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Protecting Children From Overexposure To Lead In Candy And Protecting Children By Lowering The Blood Lead “Level Of Concern” Standard, Bryan Wagner, Colleen C. Hughes, Robert Sobsey Nov 2012

Protecting Children From Overexposure To Lead In Candy And Protecting Children By Lowering The Blood Lead “Level Of Concern” Standard, Bryan Wagner, Colleen C. Hughes, Robert Sobsey

Nevada Journal of Public Health

The American Public Health Association: Recognizing that in April 2004, the Orange County Register in an investigative report, published for the first time information that the state of California had been testing for lead in candies for decades but had not informed the public about the high lead levels in many candies, candy wrappers and seasonings (sold as a snack item and consumed as candy) imported from Mexico, the Philippines and other countries.


Ars Assists In Fight Against Kudzu Bug, Jan Suszkiw, Walker Jones May 2012

Ars Assists In Fight Against Kudzu Bug, Jan Suszkiw, Walker Jones

Agricultural Research Magazine

Sure, this distant relative of the brown marmorated stink bug will feed voraciously on the stems of kudzu, the “Vine That Ate the South.” But Megacopta cribraria also has a taste for soybean and other legumes. In Georgia, where this native of Asia was first discovered in the United States in October 2009, there’s worry that the pest will set its sights on peanut, endangering a $2 billion crop that supplies nearly 50 percent of America’s peanuts (Georgia Peanut Commission, 2009).

Like the brown marmorated stink bug, Megacopta—also known as the “bean plataspid”—seeks shelter inside homes ...


Genetics And Bermudagrass: It's Not Easy Being Uniformly Green, Dennis O’Brien, Karen Harris May 2012

Genetics And Bermudagrass: It's Not Easy Being Uniformly Green, Dennis O’Brien, Karen Harris

Agricultural Research Magazine

Golfers and golf course superintendents expect a lot from their putting greens. They want fine, lush, carpetlike surfaces that a ball will roll smoothly across. They also want a grass that tolerates frequent low mowing, has uniform color and texture, tolerates pests and cold temperatures, and offers a dense canopy that shades out weeds to minimize the need for herbicides.

Southern putting greens are made up of single cultivars of bermudagrass, but golf course superintendents have complained for years about the appearance of nonuniform plants, or “off-types,” that can throw off the green’s appearance and “playability.” The bermudagrass cultivar ...


New Tool Opens A Bigger Window To Insect-Plant Warfare, Dennis O’Brien, Elaine Backus May 2012

New Tool Opens A Bigger Window To Insect-Plant Warfare, Dennis O’Brien, Elaine Backus

Agricultural Research Magazine

When an aphid, leafhopper, or psyllid lands on a plant to feed, it begins a process of chamical welfare. As piercing-sucking insects, they use needlelike stylets to insert saliva into plant tissues and open a pathway to ingest fluids critical to the plant’s survival. When punctured, the plant senses the attack and secretes proteins and other chemical defenses to prevent fluids from being pulled out, thus creating a stress on the plant. This warfare costs growers billions of dollars each year in lost ornamentals, vegetables, citrus, and other important agricultural crops.

Because much of the action takes place in ...


Table Of Contents May-June 2012 Agricultural Research Magazine May 2012

Table Of Contents May-June 2012 Agricultural Research Magazine

Agricultural Research Magazine

4 Strategies That Work: Alternatives to Antibiotics in Animal Health

8 New Insights Into Irrigation Management

10 150 Years of Making History: USDA’s 150th Anniversary, May 15, 2012

20 New Tool Opens a Bigger Window to Insect Warfare

22 ARS Assists in Fight Against Kudzu Bug

23 Genetics and Bermudagrass: It’s Not Easy Being Uniformly Green


Agricultural Research Magazine May-June 2012 May 2012

Agricultural Research Magazine May-June 2012

Agricultural Research Magazine

Agricultural Research

150 Years of Making History

USDA's 150th Anniversary- May 15, 2012


150 Years Of Making History, Don Comis, Tara Weaver-Missick, Robert Sowers May 2012

150 Years Of Making History, Don Comis, Tara Weaver-Missick, Robert Sowers

Agricultural Research Magazine

The only thing that stands between the United States and an invasion of cattle-killing screwworms is a daily flight of airplanes flooding a 100-mile-wide section of the Isthmus of Panama with male screwworm flies raised in a laboratory and sterilized with radiation in Panama. The screwworm infestations of the past would probably come back if the releases stopped for a couple of months or so, says Dan Strickman, Agricultural Research Service national program leader for veterinary and medical entomology.

“This is a great example of agricultural research changing the history of this country, and it’s a cutting-edge example of ...


