Lynn Adler, biology, says the discovery that some plants use caffeine to boost the memory of bees when they drink nectar is exciting news. She also says there are many unknown compounds in nectar that serve some purpose for plants.
News from the Media
Caffeine BuzzMarch 7, 2013
A Sugary TraditionMarch 6, 2013
Paul Catanzaro, environmental conservation, says maple sugaring is part of the regional tradition and has become popular not just as a way to make money, but also as a way to connect to nature.
Out of Season Tomato FlavorMarch 5, 2013
Ruth Hazzard, UMass Extension, comments in a story about the many types of small tomatoes that are available at this time of year. She says there are many factors that affect the flavor of the tomatoes, including when they were picked, whether they were vine-ripened and how far they have traveled.
Medicinal MarijuanaFebruary 21, 2013
Lyle Craker, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, is interviewed about his more than a decade-long battle with federal authorities to secure permission to grow marijuana so he can study its medicinal effects.
Reduced-Fat Food EmulsionsFebruary 20, 2013
New research conducted by Julian McClements, food science, and Cheryl Chung, a postdoctoral associate, looks into major factors that influence the formulation of high quality reduced-fat food emulsions.
New Malaria TreatmentFebruary 10, 2013
Stephen M. Rich, microbiology and director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, has led a research team who report a promising new low-cost combined therapy with a much higher chance of outwitting P. falciparum, the mosquito-borne parasite which causes the deadliest form of malaria than current modes. He and plant biochemist Pamela Weathers at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), with research physician Doug Golenbock at the UMass Medical School, also in Worcester, have designed an approach for treating malaria based on a new use of Artemisia annua, a plant employed for thousands of years in Asia to treat fever.
Tick-Borne Illness DiscoveredJanuary 17, 2013
Stephen Rich, microbiology and director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, comments in a story about a new and as-yet unnamed tick-borne illness that has been discovered on Nantucket. He says ticks contain more than 250 bacteria, any one of which could cause disease.
Winter Moth ControlDecember 13, 2012
Joseph Elkinton of UMass Extension, talks about how scientists are trying to control the winter moth by using another insect that feeds on the moths. Winter moths are considered a menace because in areas where they exist in large numbers they defoliate trees.
Cigarettes Line Bird nestsDecember 5, 2012
Paige Warren of the Department of Environmental Conservation, says new findings that birds that line their nests with cigarette butts prevent pests such as mites.
Winter Moth EmergenceDecember 9, 2012
Joseph Elkinton of UMass Extension, discusses the emergence of winter moths in part of Massachusetts. He says scientists think the weather prompts the emergence of the insects.
Hard CiderOctober 26, 2012
Duane Greene, comments in a story about a local company that makes and sells hard cider.
A Great Year for PumpkinsOctober 15, 2012
Ruth V. Hazzard, UMass Extension, says this year’s pumpkin crop is turning out to be excellent and high quality.
Emerald Ash Borer: Not so Boring!October 9, 2012
Robert Childs is interviewed for the “Connecting Point” program about the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that has been discovered in trees in the Berkshires. The borer is a destructive insect that is moving into the region from the Mid West where it was first discovered.
Ethnic Crops RisingAugust 28, 2012
The Ethnic Crops Program is growing and selling dozens of crops popular among many ethnic groups to markets across the state and has added chipilín, a leafy green loved by Latinos. Frank Mangan, director of the ethnic crops initiative at UMass Amherst’s Stockbridge School of Agriculture, says farms in Methuen, Dracut, Lancaster and Amesbury shipped 2,000 pounds of chipilín in recent weeks to the Boston area, where the fresh, locally grown greens are snapped up by people hungry for familiar vegetables and produce.
The Berry WhispererDecember 1, 2013
Boston Globe Magazine story: "Carolyn DeMoranville, the second-generation director of the UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham, has spent a lifetime studying the little red fruit.
Nutritionally, cranberries are really good for you, but in the sense of what I’ve done in my career with them, we’re looking at the nutritional requirements of the plant, what’s needed for it to grow and thrive and produce a crop. I spend most of my time here thinking about what will make the cranberry industry more sustainable. Specifically, I look at water and nutrient use and how those two interact."
New Methods to Reduce Fat, But Retain Flavor, on the HorizonMarch 18, 2014
D. Julian McClements, UMass Amherst food scientist, comments in a story about why cutting the fat content in foods sometimes doesn’t work because consumers say it tastes different and doesn’t make them feel full.