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Agriculture and Life Sciences

Sep 15, 2009

Irish Potato Famine Pathogen Takes Gun to Knife Fight

An international team of researchers – including Dr. Jean Beagle Ristaino, professor of plant pathology at North Carolina State University – has completed the genome sequence of one of the most destructive and rapidly evolving pathogens in the world. The research shows that Phytophthora infestans, the fungus-like pathogen responsible for the Irish potato famine in… 

Sep 10, 2009

Study Reveals Unexpected Ancient Cellular Structure

Scientists at North Carolina State University have effectively lifted the veil from the structure of an ancient and important RNA-protein complex essential for the biosynthesis and function of the ribosome, the protein-manufacturing machine of all cells. This RNA-protein enzyme performs a critical task in modifying the nucleotides of ribosomal RNA, modifications that are essential for… 

Sep 10, 2009

As H1N1 Looms, Study Shows Students Aren’t Protecting Themselves

As public health experts warn of potential widespread outbreaks of H1N1 flu this school year, a new study from North Carolina State University shows that students do not comply with basic preventative measures as much as they think do. In other words, the kids aren't washing their hands. 

Aug 26, 2009

This Idea Doesn’t Stink: New Tech Cuts Industrial Odors, Pollutants

A North Carolina State University researcher has devised a new technology that really does not stink. In fact, it could be the key to eliminating foul odors and air pollutants emitted by industrial chicken rendering facilities and – ultimately – large-scale swine feedlots. Dr. Praveen Kolar, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering at NC State,… 

Aug 24, 2009

U.S. Crop Yields Could Wilt in Heat

Yields of three of the most important crops produced in the United States – corn, soybeans and cotton – are predicted to fall off a cliff if temperatures rise due to climate change. In a paper published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, North Carolina State University agricultural and resource… 

Aug 10, 2009

To Manage a Fishery, You Must Know How The Fish Die

Recreational anglers and commercial fishermen understand you need good fishery management to make sure there will be healthy populations of fish for generations to come. And making good management decisions rests in large part on understanding the mortality of fish species – how many fish die each year as a result of natural causes and… 

Aug 6, 2009

Scientists Devise Efficient Way of Learning About Complex Corn Traits

There’s no “silver bullet” gene or gene region that controls so-called complex traits in maize, commonly known as corn. Instead, in two research papers published this week in the journal Science, North Carolina State University crop scientists and colleagues show that lots of small changes in a number of gene regions affect complex traits –… 

Jul 14, 2009

Plants Can’t Defend Remaining Celibate

Why do some plants defend themselves from insect attacks better than others? New evidence shows that the difference might be due to whether they're getting any plant love. 

Jun 17, 2009

Study Finds Reproductive Health Effects From Low Doses of Bisphenol-A

New research from North Carolina State University and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) shows significant reproductive health effects in rats that have been exposed to bisphenol-A (BPA) at levels equivalent to or below the dose that has been thought not to produce any adverse effects. BPA is a chemical found in baby… 

May 20, 2009

Beneficial Plant ‘Spillover’ Effect Seen From Landscape Corridors

Research by a North Carolina State University biologist and colleagues shows that using landscape corridors, the “superhighways” that connect isolated patches of habitat, to protect certain plants has a large “spillover” effect that increases the number of plant species outside the conservation area. The study found that corridors caused such a wide range of “spillover”… 

Apr 10, 2009

Taking the resistance out of drug-resistant infections

New NC State chemical compounds break up biofilms, make antibiotics work again It started out as a research project focused on getting rid of harmful bacterial accumulations called biofilms. Now it has the potential to make conventional antibiotics work against stubborn, drug-resistant bacteria. This unexpected development might have come as a surprise to the North Carolina…