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CFANS in the News: May 31, 2011

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The ice is long gone. The tanks are ready. Now, all Mark Washa needs are those darn elusive bugs... That, in essence, is what University of Minnesota professor Ray Newman found through years of research.
Star Tribune

For the past 4-1/2 years, volunteers have patrolled the early morning streets of downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis looking for dead bodies... It's a morbid form of bird watching that is part of something called Project Birdsafe, a research and advocacy program organized by Audubon Minnesota and the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum that aims to figure out why birds fly into buildings and to promote ways to reduce those collisions.
Pioneer Press

The insects, making a comeback around the globe, cannot fly and are really not interested in hanging out on your body, but they do occasionally bite during the day... Bedbugs lack wings, and therefore cannot fly. That is unless you put a blow dryer behind them, says Stephen Kells, a bedbug researcher at the University of Minnesota.
Scientific American

Memorial Day weekend is the official start to camping season. Alongside the beautiful scenery comes a threat to millions of Minnesota trees. Hear what University of Minnesota entomologist Jeff Hahn and other experts are doing to fight gypsy moths, emerald ash borers and other bugs.
Minnesota Public Radio Midmorning

Dallas Flynn typically fields a few accusations from the early-season customers at the farmer's market in Detroit Lakes, where he's already selling crops like radishes, spinach and kale... In the three years since it was built with help from a grant from the University of Minnesota, Flynn said it's been copied at a number of Minnesota vegetable farms, including ones near Morris and Hastings.
Ag Week

A team of scientists from the US and India have developed a simple and sensitive way to detect ricin in liquid foods, such as orange juice and milk...  Theodore Labuza, at the University of Minnesota, and colleagues developed a two-step assay, in which the ricin was first captured out of food matrices by aptamer-conjugated silver dendrites and then the Raman spectrum was directly read on the silver dendrites.
Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing

With a wet spring and delayed planting, many farmers are thinking of switching from corn to soybean because of potential yield losses in corn as planting is delayed... University of Minnesota extension has studied last year's costs of production from the Center for Farm Financial Management's FINBIN database of Minnesota farmers' actual expenses, their three-year average yields, projected harvest prices and estimated government payments.
Ag Week

As warmer weather begins to set in, the time is ripe for tornado activity across the region... According to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group at the University of Minnesota, on April 14, 1886, the deadliest tornado in Minnesota history razed parts of St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids, leaving 72 dead and 213 injured.
Willmar West Central Tribune

It's graduation season, and across Minnesota, students are taking big steps forward... This column was adapted in part from Sen. Franken's May 13, 2011 commencement speech to the graduating class at the University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences.
Hometown Source

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