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Agriculture
Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
American Journal of Botany
The human food connection: A new study reveals more about our relationship to food
Tucked away in Hartford, Conn., a Puerto Rican community is creating a tropical home away from home through cuisine that is so authentic it has caught the attention of scientists. David W. Taylor (University of Portland) and Gregory J. Anderson (University of Connecticut) took a close look at the fresh crops in the Puerto Rican markets of Hartford and uncovered evidence that gives new meaning to a phrase that food lovers have been using for years: home is in the kitchen.

Contact: Richard Hund
rhund@botany.org
314-577-9557
American Journal of Botany

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
The Plant Cell
New technique will accelerate genetic characterization of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis provides fixed carbon and energy for nearly all life on Earth, yet many aspects of this fascinating process remain mysterious. We do not know the full list of the parts of the molecular machines that perform photosynthesis in any organism. A team developed a highly sophisticated tool that will transform the work of plant geneticists on this subject.

Contact: Martin Jonikas
mjonikas@carnegiescience.edu
650-325-1521 x216
Carnegie Institution

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
eLife
Drought hormones measured
Floods and droughts are increasingly in the news, and climate experts say their frequency will only go up in the future. As such, it is crucial for scientists to learn more about how these extreme events affect plants in order to prepare for and combat the risks to food security that could result. New work from Carnegie could help bring about breakthrough findings on that front.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Wolf Frommer
wfrommer@carnegiescience.edu
650-325-1521 x208
Carnegie Institution

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Changes in processing, handling could reduce commercial fishing injuries
Handling frozen fish caused nearly half of all injuries aboard commercial freezer-trawlers and about a quarter of the injuries on freezer-longliner vessels operating off the coast of Alaska. Many injuries could be prevented with the right interventions.

Contact: Devin Lucas
dlucas@cdc.gov
907-271-2386
Oregon State University

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
eLife
Biologists develop nanosensors to visualize movements and distribution of plant hormone
Biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in visualizing the movement within plants of a key hormone responsible for growth and resistance to drought. The achievement will allow researchers to conduct further studies to determine how the hormone helps plants respond to drought and other environmental stresses driven by the continuing increase in the atmosphere's carbon dioxide, or CO2, concentration.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy

Contact: Kim McDonald
kmcdonald@ucsd.edu
858-534-7572
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
Journal of Environmental Quality
Predicting bioavailable cadmium levels in soils
A New Zealand study shows soil pH and iron levels predict cadmium bioavailability, offers solutions to farmers and ranchers.

Contact: Susan Fisk
sfisk@sciencesocieties.org
608-273-8091
American Society of Agronomy

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
Journal of Climate
Study: Deforestation could intensify climate change in Congo Basin by half
By 2050, deforestation could cause temperatures in the Congo Basin to increase by 0.7 C. The increase would intensify warming caused by greenhouse gases by half, according to a study by researchers at the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Contact: Wim Thiery
wim.thiery@ees.kuleuven.be
32-485-708-018
KU Leuven

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
Forests, Trees and Livelihoods
Rising demand for herbal medicine can increase cultivation of medicinal trees
Formalizing trade in herbal medicinal products has the potential to increase the demand for on-farm grown raw material and raise the level of cultivation of medicinal tree species in smallholder farms. A study carried out by the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya shows that trade in herbal medicinal products is rising in the urban areas and formalization in terms of better hygienic packaging and labeling of the products is likely to increase cultivation of these tree species.
World Agroforestry Centre

Contact: Daniel Kapsoot
D.Kapsoot@cgiar.org
254-725-733-895
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
Society for General Microbiology Annual Conference 2014
New research shows how pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 binds to fresh vegetables
Between 20-30 percent of food-poisoning outbreaks linked to disease-causing strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli are caused by people eating contaminated vegetables. Research presented today at the Society for General Microbiology's Annual Meeting in Liverpool shows that the disease-causing E. coli O157:H7 interacts directly with plant cells allowing it to anchor to the surface of a plant, where it can multiply.

Contact: Benjamin Thompson
b.thompson@sgm.ac.uk
44-075-846-89611
Society for General Microbiology

Public Release: 15-Apr-2014
Food and Nutrition Sciences
Eating rice boosts diet quality, reduces body weight and improves markers for health
New research, funded by the US Department of Agriculture and the USA Rice Federation, shows that consumers can improve their diets simply by enjoying white or brown rice as part of their daily meals.
Rice Foundation

Contact: Danielle Henbest
dhenbest@pollock-pr.com
212-941-1414
Pollock Communications

Public Release: 14-Apr-2014
Folia Parasitologica
Bizarre parasite may provide cuttlefish clues
University of Adelaide research into parasites of cuttlefish, squid and octopus has uncovered details of the parasites' astonishing life cycles, and shown how they may help in investigating populations of their hosts.

Contact: Dr. Sarah Catalano
61-437-574-880
University of Adelaide

Public Release: 14-Apr-2014
Fisheries
Making dams safer for fish around the world
The pressure changes that many fish experience when they travel through the turbulent waters near a dam can seriously injure or kill the fish. Scientists from around the world, including areas like Southeast Asia and Brazil where huge dams are planned or under construction, are working together to protect fish from the phenomenon, known as barotrauma.
US Army Corps of Engineers, US Department of Energy

Contact: Tom Rickey
tom.rickey@pnnl.gov
509-375-3732
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Public Release: 14-Apr-2014
Zootaxa
Researchers describe 4 new species of 'killer sponges' from the deep sea
Killer sponges sound like creatures from a B-grade horror movie. In fact, they thrive in the lightless depths of the deep sea. Scientists first discovered that some sponges are carnivorous about 20 years ago. Since then only seven carnivorous species have been found in all of the northeastern Pacific. A new paper authored by MBARI marine biologist Lonny Lundsten and two Canadian researchers describes four new species of carnivorous sponges living on the deep seafloor, from the Pacific Northwest to Baja California.
David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Contact: Kim Fulton-Bennett
kfb@mbari.org
831-775-1835
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Public Release: 14-Apr-2014
Molecular Breeding
Genetically modified tobacco plants as an alternative for producing bioethanol
Researchers at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre and the IdAB-Institute of Agrobiotechnology have conducted a study into genetically modified tobacco plants from which it is possible to produce between 20 and 40 percent more ethanol; this would increase their viability as a raw material for producing biofuels.