Back Matter Agricultural Research Magazine May-June 2012 May 2012

Back Matter Agricultural Research Magazine May-June 2012

Agricultural Research Magazine

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Magazine

5601 Sunnyside Ave.

Beltsville, MD 20705-5129


Flow Rate, And More, Ann Perry May 2012

Flow Rate, And More, Ann Perry

Agricultural Research Magazine

At the Agricultural Research Service’s Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho, agricultural engineer Brad King and research leader Dave Bjorneberg compared how irrigation from four commercial center-pivot sprinklers affected potential runoff and erosion on four south-central Idaho soils.

Though their results were inconsistent, they did observe that at the end of six irrigations, a 50-percent reduction in sprinkler flow rate reduced runoff and soil erosion 60-80 percent. They concluded that reducing sprinkler flow rate early in the growing season—before the development of a crop canopy—could help reduce irrigation runoff and soil erosion linked to ...


Forum: Alternative Strategies For Keeping Animals Healthy, Cyril G. Gay May 2012

Forum: Alternative Strategies For Keeping Animals Healthy, Cyril G. Gay

Agricultural Research Magazine

The general public needs to know more about the importance of preventing and controlling livestock diseases and the financial impact they would have on our lives and food supply if left unchecked. Part of our mission at the USDA Agricultural Research Service is to conduct research to protect the safety of our nation’s agriculture and food supply through improved disease detection, prevention, and control.

Antibiotics are recognized as one of the most important biomedical discoveries for treating infectious diseases of animals and humans. The use of antibiotics has had a major impact on increases in food-animal production and has ...


New Insights Into Irrigation Management, Ann Perry May 2012

New Insights Into Irrigation Management, Ann Perry

Agricultural Research Magazine

Pacific Northwest potato and sugar beet farmers who irrigate their crops with sprinklers need to know a lot more than when to turn on the faucet. The region’s powdery silt loam soils don’t contain much stabilizing organic matter, and existing soil aggregates that facilitate water infiltration can be broken up during irrigation. Afterwards, the loose particles of sand, silt, and clay that remain can dry to form a solid crust that greatly limits infiltration into the soil.

This means that growers not only need to calculate how much water should be supplied during irrigation, but they also need ...


Digital Detectives Deciper Ingredients, Rosalie Marion Bliss, James M. Harnly, Pei Chen Apr 2012

Digital Detectives Deciper Ingredients, Rosalie Marion Bliss, James M. Harnly, Pei Chen

Agricultural Research Magazine

Television shows featuring crime scene investigators have been keeping viewers intrigued for years. But the Agricultural Research Service’s intriguing “food composition investigators” are just as innovative at deciphering truth from fiction relating to ingredients of plant-based foods and dietary supplements. The researchers are at the ARS Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory, which is headed by research leader James Harnly. The laboratory is part of the Beltsville [Maryland] Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC).

They’re using new equipment and a metabolomics approach to discover compounds and to accurately identify ingredients in foods and supplements. They are also looking at ...


Long-Standing Erosion Calculator, Don Comis, Robert Sowers Apr 2012

Long-Standing Erosion Calculator, Don Comis, Robert Sowers

Agricultural Research Magazine

Seth Dabney is busy tweaking a soon-to-be-unveiled update of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, Version 2 (RUSLE2), which moves the original equation ever further from its origins in the age of slide rules to the era of computing. Dabney is research leader of the Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit, at the Agricultural Research Service’s National Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford, Mississippi.

RUSLE2 has retained the integrity of the original Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE)—in greatly expanded form—and integrated an updated database with a computer model that reflects both the latest in computer technology and scientific discoveries about ...


High-Tech Tactic May Newly Expose Stealthy Salmonella, Marcia Wood, Bosoon Park Apr 2012

High-Tech Tactic May Newly Expose Stealthy Salmonella, Marcia Wood, Bosoon Park

Agricultural Research Magazine

At laboratories of the future, even the smallest quantity of Salmonella bacteria may be easily detected with a technology known as “SERS,” short for “surface-enhanced Raman scattering.”

Agricultural engineer Bosoon Park, in the Agricultural Research Service’s Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit in Athens, Georgia, is leading exploratory studies of this analytical technique’s potential for quick, easy, and reliable detection of Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Salmonella causes more than 1 million cases of illness in this country every year.


Protein Biomarkers: Identify Disease-Carrying Aphids, Dennis O’Brien Apr 2012

Protein Biomarkers: Identify Disease-Carrying Aphids, Dennis O’Brien

Agricultural Research Magazine

Aphids can transmit viruses that cause crop diseases and reduce the quality and quantity of fresh foods. Spraying insecticides can control aphids and reduce the spread of viruses, but spraying is expensive and can harm the environment. Additionally, not all aphids transmit viruses. So a key question for growers is knowing when and what to spray to control viral diseases.

