Science News – June 14

Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito - West Nile vector
The Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, a West Nile vector – CDC/James Gathany

Science news from around Michigan for the week ending on June 14, 2015.

First West Nile virus activity of 2015 detected in Michigan:

With the first West Nile virus activity for Michigan in 2015 identified in crows collected in Ingham County, Michiganders should take the precautionary steps of applying repellents during peak mosquito biting periods such as dusk and dawn and to drain standing water around their homes to remove mosquito breeding sites. West Nile virus can cause serious neurological illnesses…. (Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

Wyandotte’s BASF donates environmental sampling equipment to University of Michigan:

BASF has donated two sediment samplers to the University of Michigan Dearborn Campus to support ongoing field studies in the 300-acre Environmental Interpretive Center. This equipment will be used to sample the soils, plants, invertebrates and other types of aquatic habitats in the benthic zone at the bottom of the campus lake, as well as in the adjacent Rouge River…. (The News Herald)

Scientists identify new drug target to treat ALS:

Scientists from the Gladstone Institutes and the University of Michigan have identified a cellular mechanism that can be targeted to treat ALS. The researchers revealed that increasing levels of a certain key protein successfully protected against cell death… (EurekAlert!)

Canada Geese in Michigan Discovered to Have Bird Flu:

Michigan officials on Monday said that Canada geese in the state had tested positive for a lethal strain of bird flu, bringing the worst outbreak of the disease in United States history. Three young geese collected in Sterling Heights, Mich., about 20 miles north of Detroit, were infected… (New York Times)

Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, Michigan scholar, named University Librarian:

Jeffrey MacKie-Mason — a scholar with expertise in human interaction with online information, economics and public policy, along with administrative experience in higher education — has been named UC Berkeley’s University Librarian. MacKie-Mason comes to Berkeley from the University of Michigan, where he has served as dean of the School of Information since 2010…. (UC Berkeley News Center)

Excrement exciting at Michigan museum’s latest exhibit:

Cream? Sugar? Poop? Among the other things you’ll learn at the Sloan Museum’s latest exhibit, “The Scoop on Poop,” is that the most expensive coffee in the world, before it was ever roasted, first passed through the colon of an Indonesian mammal called the palm civet. That is to say, if that wasn’t clear, that it pooped it out, according to The Flint Journal…. (Wisconsin Gazette)

Lake Michigan College offers new degree in winemaking

In the middle of a white room, glass tubing strings together flasks on a steel counter. Michael Moyer, director of the Great Lakes Wine Institute, picks up a wineglass from nearby stacks of stemware and examines the cup’s height and tapered shape. He’s setting up what amounts to a science lab for Lake Michigan College’s new in-house winery where, this fall, he’ll be teaching students how to make wine from ground to glass…. (South Bend Tribune)

Fast-tracking precision medicine: Science guides re-aiming of drug to target diabetic kidney disease:

This past weekend, University of Michigan Medical School researchers and their colleagues presented promising results from a clinical trial of the experimental drug baricitinib in people with diabetic kidney disease…. (U-M Health Systems)

MSU Extension creates alternatives to live poultry shows for Michigan 4-H’ers:

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H have developed programming that will allow poultry enthusiasts to demonstrate their knowledge at fairs and exhibitions this summer without exhibiting live birds…. (Farmers’ Advance)

Story excerpts are sourced from their links and edited for clarity.

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