Discovering corn’s protein diversity thrills scientists

Sequencing technology shows proteins can interact differently in the same plant, allowing more variety improvement opportunities

New genetic research on corn has found that the plant is much more diverse than scientists first believed, or even hoped, when they decoded its genome in 2009. The discovery promises to open up all kinds of opportunities. Corn is the No. 1 cereal crop grown in the world and accounts for two-thirds of world […] Read more


Rapid evolutionary change seen in fruit fly

Research sheds light on how crop-threatening insects can evolve to take advantage of new food sources

LINDELL BEACH, B.C. — An entomologist has discovered that the genes of the apple maggot fruit fly are capable of rapid evolutionary change, which allows it to take advantage of new food that provides a safer haven for its larvae. Greg Ragland, assistant professor of entomology at Kansas State University, worked with a team of […] Read more


Flick switch to fight harmful bacteria

LINDELL BEACH, B.C. — Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed an antibiotic-free method for protecting livestock using the animals’ own regulatory system. Animal sciences professor Mark Cook has focused on a fundamental immune “off-switch” called Interleukin 10, or IL-10. This switch, which is located in the gut, can turn the immune system off […] Read more



Dairy cows treasure their privacy

Dairy cows prefer privacy when calving, a recent study has found. Given a choice, dairy animals will seek a more secluded location with firm footing before giving birth. The findings may be useful to dairy producers because meeting animal preferences could lower the number of stillbirths, birthing injuries or difficult births. The published study was […] Read more


Zone plan possible to control equine swamp fever

Western Canada would become a special zone for tests and surveillance of equine infectious anemia under a proposal being considered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The CFIA said in a recent report that about 70 percent of the testing for EIA, also known as swamp fever, is done on horses in Eastern Canada, but […] Read more



Honeybee genetics fight pathogens

Scientists look at how to use insect’s antiviral response to control viruses and parasites 
in crops and bee colonies

Honeybees use different sets of genes to fight different viruses, bacteria and pathogens. According to researchers at Pennsylvania State University, these genes are regulated by two distinct mechanisms. Understanding how they work could help scientists develop treatments designed for specific infections. “Honey bees, as with many other organisms, have specific molecules that will recognize individual […] Read more


Honeybee genetics fight pathogens

Scientists look at how to use insect’s antiviral response to control viruses and parasites in crops and bee colonies

Honeybees use different sets of genes to fight different viruses, bacteria and pathogens. According to researchers at Pennsylvania State University, these genes are regulated by two distinct mechanisms. Understanding how they work could help scientists develop treatments designed for specific infections. “Honey bees, as with many other organisms, have specific molecules that will recognize individual […] Read more


Wolf cull remains controversial management plan

Researchers have found that killing a wolf can significantly increase the potential for more livestock losses

LINDELL BEACH, B.C. — The potential for more livestock losses increases significantly when a wolf is killed, two U.S. researchers argue in a recent report. The same may hold true when a cull targets wolves to protect endangered wildlife, wildlife biologist Rob Wielgus and data analyst Kaylie Peebles of Washington State University wrote in the […] Read more



Cattle producers welcome news of metritis vaccine

The vaccine is still in early trials and won’t be available for at least two years

LINDELL BEACH, B.C. —American scientists have developed a vaccine for metritis, a uterine infection that affects cows after giving birth. The vaccine, which has been in development for six years, promises to prevent the infection from taking hold and reduce symptoms when it does. It promises to reduce serious illness in cows, reduce major costs […] Read more


Sow milk antibodies undergo research

LINDELL BEACH, B.C. — Researchers trying to find ways to increase antibody levels in piglets have learned that protection against Cystoisospora suis is transferred to piglets via the sow’s very first milk. C. suis, which is also known as Isospora suis, or I. suis, causes serious gastrointestinal disease in piglets. “C. suis is a parasite […] Read more