Agriculture

03/27/2014 - 16:00

A study on genetics of cattle breeds has shed new light on the genetic history of domesticated cattle which in turn can teach us about human history. Previously geneticists thought that almost 10,000 years ago, Africans domesticated cattle that were native to Africa. However, the results of the new study from the University of Missouri has revealed that in fact these ancient cattle had their origins in an area known as ‘The Fertile Crescent’ in the Middle East. This suggests that these ancient African farmers migrated south to Africa, bringing cattle with them. The study is published in PLoS Genetics on 27th March.

 

01/02/2014 - 11:00

Researchers have uncovered the secret recipe to making some petunias such a rare shade of blue. The findings may help to explain and manipulate the color of other ornamental flowers, not to mention the taste of fruits and wine, say researchers who report their findings in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports on January 2nd. From the flowers' point of view, the findings also have important implications, since blue petals instead of red might spell disaster when it comes to attracting pollinators.

 

12/16/2013 - 08:13

Poland's entry into the EU may have had the surprising consequence of increasing allergies in rural villages, according to a new study. Surveys show that the prevalence of atopy, a predisposition towards allergic reactions, jumped from seven per cent to 20 per cent in villages in southwest Poland between 2003 and 2012.

 

09/10/2013 - 08:18

The introduction of young dairy goats into an existing herd is stressful for all animals involved. Rank fights and aggressive behaviour can further result in injury. Researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine (Vetmeduni Vienna) have found conditions under which young goats can acclimatize into new herds in a relatively low-stress manner. It seems that introduction of young goats into herds works best if kids are present. The results of the study are published in the current issue of the Journal of Dairy Science.

 

08/26/2013 - 12:54

Captive “wild” horses will cost U.S. taxpayers $1 billion by 2030 if federal management approaches don’t change, according to a new report by a pair of researchers who were part of a national committee that studied the issue.

 

08/22/2013 - 10:14

Since the dawn of agriculture people have exercised great ingenuity to pump more nitrogen into crop fields. Farmers have planted legumes and plowed the entire crop under, strewn night soil or manure on the fields, shipped in bat dung from islands in the Pacific or saltpeter from Chilean mines and plowed in glistening granules of synthetic fertilizer made in chemical plants.