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Pushing Microscopy Beyond Standard Limits

first_img Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. 0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Artist’s rendering of the new microscopy setup showing one element of an LED array illuminating a sample. Credit: Yan Liang and Guoan ZhengEngineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have devised a method to convert a relatively inexpensive conventional microscope into a billion-pixel imaging system that significantly outperforms the best available standard microscope. Such a system could greatly improve the efficiency of digital pathology, in which specialists need to review large numbers of tissue samples. By making it possible to produce robust microscopes at low cost, the approach also has the potential to bring high-performance microscopy capabilities to medical clinics in developing countries. Science and Technology Pushing Microscopy Beyond Standard Limits Caltech engineers show how to make cost-effective, ultra-high-performance microscopes By KIMM FESENMAIER Published on Monday, July 29, 2013 | 11:59 am More Cool Stuff Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Make a comment HerbeautyRub This All Over Your Body And He’s Guaranteed To Swoon Over YouHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThis Trend Looks Kind Of Cool!HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself Right NowHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyAmazing Sparks Of On-Screen Chemistry From The 90-sHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeauty Top of the News center_img Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday First Heatwave Expected Next Week Community News Business News Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Subscribe EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Community Newslast_img read more

PKS backs incumbent Akhyar Nasution for upcoming Medan mayoral race

first_img“God willing, PKS will stand by Bang Akhyar,” Hariyanto said after a private meeting with the incumbent mayor and Democratic Party regional chairperson Burhanuddin Sitepu.In addition to PKS’ nomination, Akhyar has already secured backing from the Democratic Party. Since the PKS and the Dems have gained a combined total of 11 seats on the Medan Legislative Council, the two parties have exceeded the minimum 10-seat requirement for Akhyar’s nomination as a mayoral candidate.Read also: What political dynasty? Jokowi’s son-in-law says bid for Medan mayor is for development“We will walk hand-in-hand as a coalition. As for [the deputy mayor candidate], it’s entirely up to the PKS leaders to decide,” Akhyar said. Separately, the PDI-P’s North Sumatra branch acting chairperson Djarot Saiful Hidayat said the party would announce several regional head candidates in North Sumatra on Friday.“On Jul. 17, the PDI-P will virtually announce 15 regional head candidates,” Djarot said during an online event on Monday, while calling on every party member to respect the party’s decision.In February, the NasDem Party confirmed its plan to nominate Bobby as its Medan mayoral candidate.NasDem chairman Surya Paloh said the party had decided to give its support to Bobby because the latter had earned the top spot in the party’s recent internal survey.The President’s son-in-law registered with the NasDem’s North Sumatra branch on Jan. 22 to run in the mayoral election. Aside from NasDem, Bobby had also registered with the PDI-P and the Golkar Party. (rfa)Topics : The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has announced that it will nominate acting Medan mayor Akhyar Nasution as its candidate for the Medan mayoral election in North Sumatra later this year.Akhyar, who leads the North Sumatra branch of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), is set to square off against President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s son-in-law, Bobby Afif Nasution.PKS regional chairperson in North Sumatra, Hariyanto, conveyed the party’s support for Akhyar following the acting mayor’s visit to his office on Tuesday evening.last_img read more

Syracuse beats UC Davis, nearly upsets No. 13 UCLA

first_imgSyracuse (8-9) narrowly defeated UC Davis (8-11) 1-0 in the the third game of the Stacy Winsburg Memorial Invitational and lost a thriller to No. 13 UCLA (12-8) later in the evening, 3-2.Jocelyn Cater followed up her complete game performance on Friday night with yet another complete game shutout, this time against the UC Davis. The senior was dominant all afternoon, giving up no runs on just two hits, one walk and eight strikeouts.The Orange’s lone run in the pitcher’s duel came in the fifth inning on a Maddi Doane single to right field that scored Alyssa Dewes. Doane and Dewes led the Orange with two hits apiece, as SU amassed seven total hits in the contest.Leah Munden took the loss for the Aggies, giving up one run on seven hits, one walk and four strikeouts. She was followed in relief by right hander Justine Vela, who tossed a single scoreless inning.In the second game of the evening, the Orange battled No. 13 UCLA to round out the tournament.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnnaMarie Gatti got the start for the Orange and went the full game, surrendering three runs on seven hits, three walks and two strikeouts. Only one of the runs was earned.Down 2-0 in the top of the sixth, Corinne Ozanne sent a long home run to center field, bringing the Orange within one of the Bruins.Then, in the top of the seventh, Andrea Bombace blasted a pinch-hit home run to center to tie the game at two.With the score at two apiece in the bottom of the seventh, Alexis Bennet doubled to left center, scoring Paige Halstead and dashing the Orange’s hopes of an upset.Johanna Grauer got the win for the Bruins. The sophomore gave up two runs on five hits, no walks and three strikeouts in the complete game victory.The Orange is back in action next Saturday, as it starts Atlantic Coast Conference play with a doubleheader against North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 5, 2016 at 10:01 pm Contact Matt: [email protected]last_img read more

