IFAS News

University of Florida

UF researchers find mechanism behind zinc’s immune-boosting power

Topic(s): Families and Consumers, Nutrition, Research

zinc

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Just in time for what federal authorities warn could be an extremely severe flu season, University of Florida research has revealed a fundamental mechanism behind zinc’s immune-boosting power-it ramps up one of the body’s primary lines of defense, white blood cells known as T-cells.

“We’ve known for a long time that zinc can give your system a helping hand when you’re fighting illness,” said Tolunay Aydemir, a researcher with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and lead author of the study. “This gives us an important bit of understanding as to why it confers that benefit.” (more …)

New grape variety is disease resistant and good to eat, IFAS researcher says

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, Cultivars, Economics, Extension

Southern Jewel, the latest grape variety issued by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, is high-yielding, disease resistant and produces fruit in big bunches. IFAS developmental biology professor Dennis Gray, who led the team that created the new muscadine variety, says the new grape has been in the works since 1994.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Southern Jewel, the latest grape variety issued by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, is high-yielding, disease resistant and produces fruit in big bunches.

IFAS developmental biology professor Dennis Gray, who led the team that created the new muscadine variety, says the new grape has been in the works since 1994.

It is Gray’s second grape cultivar release. The first was “Delicious,” also issued this year. Southern Jewel is the 19th grape cultivar created by UF researchers. (more …)

New UF-housed wildfire ‘strike team’ teaches safe burning techniques

Topic(s): Agriculture, Conservation, Crops, Safety

 

 firetraining

Click here for high resolution image.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — When it comes to fighting fires, it’s usually the guy with the hose that gets all the hero worship. But as ever-increasing temperatures and droughts bring a greater threat from wildfires, sometimes it’s the guy with a torch who can do the most good.

“Fire is an art,” said Parker Titus, a specialist with more than 400 controlled burns on his resume. “It’s one of the most powerful influences on our natural systems. Knowing how to use it — and not let it get out of control — is an essential part of the conservation effort.”

This week, Titus and his crew, the newly formed Northeast Florida Resource Management Support Team, will be sharing that knowledge with 40 students and public agency employees.

The team will help teach how to stay safe while practicing controlled burns as part of a weeklong basic wildland firefighter training program conducted by the University of Florida, The Nature Conservancy and the Natural Areas Training Academy.

(more …)

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