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ARS Posts Latest Edition of Quarterly Report of Research Progress / February 22, 2000 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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ARS Posts Latest Edition of Quarterly Report of Research Progress

By Hank Becker
February 22, 2000

The Agricultural Research Service has posted a new issue of the Quarterly Report of Research Progress for October 1 to December 31, 1999 on its website at:

The Quarterly contains the latest ARS research findings in Soil, Water and Air Quality; Food Safety and Quality; Animal Production and Protection; Human Nutrition; Crop Productivity; Industrial Products; Crop Diseases and Pests; IPM/Biocontrol; Plant Genetic Resources; New Products; Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, Licenses and Patents.

Some highlights from this issue:

  • A new trap with the trade name Dragonfly effectively attracts and kills mosquitoes and biting flies. The trap mimics the human or animal blood system, which helps lure them to it.
  • A diagnostic test identifies animals in the early stages of Johne's disease--a costly dairy cattle problem.
  • Dairy producers could benefit from a mix of enzymes extracted from the stems of pineapple plants that helps keep the white cell count in cows' milk down in the range that fetches a premium price.
  • Discovery of a primitive form of cell-to-cell communication that enhances, by as much as 100 times, the way Salmonella enteritidis cells communicate with each other. It may give scientists a way to foil this food-poisoning microbe.
  • According to analyses of 46 commercial preparations, chances are you'll get more antioxidant protection from eating fresh fruits and vegetables than from taking natural product supplements claiming to be potent antioxidants.

ARS is the chief research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Contact: Hank Becker, ARS Information Staff, Beltsville, Md.; phone (301) 504-1624, fax (301) 504-1641,

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