RBC Teens Bring American Friendship to Cuba

first_imgBy Muriel J. SmithRED BANK – Let the governments of the United States and Cuba quibble and argue over their policies, but two volleyball players from Red Bank Catholic High School took positive action last week and demonstrated to Cuban teenagers just how friendly Americans really are.Junior Catherine Curtin of Atlantic Highlands and senior Ava Zockoll of Bay Head spent a week in Havana, traveling with parents Dan and Tricia Curtin and Nancy Zockoll, under the auspices of Cuba Educational Travel, to bring GUEST – the Girls Universal Empowerment Sports Tour – to this third world country which suffers as much poverty and need as many other nations where assistance programs are already in place.It was Catherine’s idea to bring friendship, knowledge, and the start of an easy camaraderie among young people in the largest city of a country 90 miles off the U.S. Southern border. “I was fortunate enough to travel with my parents to Cambodia several years ago,” Catherine said, “and the sight of the poverty there has remained with me since then. I wanted to do something to help someone less fortunate than us, and with Cuba just opening for American visitors again, I thought that would be the perfect place.”Pavel Garcia of Barrio Habana (center, green shirt) accompanied the group to the nightly cannon firing at Morro Fortress. Volleyball coach Reyneer (far left) and Muriel Smith (blue shirt) also joined the entourage.Catherine also knew that as popular as volleyball is in the United States, it’s even more so in other countries. So, with the help of her parents, Catherine contacted the American Embassy in Cuba who put her in touch with Cuba Educational Travel and GUEST, Catherine’s newly formed group, was launched.Catherine’s teammate senior Ava Zockoll, captain of the RBC girls’ team who also plays for Central Jersey Volleyball Academy, and a seasoned traveler herself, was ready, willing and able to take on the challenge of bringing American friendship to Cuba.Cuba Educational Travel put them in touch with Pavel Garcia Valdes and his wife Sandra Sotolongo Iglesias of Proyecto Comunitario Barrio Habana. The couple work tirelessly on the streets of Havana to give a better life to people of all ages. Pavel is as comfortable and efficient encouraging a group of teens on the street through the educational and social aspects of improving their lives as he is trying to find enough drinking water to keep a day care center open so senior citizens can enjoy the friendship and social benefits of others of all ages.All good things must come to an end – Curtin and Zockoll felt the new friendships they formed made a positive impact on their counterparts’ opinion of the U.S. On the last day, there were tears and promises of return visits.The American teens came to Cuba armed with gifts for their soon-to-be friends – volleyball nets, kneepads, volleyballs, game shirts in two colors for opposing team play, as well as open hearts and huge smiles. They left the comfort of air-conditioned gyms and well-polished courts and quickly adjusted to old, cracked concrete outdoor courts with boundary lines faded by the hot sun. All play was wrapped up by noon on any day when afternoon temps went well into the mid-90s.Volleyball, the warm-ups and exercises are all international, so not knowing the language did not present a disadvantage. What were shy exchanges of broken English and Spanish on the first day turned to laughs and friendly handshakes on the next, and later genuine laughter and friendship. On the last day, there were tears when they said their goodbyes amid promises of return visits.“If you can help people in one way, such as by sharing a sport, then you can connect on another level,” Catherine explained. She was surprised at the English speaking skills – however limited – that many of the girls had, and loved the welcoming attitude they exuded from the very first day.Ava agreed, pointing out that one of the reasons she wanted the experience was to be absorbed in another culture and help people with fewer opportunities than she herself has. She was surprised the Cuban teens did not appear to be as poverty-stricken as she had heard they were, and was impressed not only by the quality of the coaches but also their intensity and excellence in training the girls. Both teens commented on how polite, courteous, and well-mannered their Cuban counterparts were.Afternoons were spent with Pavel and an Educational Travel rep who took the American visitors through a series of cultural and educational experiences including a visit to a senior care center where the oldest client at 102, walks from his home on the third floor of a once well-maintained apartment the few blocks to the center where he can enjoy games, friendship, song and meals with other older Cubans. The group also visited a third floor walk-up apartment of a husband and wife renowned for their hip-hop music in clubs and cabarets across the country. The couple, who are black, were eager to speak about racism and said they both believe strongly it exists in Cuba.There was also a visit with Edel Bordon and his wife, Marina, and their children Pablo and Lucy. One of the finest artists in the country, Edel teaches art in his large and elegant 10th floor apartment overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a home filled with the artwork of both Bardon and his students, as well as the photography of son Pablo.In between, there was a salsa dance lesson and a visit to Morro Castle where they experienced the nightly cannon firing by Cuban soldiers, dressed in colonial garb which dates back to the Spanish rule of the 17th century. Citizens set their watches by this 9 p.m. ritual, which commemorates the centuries when the cannon was fired each evening to tell residents to hurry behind the protective walls of the fortress before the gates were locked against marauders, pirates, and other evils.Although trips to private homes and historic sites were all planned by Cuba Educational Travel, the group could go their own way individually or together in the afternoons and evenings. Even with the limited experience, both Catherine and Ava felt they had made new friendships and had a positive effect on their counterparts’ opinion of the United States.Ava felt the best gift she left behind was showing the Cuban students they too can meet and interact with people they have never met in a positive way. Catherine agreed, and felt she also had given her new friends a better understanding of the American people.last_img read more

