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Agricultural Research Service

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Scientists Win Technology Transfer Honors

By Marcia Wood
May 14, 1998

Four Agricultural Research Service scientific teams will receive 1998 Awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer today from the Federal Laboratory Consortium. Team members include 13 scientists from ARS laboratories in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. The consortium is honoring 31 federal scientific teams and individuals at its annual meeting this week in San Antonio, Texas.

ARS scientists Kevin B. Hicks, Robert A. Moreau and Andrew J. McAloon, Wyndmoor, Pa.; Robert A. Norton, Peoria, Ill.; and Robert J. Hron, New Orleans, La., discovered a corn-fiber oil that lowered lab animals' total serum cholesterol and artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. ARS and the University of Massachusetts have applied for a patent. Cooperative Research and Development Agreements and a licensing agreement have been signed with Monsanto Co. Of St. Louis.

Michael J. Kasperbauer and Patrick G. Hunt, Florence, S.C., collaborated with Clemson University to develop and patent a red plastic mulch that boosts growth of tomato and other crops. Sonoco Products, Inc., Hartsville, S.C., licensed the technology. The mulch is commercially available. It increased tomato yields in research plots up to 20 percent by reflecting onto plants higher amounts of certain growth-enhancing light waves from sunlight.

Roy T. Cunningham and Nicanor J. Liquido, formerly with ARS at Hilo, Hawaii, helped test and refine SureDye, formulations of a dye and insect baits to combat Mediterranean fruit flies--among the worst crop pests. PhotoDye International, Inc., of Baltimore has an exclusive license for SureDye and has applied to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to register it.

David C. Goodrich, Carl L. Unkrich and David A. Woolhiser (retired), Tucson, Ariz.; and Roger E. Smith, Ft. Collins, Colo., produced the KINEROS computer program for improved flood and erosion estimates. KINEROS users include consultants who sized flood spillways of six Michigan dams, reducing construction costs by more than $16 million. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission used KINEROS to update its engineering guidelines.

Contact: Marcia Wood, ARS Information Staff, Albany, CA, phone (510) 55-6070, e-mail

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