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Latest Agricultural Research Service Stories

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2010-07-02 09:03:18

While 20/20 vision is a symbol of visual acuity, between now and the year 2020, more and more people will experience some extent of vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other sight-robbing diseases. Now, Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists at the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research are finding that healthy eating can reduce not only health care costs, but also the decline of quality of life due to these diseases. The laboratory, directed by...

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2010-07-01 06:48:24

New bean germplasm lines containing heat, drought and disease tolerance are being released by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators. ARS geneticist Tim Porch, with the agency's Tropical Agricultural Research Station in Mayagez, Puerto Rico, has recently released two new kidney bean germplasm lines, named TARS HT-1 and TARS HT-2, that are tolerant to high temperature conditions. These new releases are part of collaborative breeding efforts with Cornell University, the...

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2010-06-29 07:56:10

Health conscious consumers have long known that virgin olive oil is a good choice when it comes to preparing meals and dipping breads. Now, a team of researchers, including one with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), has found that phenolic components in olive oil actually modify genes that are involved in the inflammatory response. The researchers knew from other studies that consuming high-phenolic-content virgin olive oil reduces pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant and pro-blood-clotting...

2010-06-24 16:24:20

A laboratory milling device for improving stored grain management has been developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and an industry cooperator. The system, called the "insect-o-graph," can detect internal insects in wheat that are not visible to the eye or that cannot be detected by usual grading methods. The device, built by National Manufacturing, Inc. (NMI), of Lincoln, Neb., was based on ARS-developed technology. ARS engineers Tom Pearson and Dan Brabec, in the...

2010-06-21 20:45:30

Keeping livestock away from poisonous locoweed during seasons when it's a forage favorite is one way ranchers can protect their animals and their profits, according to a 20-year collaboration by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their university partners. The ARS researchers teamed up with New Mexico State University (NMSU) scientists to study locoweed poisoning in U.S. livestock and devise ways to minimize or prevent losses. When livestock graze on locoweed, the plant's...

2010-06-16 22:22:20

Wild potato germplasm that offers resistance to some major potato diseases has been identified by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. Geneticists Dennis Halterman and Shelley Jansky pinpointed the resistant wild potato species in studies at the ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit in Madison, Wis. Halterman has identified a wild potato species called Solanum verrucosum that contains a gene with resistance to late blight, considered the most destructive disease of potato. The wild...

2010-06-04 09:48:57

New cultivars of common bean developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and university scientists could shore up the legume crop's defenses against the fungal disease common bean rust. According to Talo Pastor-Corrales, an ARS plant pathologist in Beltsville, Md., the new cultivars possess two or more genes for resistance to the rust fungi. Most of the cultivars also harbor Ur-11, which is considered the most effective rust-resistance gene in the world. Pastor-Corrales and his...

2010-06-01 19:39:22

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have solved a longstanding mystery as to why a pathogen that threatens the world's wheat supply can be so adaptable, diverse and virulent. It is because the fungus that causes the wheat disease called stripe rust may use sexual recombination to adapt to resistant varieties of wheat. ARS plant pathologist Yue Jin and his colleagues Les Szabo and Marty Carson at the agency's Cereal Disease Laboratory at St. Paul, Minn., have shown for the first...

2010-05-28 18:07:13

The more efficient dairy farmers are in managing nitrogen, the more milk their cows will produce and the less nitrogen will be wasted in manure and urine, according a study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators. ARS soil scientist J. Mark Powell at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wis., worked with ARS agricultural engineer Clarence Rotz at the ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit in University Park, Pa., and Australian...

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2010-05-24 10:54:46

Some cut flowers and potted plants are better than others at fending off the aging process, known as senescence. To help tomorrow's blooms stay fresh longer, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant physiologist Cai-Zhong Jiang is investigating the gene-controlled mechanisms of plants' aging. Such probing may eventually reveal how to modify flowers' aging-linked genes, or the proteins that are products of those genes. Jiang is with the ARS Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit at Davis,...