• Carleton Professor Helps Maple Syrup Producers Solve Mould Problem

    Maple syrup has been a Canadian staple for centuries and although many food-manufacturing processes have become automated, maple syrup is still largely made by small producers and bought from roadside stands and markets.

    The Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association (OMSPA), which represents more than 600 producers across the province, noticed there was a problem with this value chain. After receiving a large number of complaints about mould in maple syrup,­ OMSPA called in Carleton Chemistry Prof. David Miller — an expert on fungi and fungal toxins in food — to see if he could crack the sugary conundrum.

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  • Rising CO2 Leading to Changes in Land Plant Photosynthesis

    Researchers led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego have determined that major changes in plant behavior have occurred over the past 40 years, using measurements of subtle changes in the carbon dioxide (CO2) currently found in the atmosphere.

    The two main isotopes, or atomic forms, of carbon are carbon-12 (12C) and carbon-13 (13C). As CO2 has risen since the late 19th century, the ratio of 13C to 12C in atmospheric CO2 has decreased. That’s in part because the CO2 produced by the combustion of fossil fuels has a low 13C/12C ratio. There are other factors in nature as well, however, that have influenced the rate of decrease in the isotopic ratio.  The measured rate of decrease in the isotopic ratio turns out to be different than what scientists previously expected.

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  • Research Dog Helps Scientists Save Endangered Carnivores

    Scat-sniffing research dogs are helping scientists map out a plan to save reclusive jaguars, pumas, bush dogs and other endangered carnivores in the increasingly fragmented forests of northeastern Argentina, according to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis.

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  • Scientists developed "smart fertilizer"

    According to the head of the works Tatiana Volova, Professor of SibFU and the Head of Laboratory in the Institute of Biophysics KSC of SB RAS, development of a new generation of drugs with the use of bio-decomposable materials which decompose under the influence of the microflora to innocuous products and provide a gradual release of the active principle into the soil, is the newest area of research in the field of agriculture. For example, nitrogen is one of the elements, which is often lacking for the growth and development of plants. Plant-available nitrogen in the soil is usually small. Moreover, its compounds are chemically very mobile and easily leached from the soil. In this connection there is the task of developing such forms of nitrogen fertilizers that provide slow release nitrogen and the constancy of its concentration in the soil.

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  • Could switchgrass help China's air quality?

    Researchers from the United States and China have proposed an idea that could improve China’s air quality, but they’re not atmospheric scientists. They’re agronomists.

    “China’s poor air quality is caused by a combination of coal burning and particulates from soil erosion. The Loess Plateau is the major source of erosion in China, and air quality there is just terrible. If erosion in the Loess Plateau can be improved, air quality will improve,” says D.K. Lee, an agronomist in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois.

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  • 18 Years in the Making, New Fruit Varieties Coming to Market

    Four new tender fruit varieties are coming soon to Canada.

    After 18 years of research and testing, the University of Guelph is poised to release two varieties of yellow Japanese plums and two varieties of early peaches.

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  • MU Study Reveals Ways in which Collegiate Sports Venues can Move Beyond 'Zero Waste'

    Officials at collegiate sporting venues have been leading efforts toward zero-waste events with many professional and collegiate leagues adopting energy and water conservation efforts as well as increased recycling and composting. Researchers at the University of Missouri recently published a study analyzing waste and recyclables during Mizzou’s 2014 home football season. By implementing several recommendations the team developed, such as offering better recycling receptacles and better sorting options for waste, sporting venues could be well on their way to achieving environmental benefits that exceed the standards for ‘zero-waste’ operations.

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  • Soybean rust develops 'rolling' epidemics as spores travel north

    Although Midwestern soybean growers have yet to experience the brunt of soybean rust, growers in the southern United States are very familiar with the disease. Every year, the fungus slowly moves northward from its winter home in southern Florida and the Gulf Coast states, and eventually reaches Illinois soybean fields—often just before harvest.

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  • Record-low salmon monitoring

    The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is not monitoring enough spawning streams to accurately assess the health of Pacific salmon, according to a new study led by Simon Fraser University researchers Michael Price and John Reynolds.

    The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, reveals that the DFO does not have enough data to determine the status of 50 per cent of all managed salmon populations along B.C.’s north and central coasts.

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  • Peas that like it hot

    Farmers across the world produce between 10 and 13 million tons of field pea every year. That makes it a top legume crop, just behind dry beans and chickpeas.

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