Agriculture

"Antelope Perfume" Keeps Flies Away From Cows
October 20, 2017 01:58 PM - University of Bonn

In Africa, tsetse flies transfer the sleeping sickness also to cattle. This leads to huge losses in milk, meat and manpower. The damage in Africa is estimated to be about 4.6 billion US dollars each year. Prof. Dr. Christian Borgemeister from the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn and his colleagues from Kenya and the UK have developed an innovative way of preventing the disease. The scientists took advantage of the fact that tsetse flies avoid waterbucks, a widespread antelope species in Africa. The scientists imitated the smell of these antelopes. If the cattle were equipped with collars containing the defense agent, more than 80 percent of the cattle were spared from the feared infection. This research results are presented in "PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases".

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Florida Tech Research Finds Roots Use Chemical 'Photos' to Coordinate Growth
September 13, 2017 04:58 PM - Florida Institute of Technology

Though it may look haphazard, the network of intertwining plant roots snaking through the soil actually represents a deliberate process. Root growth is guided by chemical snapshots taken by young roots, allowing them to detect obstructions and coordinate the paths they take, new research led by Florida Institute of Technology finds.

Roots compete for and share resources with neighboring roots, as well as with billions of microbes. Until now, however, little has been known about how plants coordinate construction of these complex subterranean assemblies.

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SPOTLIGHT

Not a Pipe Dream Anymore - Space-Farming: A Long Legacy Leading us to Mars

De Gruyter Open

Following a new NASA bill, passed in March by the US Congress and which authorizes $19.5 billion spending for space exploration in 2017, manned missions to Mars are closer to reality than ever before.

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