Katie Kahl, UMass Amherst assistant professor who heads the school's Gloucester Marine Station, facilitated a discussion about the 'blue economy" with Cape Ann Innovators Collaborative and a panel of local and regional entrepreneurs. Legislators attending included Senator Bruce Tarr and Representative Ann Ferrante along with local business leaders. Blue economy refers to a sustainable, high-technology marine-based economy that experts say requires a regional approach. (Gloucester Daily Times 9/28/18; News Office 9/25/18 )
News from the Media
A new study produced by the University of Massachusetts Amherst may reveal the key to supporting the health of ailing bee populations. The study appears to point to a very crucial but simple resource that aids pollinator health: sunflowers. The UMass study that tackled this problem began as an undergraduate project conducted by former UMass student Jonathan Giacomini, his former academic adviser, evolutionary ecologist Lynn Adler and others. (Republican 9/27/18; News Office 9/26/18)
“I personally do not drink raw milk. Pasteurizing milk reduces or removes potential hazards,” says Amanda Kinchla, associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Department of Food Science. (Reader's Digest 9/28/18)
Food scientists at UMass Amherst have mapped and characterized microbial populations in a vegetable fermentation facility and report that its microbiome was distinct between production and fermentation areas and that the raw vegetables themselves -- cabbages destined for sauerkraut -- were the main source of fermentation-related microbes in production areas rather than handling or other environmental sources. (Science Daily 9/25/18; Science Codex, Infosurhoy Technology Networks 9/26/18)
Entomologists Joseph Elkinton, George Boettner and Hannah Broadley at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are declaring victory this month over the invasive winter moth – which begins life as a leaf-chomping, tree-denuding caterpillar that had threatened wide-spread defoliation of coastal New England shade trees and blueberries until the researchers introduced a natural parasitic fly that has greatly reduced moth numbers. (South Coast Today, Gazette 9/12/18; WFCR, 9/6/18; Republican, Globe, Wicked Local Wayland, 9/5/18; News Office Release)
Cranberry farmers buried under a glut of the tart fruit are seeking permission for a radical way to dig themselves out: destroying millions of pounds of their crops. "Overproduction is the bane and has been for cranberries in the last few years, and consequently we’re not getting much money for our crops,” said Jack Angley, owner of Flax Pond Farms in Carver, and Chair of Board of Public Overseers [BOPO] for UMass Extension. (Globe 9/3/18)
The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) announced Baoshan Xing as the 2018 award recipient to be formally presented at the SSSA Awards Ceremony on January 8, 2019 during the scientific society’s Annual Meeting in San Diego. The annual awards are presented for outstanding contributions to soil science through education, national and international service, and research.
A new study headed by Hang Xiao, University of Massachusetts food science, says eating strawberries could help people manage inflammatory bowel disease. Xiao reports the sedentary lifestyle and dietary habits of many people – high-sugar, high-animal fat, but low-fiber diets – may promote colonic inflammation and increase the risk of IBD. (Endopro 9/28/18; Daily Mail 8/20/18; Women’s Health [Australia], India TV, Xinhuanet.com [China], Outlook [India], 8/21/18; Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, NewsHealthDigest.com, News Medical Life Sciences, Laboratory Equipment, 8/20/18)
Katie Campbell-Nelson, vegetable specialist with UMass Extension, comments on this year's difficult growing conditions in the central part of Massachusetts. Worcester Telegram & Gazette, August 16 2018.