And the Remax Valentine’s Mixed title goes to — Marsh rink

first_imgThe rink included Al May, Kelli May, Grant McKen and Heather McKen.In the C event, the Rick Cutler foursome took home bragging rights and the Kootenay Glass title.Cutler was joined by Deanna Cowden, Marlo Tedesco and Jamie Tedsco.In the D event, Erin May, Graham Jamin, Francois Laurent and Jude Stralak captured the Nelson Home Hardware trophy.The bonspiel attracted 22 teams from the host Nelson club along with rinks from Castlegar, Kaslo and Spokane.The games started Friday night and continued until the finals on Sunday afternoon. The Barry Marsh rink came away as the big winner at the Nelson Mixed Valnetine’s Bonspiel Sunday at the Heritage City Club.Marsh, John Rampone, Tammy Avis and Laurie Bagshaw won the Remax A event crown, sponsored by Glen Darough at Remax.In the B event, the May/McKen rink outlasted the field to claim the Sears Nelson Trophy.last_img read more

Nelson’s Dryden Hunt caps amazing Junior career with WHL Player of the Year award

first_imgAnd the awards just keep on coming for Nelson Minor Hockey grad and Moose Jaw Warriors sniper Dryden Hunt.Hunt, who beat out Western Conference and Victoria Royals defenceman Joe Hicketts, was crowned with the WHL’s highest honour Wednesday in Calgary when he was handed the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the league’s player of the year.Hunt was the Eastern Conference Four Broncos Memorial Trophy winner.The WHL’s top honour completed the storybook season for the 20-year-old forward, who was passed over in the 2010 WHL bantam draft.The 6-foot, 200-pound left-winger finished the regular season with league-high 58 goals while playing all 72 regular-season games in his final junior campaign. Hunt finished second to Adam Brooks of the Regina Pats in the WHL scoring race with 116.Hunt recorded five hat tricks in the month of February and has six on the season. He was named WHL player of the month for January and player of the week in February.Before scoring 58 times this season, Hunt’s best season came in 2014 when he registered 21 goals.Over his WHL career, Hunt scored 117 goals, had 132 assists for 249 points in 269 games.After being passed over in the bantam draft, Hunt found a home with Regina Pats for three plus seasons before begin traded to Medicine Hat Tigers midway through the 29014-15 season.Moose Jaw acquired Hunt before the start of the 2015-16 WHL season.Hunt, who attended off-season development camps in Carolina and Montreal, was also passed over in the NHL entry draft before landing an entry-level deal with Florida Panthers in March of this year.Hunts parents, Carla DeBiasio and Jeff Hunt, were in Calgary for the awards presentation.Check out the YouTube link of the award ceremony.last_img read more