Agricultural Research Service scientists Michelle Cilia and Stewart Gray, in the Biological Integrated Pest Management Unit at the Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health in Ithaca, New York, have found a way to distinguish aphids that spread viruses ...


Locations Featured In This Magazine Issue April 2012 Apr 2012

Locations Featured In This Magazine Issue April 2012

Agricultural Research Magazine

Locations Featured in This Magazine Issue

Davis, California

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Center for Grain and Animal Health Research

Southern Regional Research Center

Oxford, Mississippi

West Lafayette, Indiana

Athens, Georgia

U.S. Vegetable Laboratory

Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health

Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center


Metagenomics Offers Insight Into Poultry Diseases, Sandra Avant Apr 2012

Metagenomics Offers Insight Into Poultry Diseases, Sandra Avant

Agricultural Research Magazine

Less than 10 years ago, the world marveled at the completion of the human genome project, which involved traditional technology to identify all the genes in a single organism—the human. Today, a more powerful technology is being used to detect thousands of organisms in an entire community.

Unlike traditional gene sequencing, the new molecular technique—metagenomics— eliminates the need to cultivate and isolate individual microbial species. Scientists can apply genomic analysis to mixed communities of microbes instead of to just one organism.

For example, researchers examining viral enteric (intestinal) diseases in poultry can take intestinal samples from different poultry ...


What's In Your Blood? The Ongoing Hunt For Metabolites, Marcia Wood, John W. Newman Apr 2012

What's In Your Blood? The Ongoing Hunt For Metabolites, Marcia Wood, John W. Newman

Agricultural Research Magazine

At any given time, blood circulating through your body carries thousands of small molecules known as “metabolites.” Medical and nutrition researchers are eager to discover more about these compounds—amino acids, sugars, fats, and more—that are formed in and by our bodies.

Metabolites are of interest because the presence and concentrations of some of them can provide meaningful profiles, sometimes referred to as “metabolic signatures” or “fingerprints.”

In the future, for instance, yourmetabolic fingerprint—detected in a small sample of blood taken for your annual physical examination—might prove to be a reliable indicator of your health and a ...


Agricultural Research Magazine April 2012 Apr 2012

Agricultural Research Magazine April 2012

Agricultural Research Magazine

Tuning In to Technology

Benefits of Biotech,
Computational Tech,
and Nanotech


Table Of Contents April 2012 Agricultural Research Magazine Apr 2012

Table Of Contents April 2012 Agricultural Research Magazine

Agricultural Research Magazine

Table of Contents

4 A Bit of Gold and Nanotechnology Bring Viruses to Light

6 Digital Detectives Decipher Ingredients

8 SERS: High-Tech Tactic May Newly Expose Stealthy Salmonella

10 What’s in Your Blood? The Ongoing Hunt for Metabolites

12 Protein Biomarkers Identify Disease-Carrying Aphids

13 A New Approach to Molecular Plant Breeding

14 Cotton Gets Nanotech and Biotech Treatment in New Orleans

16 Barcoding Insects To Control Them

18 Metagenomics Offers Insight Into Poultry Diseases

20 Longstanding Erosion Calculator Enters 21st Century

23 Locations Featured in This Magazine Issue


Forum: Innovations Through Biotechnology, Jack Okamuro, Kay Simmons Apr 2012

Forum: Innovations Through Biotechnology, Jack Okamuro, Kay Simmons

Agricultural Research Magazine

"We need to put a premium on creating innovative solutions to address our current and future problems."- U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on priorities for the 2012 Farm Bill.

This month in Agricultural Research, we highlight Agricultural Research Service projects grown from seeds planted on what were once the distant horizons of biotechnology- metagenomics, genomic selection, metabolomics, and more.

Each project represents a fusion of leading-edge science and technological innovation that is helping to shape ARS's response to the growing food, fiber, and fuel needs of a U.S. and world population forecasted to exceed 430 ...


A New Approach Tomolecular Plant Breeding, Dennis O’Brien, Jean-Luc Jannink Apr 2012

A New Approach Tomolecular Plant Breeding, Dennis O’Brien, Jean-Luc Jannink

Agricultural Research Magazine

An ARS scientist in Ithaca, New York, is using a new statistical approach to help speed the development of improved varieties of crops.

Plant breeders constantly strive to breed new varieties that yield more, resist emerging pests and pathogens, tolerate heat and drought, and grow in marginal soils and environments. Increasingly, molecular tools are used to speed those efforts. By identifying genes associated with desirable traits, scientists don’t have to wait for timeconsuming field observations.

