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October 14, 2004

ARS Scientists Invited to China.  Invited by the Guangxi Fisheries Research Institute and Pearl River Fisheries Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, China, Drs. Phillip Klesius and Dehai Xu, scientists with the Aquatic Animal Health Research Unit in Auburn, Alabama, visited China from September 15 - 30, 2004.  Drs. Klesius and Xu visited the Guangxi Fisheries Research Institute and Guangxi Research Institute of Veterinary Medicine located at Nanning, Guangxi, Pearl River Fisheries Institute at Guangzhou, Guangdong and several aquaculture facilities and experimental stations at these institutes.  They discussed fish disease problems with Chinese research scientists, suggested fish health management by using fish vaccines and reducing fish stress, and provided their expertise for identifying fish pathogens and preventing and treating fish diseases.  This trip offered ARS scientists opportunities to establish contacts with research scientists at the Guangxi Fisheries Research Institute and Pearl River Fisheries Institute, China, and share information on fish health research and disease prevention.


ARS Honey Bee Lab holds Field Day.  Staff of the Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory hosted approximately 120 beekeepers during the annual Field Day on Saturday, October 9, 2004, at the Baton Rouge facility.  Beekeepers from seven states attended the event, chaired by Dr. Lilia de Guzman, Research Entomologist.  Unit scientists and technicians gave talks and demonstrations about recent advances in breeding bees for mite resistance and other current research issues.  Further outreach included instruction on "Beginning Beekeeping".


South Texas Tillage Strategy Conference.  October 5, 2004.  Dr. Randy Raper, Agricultural Engineer, was invited to attend the South Texas Tillage Strategy Conference in Kingsville, TX, where he  presented information on measuring and managing soil compaction in a conservation tillage system.  Soil compaction is theorized as a potential problem in many soils when producers convert to conservation tillage systems.  Information was presented to Texas producers to assist in determining whether their soils have been compacted.  Dr. Raper mentioned several management strategies to assist in minimizing the effects of vehicle traffic on crop productivity including using cover crops, minimizing inflation pressure in radial tires, and using in-row non-inversion tillage systems.


Scientist Speaks to Poultry Groups.  On Oct. 5, 2004, Dr. Bill Dozier, Research Animal Scientist with the Poultry Research Unit in Starkville, MS, discussed "Health and Welfare of Broilers as Related to Stocking Density" at the Mississippi Poultry Health Roundtable Meeting in Carthage, MS.  On Oct. 11, 2004, Dr. Dozier, in conjunction with the Mississippi State University Extension Department, presented a seminar on "Winter Ventilation of Broilers" to the Miss. Poultry Grower Advisory Group at the Forest, MS Community Center.  The same seminar was presented again on the afternoon of Oct. 11, 2004, at Philadelphia, MS.


Scientist Hosts Doctoral Student.  Dr. Hamed K. Abbas, Research Plant Pathologist with the Crop Genetics & Production Research Unit in Stoneville, is hosting graduate student Bridgette S. Esters from Jackson State University.  Ms. Esters was a biological science technician in the Catfish Genetics Research Unit and is now on leave to focus on her doctoral research for the next two years.  She has been awarded a Title IV scholarship from the Chair of the Environmental Science Ph.D. Program and her advisor, Dr. Paul B. Tchounwou.  This scholarship will cover her research supplies/equipment, travel expenses and stipend and will allow her to conduct her dissertational research on aflatoxin contamination of corn.


ARS Scientist Assists with Set-up.  Stanley Anthony, Research Leader for the Cotton Ginning Research Unit at Stoneville, MS, traveled to Tifton, Georgia, September 28-30, 2004, to assist with initial operation of a new small-scale gin at the Coastal Plains Research Station, University of Georgia.  The University of Georgia requested assistance in making the new gin system compatible with the microgin at Stoneville to ensure industry acceptance of the new gin.  Mr. Anthony assisted with initial startup and operation of the machines, provided protocol for processing controlled samples, and made recommendations for improvement of the ginning system for research purposes.      


Middle School Students Get a Dose of ARS Research.  On September 30 and October 1, 250 middle school students and their science teachers from Oxford Middle School toured the National Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford, Mississippi.  After a welcome and NSL overview by Dr. Martin Locke, students were exposed to the highlights of the three research units.  Dr. Daniel Wren demonstrated laser and acoustic research on an indoor flume, while Dr. Matt Moore discussed his experimental microcosm research on phytoremediation.  Mrs. Lucienne Savell provided an overview of upland research and ARS activities, including how ARS research affects the students’ daily lives.  Mrs. Telecia Burton, Ms. Jennifer Davidson, and Mr. Charlie Bryant served as tour guides for the two-day event.  These tours were part of the National Sedimentation Laboratory’s participation with local schools in the Adopt-A-School Program.


Computational Chemical Dynamics Symposium.  Dr. Alfred French, Cotton Structure and Quality Research Unit, Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC), was among 150 scientists from 15 countries attending the “Computational Chemical Dynamics from Gas-Phase to Condensed-Phase Systems” Symposium sponsored by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN on October 6-9, 2004.  Presentations by William Goddard of CalTech and Mark Gordon, Iowa State, covered new methods that can be applied to studies of moisture and cotton fiber breakage.  Darrin York of the University of Minnesota presented a simulation of the phosphoryl transfer reaction in phosphoglucomutase, depicting all of the fine details of the reaction as uncovered by molecular dynamics based on quantum mechanics. 


ARS Scientist Attends Southern Regional Meeting.  September 22-23, Dr. Stephen Stringer, Geneticist from the Small Fruit Research Station, Poplarville, MS, attended the SRIEG-14 grape research meeting at Austin, TX, hosted by Texas A&M University.  The meeting provided the opportunity for grape researchers from the Southern states to discuss results of current grape research projects on breeding, viticulture, and enology, and provide updates on the grape industry in the region. Tours of two of the more distinctive vineyard/winery operations in the Texas Hill Country provided first-hand insight to the expanding Texas wine industry. 


ARS Scientists Attend Ornamental Workshop.  September 27-30, Drs. Warren Copes, Ornamental Plant Pathologist, and Hamidou Sakhanokho, Plant Molecular Geneticist,  with the Small Fruit Research Station, Poplarville, MS, attended the 14th Ornamental Workshop on Diseases and Insects in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The 140 participants were professionals with responsibility in the discipline(s) and commodity area from the university, government, and private industry sectors from across the United States.  Dr. Copes presented research entitled 'Plant spacing effects on microclimate and Rhizoctonia web blight development in container-grown azalea'. Dr. Sakhanokho participated in order to develop collaborations for prospective research projects.




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