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NIBIB-Funded Approach Could Advance Drug Development, Agriculture

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In 2011, researchers developed a technique, called phage-assisted continuous evolution (or PACE), that rapidly generates proteins with new, sought-after properties and therapeutic potential. Originally conceived as a tool for pharmaceutical development, the researchers now have shown its potential in protecting crops from insects.

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Researcher Finds 'Ghost Workers' Common in Migrant Farm Work

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New research by Sarah Horton, an anthropologist at the University of Colorado Denver, reveals that employers in agricultural industries often take advantage of migrants' inability to work legally by making their employment contingent upon working under the false or borrowed identity documents provided by employers.

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UF/IFAS Researchers Try to Cut Costs to Control Aquatic Invasive Plants in Florida

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From 2008 to 2015, state and federal water resource managers spent about $125 million to control invasive aquatic plants in Florida, according to an April Extension document co-written by Lyn Gettys, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of agronomy and aquatic weed specialist. Of all the invasive plants in Florida’s waterways, hydrilla costs the most to contain -- $66 million over a seven-year period.

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Breathing New Life Into Public Schoolyards Benefits Entire Communities

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An Iowa State University landscape architecture studio is part of a collaboration that's breathing new life into more than 300 neglected schoolyards in Philadelphia. They represent a burgeoning national movement to green schoolyards.

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 30-Jun-2016 2:00 PM EDT

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From Fire Break to Fire Hazard

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The peat bogs of the world, once waterlogged repositories of dead moss, are being converted into fuel-packed fire hazards that can burn for months and generate deadly smoke, warns a McMaster researcher who documents the threat – and a possible solution ¬– in a paper published today in the journal Nature Scientific reports.

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'Amazing Protein Diversity' Is Discovered in the Maize Plant

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Cold Spring Harbor, NY -- The genome of the corn plant - or maize, as it's called almost everywhere except the US - "is a lot more exciting" than scientists have previously believed. So says the lead scientist in a new effort to analyze and annotate the depth of the plant's genetic resources.

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 30-Jun-2016 12:00 AM EDT

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Sea Star Death Triggers Ecological Domino Effect

A new study by Simon Fraser University marine ecologists Jessica Schultz, Ryan Cloutier and Isabelle Côté has discovered that a mass mortality of sea stars resulted in a domino effect on B.C.'s West Coast Howe Sound marine ecology.

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A “Fitbit” for Plants?

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Knowing what physical traits a plant has is called phenotyping. Because it is such a labor intensive process, scientists are working to develop technology that makes phenotyping much easier. The tool is called the Phenocart, and it captures essential plant health data. The Phenocart measures plant vital signs like growth rate and color, the same way a Fitbit monitors human health signals like blood pressure and physical activity.

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UF/IFAS Researchers to Study How to Reduce Carbon Dioxide in Ranch Soil

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“The goal is to put together a model that can predict the release of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide from soils under a climate that is expected to be warmer and experience more extreme dry and wet periods across the Southeast,” said Stefan Gerber, a UF/IFAS assistant professor in soil and water sciences and one of the investigators on the new study.

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Nematode Containment Facility Has Ability to Inspect Soil and Plants Prior to Export

NMSU has made upgrades to its nematode containment facility, which provides producers with the certification of sites being free of nematodes. The facility is now able to successfully accommodate and inspect a large amount of plant samples at one time. Funding was also used for new equipment to improve the molecular characterization of nematodes.

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Powerful Lightning at Sea; How Much Carbon Dioxide Comes From Mine Drainage; Marine Species Adaptation; Scientists Using Sunlight, Water to Make Clean Energy; and More in the Environment News Source

Click here to go directly to the Environment News Source.

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New Test Can Detect Plant Viruses Faster, Cheaper

A new test could save time and money diagnosing plant viruses, some of which can destroy millions of dollars in crops each year in Florida, says a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher.

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Better Soil Data Key for Future Food Security

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Future food security depends on a variety of factors – but better soil data could substantially help improve projections of future crop yields, shows new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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Crop Breeding Is Not Keeping Pace with Climate Change

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Crop yields will fall within the next decade due to climate change unless immediate action is taken to speed up the introduction of new and improved varieties, experts have warned.

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Controlling Light: New Protection for Photosynthetic Organisms

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Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered a previously unknown strategy photosynthetic organisms use to protect themselves from the dangers of excessive light, providing further insight into photosynthesis and opening up new avenues for engineering this process, which underlies the global food chain.

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Blueberries’ Health Benefits Better Than Many Perceive

Consumers know some of the benefits blueberries provide, but they’re less aware of the advantages of reverting aging, improving vision and memory, a new University of Florida study shows. Researchers surveyed more than 2,000 people in 31 states – mostly on the East Coast and in the Midwest – to see what they know about the health benefits of blueberries.

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Research Program Studies Industrial Hemp

North Dakota farmers are growing industrial hemp for the first time in more than 70 years, and the New Crops research program in the NDSU Department of Plant Sciences is conducting research to assist them.

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UNH Researchers Find Forage Radish is the Cream of Cover Crops

When it comes to the most beneficial cover crops farmers can use to suppress weeds and increase production values, University of New Hampshire scientists have found that forage radish is at the top of the list, according to new research from the NH Agricultural Experiment Station.