“To grow wheat and evaluate it for traits in the field takes 5 to 9 years. Using genomic data, we can do it in ...


Back Matter Agricultural Research Magazine 60(4): April 2012 Apr 2012

Back Matter Agricultural Research Magazine 60(4): April 2012

Agricultural Research Magazine

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Magazine

5601 Sunnyside Ave.

Beltsville, MD 20705-5129


Barcoding Insects To Control Them, Dennis O’Brien Apr 2012

Barcoding Insects To Control Them, Dennis O’Brien

Agricultural Research Magazine

Mention barcodes and it often brings to mind the sales tags and scanners found in supermarkets and other stores. But Agricultural Research Service scientists are using “DNA barcodes” in their search for ways to control and monitor insects that pose the greatest threats to crops as diverse as wheat, barley, and potatoes.

In DNA barcoding, scientists sequence a designated part of an organism’s genome and produce a barcode from it for a systematic comparison with the sequenced DNA of other closely related species. DNA barcodes are being developed on a wide range of plants and animals as part of ...


A Bit Of Gold And Nanotechnology, Sandra Avant, William C. Wilson Apr 2012

A Bit Of Gold And Nanotechnology, Sandra Avant, William C. Wilson

Agricultural Research Magazine

All that glitters is not gold, but it is in the case of nanotechnology that’s being used to develop detection tools for viruses that affect animals and people. Scientists at the Agricultural Research Service’s Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (CGAHR) in Manhattan, Kansas, and the University of Wyoming are using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) with gold nanoparticles to design tests that rapidly identify the virus that causes West Nile fever.

The West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoesand can cause headaches, fever, and body aches. In some cases, it causes a more serious and sometimes ...


Cotton Gets Nanotech And Biotech, Jan Suszkiw, Brian Condon Apr 2012

Cotton Gets Nanotech And Biotech, Jan Suszkiw, Brian Condon

Agricultural Research Magazine

Scientists at the Agricultural Research Service’s Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research Unit (CCUR) in New Orleans, Louisiana, have a long history of research successes leading to advances in the use, manufacturing, and quality of cotton fiber.

For example, groundbreaking studies led by chemist Ruth Benerito at the Cotton Chemical Reactions Laboratory (CCUR’s predecessor), starting in the 1950s, gave rise to easy-care, permanent-press clothing and other consumer-friendly improvements that helped cotton better compete with synthetic fibers, like polyester and nylon.

New challenges and consumer demands have since emerged, but the ARS lab’s tradition of excellence and innovation in ...


Agricultural Research Magazine March 2012 Mar 2012

Agricultural Research Magazine March 2012

Agricultural Research Magazine

Agricultural Research Magazine March 2012 whole issue

Monitoring America's Nutritional Health


Table Of Contents March 2012 Agricultural Research Magazine Mar 2012

Table Of Contents March 2012 Agricultural Research Magazine

Agricultural Research Magazine

Table of Contents

4 Monitoring Best Practices For Food Analysis The First Step- Monitoring What We Eat

8 Monitoring Food-Supply Nutrients The Second Step- Conservators Of The National Nutrient Database

16 Monitoring The US Population's Diet The Third Step- The National "What We Eat In America" Survey

22 The Stealth Sodium Revolution

23 ARS National Program For Human Nutrition Monitoring


The First Step—Monitoring What We Eat, Rosalie Marion Bliss, James M. Harnly Mar 2012

The First Step—Monitoring What We Eat, Rosalie Marion Bliss, James M. Harnly

Agricultural Research Magazine

Nestled in the Maryland suburbs outside northeast Washington, D.C., is arguably the world’s largest and most diversified agricultural research complex—the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC). Among its 7,000 acres of fields, farmland, and science buildings is the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC)—the oldest and most comprehensive of six human nutrition research centers within the Agricultural Research Service. Two new buildings— totaling more than 100,000 square feet of research space—were added to BHNRC in 2003.

“The first human nutrition research conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture dates back ...


Forum: Monitoring America's Nutritional Bottom Line, Rosalie Marion Bliss Mar 2012

Forum: Monitoring America's Nutritional Bottom Line, Rosalie Marion Bliss

Agricultural Research Magazine

U.S. healthcare costs in 2009 reached an estimated $2.5 trillion, yet America still ranks below several countries in life expectancy and many key indicators of healthy living. “These statistics underscore the vast potential of a healthful diet and lifestyle to prevent chronic diseases before they begin and to reduce healthcare costs,” says Molly Kretsch, Agricultural Research Service Deputy Administrator for Nutrition, Food Safety and Quality.

Monitoring the amount and type of food consumed by the U.S. population is important to researchers who track related health biomarkers and to policymakers who evaluate nutrition policies. One key reason for ...