The life and times of Charlie Collins Snr. celebrated at special event

first_imgThe Letterkenny community came together last Friday to honour the legacy of late Charlie Collins Snr.Great stories and fond memories were shared by friends and family in tribute to the well-known Letterkenny man during Community Heritage Weekend 2019.Charlie ‘Bovril’ Collins was remembered as a man of many talents, from football to boxing, dancing and entertaining. A leading Donegal sportsman and a legend in his own time, Charlie played for Derry City, Letterkenny Crusaders and Letterkenny Rovers. He was also a member of the Junior GAA team that reached Croke Park in the All Ireland Semi Final in 1952, bringing great pride to the town in the first time this team ever achieved this honour.The most poignant talk and memories were recalled by Charlie’s eldest son, also named Charlie, who in the company of brothers Martin and Liam recalled happy times in Letterkenny.Tribute event in memory of Charlie Collins Snr, Station House Hotel LetterkennyThere were tears shed and times recalled as guests listened to Evelyn Gallagher sing her Letterkenny Town. A piece of history was shown as guests watched Charlie Snr sing at a reunion dance some 25 years ago. In the company of his sister, sons and grandchildren family and friends, guests listened to numerous speakers give their memories of Charlie and his beloved Bida.Father Willie Mc Menamin and Letterkenny Mayor Ian Mc Garvey spoke of football days and the Summer cups and stories of a bygone era.Tribute event in memory of Charlie Collins Snr, Station House Hotel LetterkennyTribute event in memory of Charlie Collins Snr, Station House Hotel LetterkennyTribute event in memory of Charlie Collins Snr, Station House Hotel LetterkennyAnthony Gorman from Letterkenny Rivers and Daniel O Doherty from Derry City recalled Charlie Snr’s contribution to their clubs over the years. A great collection of pictures were shown on screen and Charlie shared a professional presentation and explanation of them all.The night was chaired by Brian Walsh and sponsored by Councillor Jimmy Kavanagh for the Heritage group.Pictured with Martin Collins is Councillor Jimmy Kavanagh who sponsored the night for the Letterkenny Heritage group.Letterkenny Community Heritage Weekend 2019 was another success for the group. Another event was held on Saturday with Comhaltas Letterkenny, in appreciation of the group’s contribution to preserving and promoting traditional Irish music and culture.The life and times of Charlie Collins Snr. celebrated at special event was last modified: May 7th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:charlie collins snrLetterkenny Community Heritage Grouplast_img read more

Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins has no timetable for return to contact drills

first_imgLAS VEGAS — The mere sight has comforted the Warriors.During the end of practices and shootaround, Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins has been on the court with all of his other All-Star teammates. Despite his ongoing progress with his rehab from a left Achilles tendon that has sidelined him since late January, the Warriors do not yet know when he will participate in contact drills.“We’re literally taking it week-by-week,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after morning shootaround for …last_img

