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A prototype water stress sensor on a US nickel. The prototype is larger than the final size which is approximated by the black lines. Credit: Alan Lakso

A prototype water stress sensor on a US nickel. The prototype is larger than the final size which is approximated by the black lines. Credit: Alan Lakso

Nanotech Goes Country: MEMS Chips To Measure Water Stress Down On The Farm [Forbes.com 6/30/2012] – Alan Lakso, Department of Horticulture, and colleague Abe Stroock, a Cornell Microfluidics engineer, have jointly developed an electronic MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) device to measure water stress potential. MEMS technology promises a reasonably-priced, continuous water stress measurement by monitoring plants directly, with a range some 100 times that of a classic tensiometer.

Link discovered between tomato ripening, color and taste [Cornell Chronicle 6/28/2012] – Research by Cuong Nguyen, a Cornell graduate student in the field of plant breeding, with colleagues at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research and other institutions “provides a strategy to recapture quality characteristics that had been unknowingly bred out of modern cultivated tomatoes.” (See also New York Times article: Flavor Is Price of Scarlet Hue of Tomatoes, Study Finds.)

Analyst has been at seed facility for more than half of its 100-year history [Cornell Chronicle 7/2/2012] – The New York State Seed Testing Laboratory (NYSSTL) at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station celebrates a century of service to farmers across the state.

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