Contact: Oihane Lakar Iraizoz
o.lakar@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa

Public Release: 14-Apr-2014
Evolutionary Applications
Beneficial organisms react differently to parasite drug
The drug ivermectin is used around the world to combat parasites in humans and animals. The active ingredient is also known to harm dung-degrading beneficial organisms. An international research team headed up by evolutionary biologists at the University of Zurich have now demonstrated that certain dung organisms react more sensitively to ivermectin than previously assumed. Hence there is a need for more sophisticated field tests.

Contact: Dr. Wolf U. Blanckenhorn
wolf.blanckenhorn@ieu.uzh.ch
41-446-354-755
University of Zurich

Public Release: 14-Apr-2014
Nature Climate Change
Nutrient-rich forests absorb more carbon
The ability of forests to sequester carbon from the atmosphere depends on nutrients available in the forest soils, shows new research from an international team of researchers including the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
European Research Council

Contact: Katherine Leitzell
leitzell@iiasa.ac.at
43-223-680-7316
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Public Release: 14-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Pioneering findings on the dual role of carbon dioxide in photosynthesis
Scientists at Umea University in Sweden have found that carbon dioxide, in its ionic form bicarbonate, has a regulating function in the splitting of water in photosynthesis. This means that carbon dioxide has an additional role to being reduced to sugar. The pioneering work is published in the latest issue of the scientific journal PNAS.

Contact: Johannes Messinger
johannes.messinger@umu.se
46-090-786-5933
Umea University

Public Release: 14-Apr-2014
Geophysical Research Letters
Puget Sound's rich waters supplied by deep, turbulent canyon
UW oceanographers made the first detailed measurements of fast-flowing water and intense mixing in a submarine canyon just off the Washington coast.
National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research

Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 14-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Fire and drought may push Amazonian forests beyond tipping point
Future simulations of climate in the Amazon suggest a longer dry season leading to more drought and fires. Woods Hole Research Center scientists and colleagues have published a new study on the impacts of fire and drought on Amazon tree mortality. Their paper titled 'Abrupt increases in Amazonian tree mortality due to drought-fire interactions,' published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that prolonged droughts caused more intense and widespread wildfires, which consumed more forests in Amazonia than previously understood.
National Science Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Packard Foundation, NASA, Max Planck Institute

Contact: Eunice Youmans
eyoumans@whrc.org
508-444-1509
Woods Hole Research Center

Public Release: 13-Apr-2014
Nature Climate Change
Fish from acidic ocean waters less able to smell predators
Fish living on coral reefs where carbon dioxide seeps from the ocean floor were less able to detect predator odor than fish from normal coral reefs, according to a new study.
Australian Institute for Marine Science, National Geographic Society

Contact: Brett Israel
brett.israel@comm.gatech.edu
404-385-1933
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 11-Apr-2014
American Journal of Botany
Berkeley graduate student brings extinct plants to life
Most fossilized plants are fragments indistinguishable from a stick, but a UC Berkeley graduate student hopes a new technique will allow paleontologists to more precisely identify these fossils. Jeff Benca showed the power of this technique by turning a 375 million-year-old lycopod fossil into a life-like rendering that made the cover of the centennial issue of the American Journal of Botany.

Contact: Robert Sanders
rlsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 11-Apr-2014
Coral Reefs
Devil in disguise: A small coral-eating worm may mean big trouble for reefs
New research from the University of Southampton has identified a coral-eating flatworm as a potential threat for coral reefs.

Contact: Jörg Wiedenmann
Joerg.wiedenmann@noc.soton.ac.uk
44-079-125-64356
University of Southampton

Public Release: 11-Apr-2014
PLOS ONE
The taming of the shrew
The bicolored shrew is a protected species in Central Europe, but these furry insect-eaters have a dark secret. Researchers from the Vetmeduni Vienna have discovered that bicolored shrews carry the Borna virus. Infection with this virus causes fatal encephalitis in horses. The mechanisms of transmission had until now been unclear, but we now know more about one route -- from bicolored shrews to hosts. The study was published recently in the journal PLOS ONE.

Contact: Herbert Weissenböck
herbert.weissenboeck@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-120-577-2418
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna

Public Release: 10-Apr-2014
Science
Plants evolve ways to control embryo growth
A new generation of high yield plants could be created following a fundamental change in our understanding of how plants develop.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Contact: Tom Frew
a.t.frew@warwick.ac.uk
44-024-765-75910
University of Warwick

Public Release: 10-Apr-2014
eLife
Planaria deploy an ancient gene expression program in the course of organ regeneration
In the April 15, 2014, issue of the online journal eLife, Stowers Institute for Medical Research Investigator Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado and colleagues report the identification of genes that worms use to rebuild an amputated pharynx.
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Contact: Kim Bland, Ph.D.
ksb@stowers.org
816-926-4015
Stowers Institute for Medical Research