SETI Needs to Read, Not Listen

first_imgWhat technology would an extra-terrestrial intelligence use to communicate with us?  For fifty years, the search has presumed that an ET would use radio waves to announce “we’re here.”  Not a good idea, says a professor of computer and electrical engineering at Rutgers.  He thinks investors on distant planets would put their money not on radio commercials, but books.    It’s not often that a topic as speculative as SETI gets coverage in elite science journals, but the ideas of Christopher Rose made the cover of Nature this week.1  Basically, he and Gregory Wright feel it is much more energy efficient to inscribe messages instead of broadcasting them.  This has led to a flurry of clever headlines in the news media: such as, “ET, don’t phone home; drop a line instead” on EurekAlert, and “ET Phone Home?  Try Writing,” on MSNBC News.  The BBC News, however, suggests that the new ideas may have been stimulated by the silence (see 08/13/2004 headline); “A recent radio search of 800 stars showed no sign of a signal from ET,” it says.    Woodruff T. Sullivan, summarizing the new view in the same issue of Nature2, explains the authors’ energy analysis of communication methods:Unless the messages are short or the extraterrestrials are nearby, this ‘write’ strategy requires less energy per bit of transmitted information than the ‘radiate’ strategy does.  Cone-shaped beams of radiation necessarily grow in size as they travel outwards, meaning that the great majority of the energy is wasted, even if some of it hits the intended target.  A package, on the other hand, is not ‘diluted’ as it travels across space…, presuming that it’s correctly aimed at its desired destination. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Radiation only has an advantage for short messages; otherwise, inscriptions are superior, Rose and Wright argue.  EurekAlert elaborates:In addition, Rose says, when waves pass a particular point, they’ve passed it for good.  Potential recipients at that point might be unable to snag a passing message for any one of many reasons.  They might not be listening.  They might be extinct.  So someone sending such a message would have to send it over and over to increase the chance of its being received.  The energy budget goes up accordingly.  A physical message, however, stays where it lands.Sullivan has some reservations about their presentation.  How can we presume to think like ET?  How do we know economics would be a deciding factor in their deliberations?  Furthermore, “we do not know if such packages, even if efficiently sent, would ever in fact be recognized and opened.”  But then again, the same criticisms apply to radio messages.    An implication of this new energy-per-bit study is that there might be messages from extraterrestrial intelligence right under our feet.So how should these results influence today’s SETI strategy?  Short “we are here” messages would still seem to be most efficiently sent by electromagnetic waves, and we should continue looking for the same.  But perhaps some attention should be paid to the possibility of one day finding in our Solar System an information-drenched artefact, sent by an extremely advanced extraterrestrial civilization interested only in one-way communication.  This intruder might be orbiting the Sun or a planet, or resting somewhere on a planet, moon or asteroid…. If astroarchaeologists were to find such an object, it would hardly be the first time that science fiction had become science fact.The news media have pointed out, with illustrations, that we humans have sent inscribed messages ourselves: most notably, the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager record.  EurekAlert suggests some of the forms an incoming message might take:Rose speculates that “messages” might be anything from actual text in a real language to (more likely) organic material embedded in an asteroid – or in the crater made by such an asteroid upon striking Earth.  Messages – and Rose suggests there might be many of them, perhaps millions – might literally be at our feet.  They might be awaiting our discovery on the moon, or on one of Jupiter’s moons.  They might be dramatic or mundane.  A bottle floating in the ocean is just a bottle floating in the ocean – unless, upon closer inspection, it turns out to have a message in it.Difficult as these ideas might be to accept, they stem from our concern about time, Rose explains.  The sender(s), however, may not be time dependent.  The choice of medium might be a function of how much the extraterrestrial intelligence had to say.  He says, “Since messages require protection from cosmic radiation, and small messages might be difficult to find amid the clutter near a recipient, ‘inscribed matter’ is most effective for long, archival messages, as opposed to potentially short ‘we exist’ announcements.”    Incidentally, rumors of a possible alien signal announced in the media such as on New Scientist were quickly denounced as nothing unusual on BBC News1Christopher Rose and Gregory Wright, “Inscribed matter as an energy-efficient means of communication with an extraterrestrial civilization,” Nature 431, 47 – 49 (02 September 2004); doi:10.1038/nature02884.2Woodruff T. Sullivan III, “Astrobiology: Message in a bottle,” Nature 431, 27 – 28 (02 September 2004); doi:10.1038/431027a.Hmmmm; information-drenched artifact.  A possible real message in an actual language.  A lot to say.  Millions of copies at our grasp.  Contents dramatic or mundane (or both).  A medium not limited to a fortunate few living in a particular century or country.  