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Science Simulations Support Salmon, Other Species

How do river ecosystems support fish? How do environmental changes influence the system’s capacity to support fish? And how might different restoration strategies influence fish? These are questions J. Ryan Bellmore, a research fish biologist who works in Juneau, Alaska, for the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, and his partners set out to answer.

From Research to the Marketplace: USDA Scientist Invents New Uses for Produce and Grains

Sometimes food scraps can turn into gold. Tara McHugh, of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), has overseen this alchemy as director of ARS’s Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California. Over the course of her career, McHugh has investigated ways to take food-processing waste and turn it into value-added products, such as fruit bars, vegetable crisps and even edible films made from produce.

Creating the Perfect Picnic with USDA’s Help

Have you ever considered what it takes to create the perfect picnic beyond the hamburgers, hot dogs, and iced tea? Most often, we include wholesome fruit and veggies to create the perfect side items or sweet treats. Whether its fresh corn-on-the-cob or plump, juicy strawberries on the shortcake, USDA-related research helps bring it all together.

Scientific Discoveries Impact Our Everyday Lives

Every day, some 2,000 ARS scientists go to work at over 90 research locations across the United States and abroad. Their job? To deliver scientific and innovative solutions to agricultural challenges affecting our Nation. As part of that job, ARS scientists frequently collaborate with research partners from universities, companies, organizations and even other countries.

New Cotton Gauze Stops Bleeding Fast

Uncontrolled bleeding is the main cause of preventable death in people who experience traumatic injury. This can happen in 5 to 10 minutes if severe blood loss from the injury site isn’t slowed or stopped.

Now, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in New Orleans, Louisiana, have helped develop a nonwoven cotton gauze that quickly stanches bleeding and promotes healing.

The Makings of a Good Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes, which are native to the Americas, sustained our founding pioneers with beneficial nutrients like beta carotene, calcium, fiber, and a host of vitamins. No wonder it’s a holiday favorite, especially during Thanksgiving. But what makes a good sweet potato?

A Farewell Message from Secretary Tom Vilsack to Employees

Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack sent the following message to all USDA employees:

I want to take this opportunity on my final day at USDA to express my profound gratitude to the people who work at USDA. Every day, nearly 90,000 people leave their families and the comfort of their home to do the people's work in the People's Department. What an amazing job you do each day for the country.

Open Data Summer Camp Plans Gaining STEAM for 2017

USDA and the Governance Lab at New York University (GovLab) are teaming up again to design and deliver a “summer camp” in 2017 for middle- and high-school students that focuses on using Open Data related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Math (STEAM).

The Open Data STEAM Summer Camp program, begun in 2016, is an immersive two-week project-based and team-focused learning experience for students in the Washington, D.C. area. The program aims to help these students build familiarity and hands-on competence with the approaches, tools and analytical techniques relevant to harnessing the power of open data on critical issues related to food and agriculture.

A Root Beer-Based Discovery that Saved Lives

Science can do more than improve people’s lives; sometimes it can save them.

Consider the contributions of the late Allene Rosalind Jeanes, an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist at what is now the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois. Her efforts are particularly worth celebrating this Veteran’s Day.

Jeanes studied polymers (large molecules composed of many repeated subunits) found in corn, wheat and wood. She spent long hours investigating how bacteria could produce polymers in huge fermentation vats. Eventually, she found a way to mass produce dextran, a type of polymer, so that it could be used as a blood volume “expander” to sustain accident and trauma victims who have lost massive amounts of blood and need to get to a hospital for a transfusion.