IFAS News

University of Florida

Genetically Modified Earth Plants Will Glow From Mars – University of Florida scientists hope to send smart plants to space

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source:
Paul Kimpel

Source(s):
Rob Ferl robferl@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1928, ext. 301
Andrew Schuerger schueac@kscems.ksc.nasa.gov, (321) 476-4261

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In what reads like a story from a 1950s science fiction magazine, a team of University of Florida scientists has genetically modified a tiny plant to send reports back from Mars in a most unworldly way: by emitting an eerie, fluorescent glow.

If all goes as planned, 10 varieties of the plant could be on their way to the Red Planet as part of a $300 million mission scheduled for 2007. (more …)

Golf Ball-Sized Snail Is Critical Link In Everglades Restoration

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Ed Hunter (352) 392-1773 x 278

Source(s):
Franklin Percival percivalf@wec.ufl.edu, (352) 392-1861
Phil Darby pdarby@uwf.edu, (850) 474-2647

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The success of the $7.8 billion Everglades restoration project may rest on the apple snail — a golf ball-sized creature that is a key component of the food chain, say researchers from the University of Florida and two Florida water management districts.

“The apple snail is probably one of the most important animals in Florida’s wetlands, but it’s one of the least studied,” said Franklin Percival, an associate professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “There just isn’t much interest in studying something that doesn’t have obvious economic or aesthetic importance.” (more …)

UF Project Helps Florida Vegetable Growers Compete With Mexico

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Waldemar Klassen klassen@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (305) 246-7001, ext. 257
Aref Abdul-Baki kmccue@asrr.arsusda.gov, (301) 504-5057
Herb Bryan hhb@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (305) 246-7001, ext. 280
Yuncong Li yunli@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (305) 246-7001, ext. 282

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HOMESTEAD, Fla.—Florida vegetable growers hurt by competition from Mexico can benefit from a system being developed by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reduce production costs while protecting the environment.

“It’s a do or die situation,” said Waldemar Klassen, an entomologist based at UF’s Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead. “Our growers are going broke. (more …)

50th Beef Cattle Short Course Will Review Past Accomplishments

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Tim Olson olson@animal.ufl.edu, (352) 392-2367

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Fifty years of service to Florida’s $2.17 billion beef cattle industry will be reviewed May 2-4 at the University of Florida’s annual Beef Cattle Short Course.

“Like our previous short courses, the golden anniversary program will provide cattle producers with the latest research information for dealing with present and future opportunities and challenges, but we also will look back over past accomplishments,” said Tim Olson, associate professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

Easter Eggs May Get Bigger And Harder To Hide Thanks To UF Research

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Ed Hunter (352) 392-1773 x 278

Source(s):
Robert Harms (352) 392-1932

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Parents trying to hide Easter eggs may have a tougher time of it thanks to a University of Florida researcher who has figured out how to make hens lay larger eggs.

Robert Harms, a graduate research professor of animal sciences with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, discovered that feeding the birds corn oil causes them to produce larger eggs. If a supply problem can be worked out, the new recipe could mean lower egg prices for consumers during warm weather, when there is traditionally a shortage of large eggs. (more …)

4-H Day At The Capitol April 10: Auction And Exhibits; Governor And Cabinet To Declare “4-H Youth Development Day”

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Ami Neiberger

Source(s):
Lane Jimison, , (352)8 46-0996

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It’s not just cows, sows and plows anymore.

Today’s 4-H youth Development Program is teaching youth how to be active in their communities on issues they care about, holding a pledge card campaign against youth violence for both youth and adults, and educating youth about the environment, seatbelt safety, technology, community service, public speaking, food and nutrition, animal sciences and other topics. (more …)

Paper Or Plastic? Packaging Science A Hot Ticket For College Grads

Topic(s): Uncategorized

By:
Tom Nordlie (352) 392-1773 x 277

Source(s):
Bruce Welt bwelt@ufl.edu, (352) 392-7724
Bryon Crump bcrump@enviropak.com, (314) 739-1202, ext. 209
Kenneth Berger kberger@agen.ufl.edu, (352) 392-9129

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Environmentally-aware college students may want to think outside the box — literally — and consider packaging science, a fast-growing sector of the container industry where waste reduction is good business.

“North American corporations spend $50 billion to $100 billion annually on packaging, and they all want to spend less,” said Bruce Welt, a packaging science professor with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “With better packaging technology they send less material to landfills, which saves money and benefits the environment.” (more …)

Swisher And Thomas Receive National Distance Education Award

Topic(s): Uncategorized

Source(s):
Mickie Swisher meswisher@mail.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-2201, ext 303
Ron Thomas rkt@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu, (352) 392-3893

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. — At its recent meeting in Safety Harbor, the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC) presented awards to faculty and staff in the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

Mickie Swisher, associate professor in the family, youth and community sciences department, and Ron Thomas, coordinator of distance education for IFAS Communication Services, received an ADEC Outstanding Educational Program Award for the development and delivery of Food and the Environment, an online distance education course. (more …)

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