world’s first total-body scanner unveiled

EXPLORER, the world's first medical imaging scanner that can capture a 3-D picture of the whole human body at once, has produced its first scans. The brainchild of UC Davis scientists Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi, EXPLORER is a combined… Continue Reading →

Astronomers discover giant relic of disrupted ‘tadpole’ galaxy

A team of astronomers from Israel, the United States and Russia has identified a disrupted galaxy resembling a giant tadpole, complete with an elliptical head and a long, straight tail, about 300 million light years away from Earth. The galaxy… Continue Reading →

New non-mechanical laser steering technology

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have recently demonstrated a new nonmechanical chip-based beam steering technology that offers an alternative to costly, cumbersome and often unreliable and inefficient mechanical gimbal-style laser scanners. The chip, known as a steerable electro-evanescent… Continue Reading →

Widely used reference for the human genome is missing 300 million bits of DNA

For the past 17 years, most scientists around the globe have been using the nucleic acid sequence, or genome, an assembly of DNA information, from primarily a single individual as a kind of "baseline" reference and human species representation for… Continue Reading →

New gear in life’s clock: Vitamin D

New research from Portland State University finds vitamin D, or a lack thereof can trigger or suspend embryonic development in a species of fish. The study also provides evidence suggesting the vitamin is critical to the early development of vertebrates… Continue Reading →

Odd bodies, rapid spins keep cosmic rings close

Forget those shepherding moons. Gravity and the odd shapes of asteroid Chariklo and dwarf planet Haumea — small objects deep in our solar system — can be credited for forming and maintaining their own rings, according new research in Nature… Continue Reading →

Light scalpel: A major step toward non-viral ocular gene therapy using laser and nanotechnology

In January 2009, the life of engineer Michel Meunier, a professor at Polytechnique Montréal, changed dramatically. Like others, he had observed that the extremely short pulse of a femtosecond laser (0.000000000000001 second) could make nanometre-sized holes appear in silicon when… Continue Reading →

Prototype of robot dog nose

Every day, thousands of trained K9 dogs sniff out narcotics, explosives and missing people across the United States. These dogs are invaluable for security, but they're also very expensive and they can get tired. Duke researchers have taken the first… Continue Reading →

Response to daily stressors could affect brain health in older adults

Taking typical daily annoyances such as a long wait at the doctor's office or a traffic jam on the freeway in stride may help preserve brain health in older adults, while emotional reactions could contribute to declines in cognition, a… Continue Reading →

Chemistry freed from space and time

Shopping on the internet, storing photos in the cloud, turning up a thermostat with an app — all are commonplace. Now, the internet of things and the cloud are entering the world of chemical research and production, as reported in… Continue Reading →

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