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Latest and Breaking Agriculture News

Chinese scientists' team efforts in dissecting rice complex agronomic traits in recent years
(Science China Press) Rice, which provides the main food source for more than half of the global population, is an excellent model for study due to its small genome size and completed genome sequence. Chinese scientists review the latest advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms and complex agronomic traits regulating grain yield and quality, and the genome biology and evolution of rice. They predict new genome editing technology will aid in developing new generations of super rice varieties.

Underwater grass comeback bodes well for Chesapeake Bay
(University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science) The Susquehanna Flats, a large bed of underwater grasses in the upper Chesapeake Bay, virtually disappeared after Tropical Storm Agnes more than 40 years ago. The grasses mysteriously began to come back in the early 2000s. Today the bed is one of the biggest and healthiest in the Bay, spanning some 20 square miles. Scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are figuring out what's behind the comeback.

The Disappearing Spoon author Sam Kean takes on the megalodon myth
(American Chemical Society) Best-selling author Sam Kean stops by Reactions this week to debunk the myth of the megalodon, the 50-foot super shark that, despite what 'Shark Week' may lead you to believe, is long-extinct. Kean's book, 'The Disappearing Spoon,' is getting the Reactions treatment in a 10-episode video series. The series is a collaboration with the newly launched American Association of Chemistry Teachers.

Changing microbial dynamics in the wake of the Macondo blowout
(American Institute of Biological Sciences) Following the oil spill caused by the blowout at the Macondo wellhead in 2010, Gulf of Mexico microbial population dynamics shifted rapidly as numbers of oil degraders quickly increased. In addition, the spill provided an opportunity to study the newly described phenomenon of microbe-derived marine snow.

Exceptionally well preserved insect fossils from the Rhône Valley
(PeerJ) In Bavaria, the Tithonian Konservat-Lagersttte of lithographic limestone is well known as a result of numerous discoveries of emblematic fossils from that area (for example, Archaeopteryx). Now, for the first time, researchers have found fossil insects in the French equivalent of these outcrops -- discoveries which include a new species representing the oldest known water treader.

Algal growth a blooming problem Space Station to help monitor
(NASA/Johnson Space Center) The space station's Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) instrument can help research harmful algal blooms, similar to recent concerns in Lake Erie. HICO provides a way for researchers to see 90 wavelengths of light not visible to humans.

Week-long meeting on naming algae, fungi, and plants recorded for posterity
(Pensoft Publishers) The XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne, Australia in 2011 included a week-long meeting of 200 of the world's experts on naming algae, fungi, and plants. Key results were that new scientific names could be published in electronic-only journals and that English could be used instead of Latin for formal descriptions of species new to science. The official, detailed record of this meeting has been published as a forum paper in the open-access journal PhytoKeys.

Nature's tiny engineers
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Corals control their environment, stirring up water eddies to bring nutrients.

Sierra Nevada freshwater runoff could drop 26 percent by 2100, UC study finds
(University of California - Irvine) Freshwater runoff from the Sierra Nevada may decrease by as much as one-quarter by 2100 due to climate warming on the high slopes, according to scientists at UC Irvine and UC Merced.

Changing global diets is vital to reducing climate change
(University of Cambridge) Healthier diets and reducing food waste are part of a combination of solutions needed to ensure food security and avoid dangerous climate change, say the team behind a new study.

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