A sender outside of time, whose intelligence, identity, and intentions we cannot presume to fathom.   Receivers who might not be listening.  A package that might not be recognized or opened.  Sounds a lot like Hebrews 1:1-3, II Timothy 3:15-17, II Peter 1:16-21, John 5:38-47, and John 1:10-12.  Maybe a good place to search for an intelligent message is in the hotel room drawer.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Biologicals are here to stay in agriculture, but what are they?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It seems there are ever increasing amounts of products for agricultural use that are considered “biologicals” in this rapidly advancing field of research and product development. Biological products can serve as natural pesticides and biostimulants that lead to growth enhancement, disease control, soil health improvement, and plant nutrient uptake enhancement, among numerous other uses.According to R.J. Rant of Nutrilink Biosystems based in Michigan, biologicals are a diverse group of products derived from naturally occurring microorganisms, plant extracts, or other organic matter. They fall into two main categories: microbials (live organisms including bacteria, fungi, nematodes, protozoa and viruses) and biochemicals (naturally occurring compounds including plant and insect growth regulators, organic acids, plant extracts, minerals, and pheromones). Microbials are fairly well understood, but there is still much to learn about biochemicals, Rant said.Biologicals that have been in use for a while in agriculture include: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), Bacillus subtilis, seaweed extract, humic and fulvic acid, sugar (molasses), compost teas, and fermentation extracts. These have significant value, but also limitations.“With sugars, for example, we get biological stimulation but a little is great and too much is not necessarily a good thing. You have to be careful when you feed sugars to your plant on the soil because you feed everybody and you can get pest and disease issues,” Rant said. “Compost teas are really hard to duplicate and they can be very inconsistent and they are only good for six to 12 hours.”Future agricultural applications of biologicals will include plant growth promoting rhizobacteria that can help control plant pathogens, enhance fertilizer efficiency, and degrade synthetic substances. In addition, biologicals can be used to address different types of resistance of pathogens or insects, Rant said.As with all things, there are benefits and challenges with using biological products in agriculture. As pesticides, for example, biologicals can be very target specific with low impact on non-target organisms, a low risk of resistance and a low environmental impact.“As pesticides are under more scrutiny, these products can be a real fit when or where we lose the use of chemicals,” Rant said. “The great thing about a biologicals is that there is no known resistance because they are such chemically and microbially diverse products.”But, they are typically less effective than their chemical counterparts.“When you are considering any of these biologicals, we feel they have 50% or 60% of the strength as the synthetic chemicals and a lot of growers have mixed results with them. They work in an integrated system. You need to have a good overall nutrition plan with good soil health. Then they can work as well as a lot of the top chemicals, but they can only work if there is good nutrition,” Rant said. “Biological products work best as a systems approach to an overall fertility soil management program. They need good fertility to work their best. And like with any chemical, they are often misused to address the wrong disease on the wrong crop or they are misplaced because people don’t know how to use them.”Even with these shortcomings, Rant sees a very bright and beneficial future with biologicals.“They really fit in down the road with nutrient efficiency utilization, which is a big one considering our phosphorus issues with Lake Erie. They are also really good as resistance management tools to rotate with chemistry to keep resistance management in check,” he said. “They can really stimulate soil biology as we advance into the soil health era of farming, especially where manure application is tricky from a regulatory standpoint. They can help feed the biology of your soil.”A key to effective use of biologicals moving forward will be an understanding of what they can and cannot do.“One problem with biologicals is that some people think that if they use a biological then they don’t need to buy nitrogen or plant protection,” Rant said. “They really aren’t meant to replace your fertility system or reduce your pesticide or fungicide use. They are more to make what you are already doing more efficient. It is usually around a 10% increase in efficiency.”And in this age of increasing regulatory difficulties and costs, biologicals can have ample advantages.“The big thing for companies from a regulatory process is that these are natural products and the burden of regulation is a little easier so these products can get to market and be very cost effective,” Rant said. “That will benefit the company, but also the grower.”As biologicals become better understood, there will be more combinations in the future to address a wide array of challenges in very targeted ways“Combinations can be powerful and you will start to see a lot of companies putting these things together because you get a well rounded product,” Rant said. “We are seeing what they can do for fertility and general disease suppression and biologicals are definitely here to stay.”last_img read more