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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

CAHNR in the news

newsprintSome of CAHNR’s people, places and programs made the news recently. The bolded topics are linked to initial media coverage. The roman text links go to additional information.

YouTube. 3-20-17. Posted the testimonial of Richard Dodakian, who suffered exertional heat stroke at the Falmouth Road Race. His life was saved by Korey Stringer Institute staff members. One of those people is Robert Huggins, a postdoctoral fellow in kinesiology, who is on the video.

New York Times. 3-21-17. Quoted Lindsay DiStefano, an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, who spoke of the benefits of physical activity in the classroom.

tctMD. 3-21-17. Announced a research conclusion that there is “no convincing evidence of measurable verbal or nonverbal memory dysfunction due to statin medication.” These findings come from the research of Associate Professor Beth Taylor, who a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology. (more…)

UConn Dairy Science: Home to one of nation’s top dairy herds, maker of legendary ice cream

MCCconeA scoop of Salted Caramel Crunch and a scoop of Toasted Almond Amaretto nestle together in a cup. If you can, let it sit for five minutes so the ice cream just begins to melt, creating a little pool in the bottom of the cup. (In July, this step is not required.) Now, spoon a small amount from each sphere, saucing it with some of the liquid from the bottom of the cup.
Oh. My. Goodness.

This mini-miracle must be the result of some sort of wizardry: Milk from the cows on Horsebarn Hill goes into the shiny steel vats of the UConn Creamery. A spell is cast, and poof! The best ice cream in the world appears. But there’s no magic here; what makes this sublime treat is passion, hard work and scrupulous attention to detail—along with the best ingredients you can get.

UConn’s ice cream begins with the milking cows in the Kellogg Dairy Center (KDC) on Horsebarn Hill, just about 700 yards from the Dairy Bar. (The cows you see grazing on the hill are their not-yet-bred daughters, called heifers.) The UConn Department of Animal Science’s dairy herd is a mix of Holsteins and Jerseys, and a remarkable group of dams it is. The herd has just been ranked by the venerable Hoard’s Dairyman as one of the top twenty of approximately 47,000 dairy herds in the country, receiving a gold ”Best of the Best” National Dairy Quality Award. This accomplishment, extraordinary in itself, is made all the more so by the fact that many of those who tend to the cows are students studying dairy management and milk production in an experiential learning environment. Only one other university herd, from the University of Wisconsin, made the Hoard’s list. The list recognizes milk quality, the primary measure of which is the milk’s somatic cell count (SCC). The lower the number of somatic cells in the milk, the better the animals’ health and the longer the shelf life and finer the quality of the dairy products made from it. This starts to explain why the ice cream’s so good.

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CAHNR in the news

Students with mobile devicesSome of CAHNR’s people, places and programs made the news recently. The bolded topics are linked to initial media coverage. The roman text links go to additional information.

UConn Today. 3-13-17. Mentioned an Eversource grant, which will be used to enhance storm preparedness and reduce storm-related power outages, as an example of increased fiscal funding for 2016. The team of researchers and graduate research assistants on that grant include those from the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. NRE graduate student Amanda Bunce was depicted in the article.

By Patsy Evans

Historical image of the week

Co-ed study of rats and mice nutrition

Co-ed study of rats and mice nutrition. By Jerauld A. Manter, 1951. From the UConn Libraries Archives and Special Collections.

Researchers examine road salt contamination in groundwater and wells

Road Salt Contamination

Deicing salt on the permeable pavement in front of Augustus Storrs Hall, a potential source of groundwater contamination causing mobilization of radium and radon.

Road salt is inescapable during a Northeast winter. Applied as a deicer, it helps prevent accidents, slips and falls. Salt lowers the freezing point of water, accelerating melting and keeping ice from forming when temperatures drop. Despite the benefits to transportation and safety, road salt has serious environmental impacts and presents hazards to human health. Researchers at UConn have recently completed two studies on the Storrs campus, examining how deicers interact with areas surrounding permeable surfaces and discovering a potential radioactive danger.

Mostly a combination of sodium and chloride, road salt chemicals can flow into surface and ground water impacting aquifers, wells, wildlife, flora and drinking water. While these effects have long been publicized, road salt continues to be heavily used due to its low cost and a lack of viable alternatives. The increased use of storm water management systems, particularly in urban settings, has renewed questions about how these contaminants travel and affect the neighboring environment.

A team of UConn researchers, including Professor Gary Robbins of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), Assistant Extension Educator Dr. Mike Dietz of the Department of Extension and Connecticut Sea Grant and NRE graduate students Derek Angel and Lukas McNaboe, investigated how the installation of one popular storm water management system, permeable asphalt, affects road salt contamination of groundwater. Connecticut Sea Grant funded the initial phase of the research. (more…)