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» March 22, 2006 «
An improved mosquito trap is aiding in the fight against West Nile virus. A UC Davis entomologist has developed a trap that is much more efficient than older ones. By trapping the insects, scientists are able to determine whether the mosquitoes are infected with the virus. That knowledge enables vector control agencies to attack geographic locations with infected insects. The new traps will be placed in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Fresno and Redding in late May to provide an early alert to presence of the virus.
California's apricot business is close to extinction. High production costs, a dwindling labor supply and foreign competition in both the domestic and foreign markets are forcing farmers to switch to more profitable crops. Some are selling their ground for housing and commercial development. About 4,000 acres of apricot trees have been removed in the past five years, while less than 200 new replacement acres have been planted.
A palmero is a skilled worker who cares for date trees. They pollinate the trees in spring, care for them during the growing season, pick the fruit when it is ripe and prune trees after harvest. It takes time to learn the skills, but the workers have jobs year round. Fathers always trained their sons and that was the way the skill was passed for generations. But now, in the 21st century fathers are training both their sons and daughters. The number of women palmeros is said to be increasing yearly.
Studies at the Western Nutrition Research Center in Davis shows whole grain foods help keep in check the body's levels of certain fats. Ten women followed two separate 3-day regimens. One group featured meals high in whole grains. The other featured refined grains. Medical studies show the group consuming whole grains had significantly better fat levels in their blood.Top