GFM Network News


University of Alberta researchers say they’re developing a screening test for mastitis that could save dairy farmers millions.

University of Alberta test to offer new way to control mastitis

Pen-side test will be able to accurately predict which cows need proactive treatment

University of Alberta researchers are developing an easy pen-side test for mastitis. The test works by mixing urine samples with a chemical solution that uses colour intensity to reveal metabolite concentrations. Although still in development, the test could predict the likelihood of mastitis with 95 per cent accuracy. Identifying cows that are susceptible to developing […] Read more

Rhode Island Red chicks hatched at U of A’s Poultry Research Centre.

Heritage chicks available now

University of Alberta’s hugely popular heritage chicken distribution program is now on — but hurry before they’re all gone. “This year, we’re offering Plymouth barred rock, brown leghorn, random bred broiler 1978, light Sussex and Rhode Island Red chicks,” said Jesse Hunter, program co-ordinator. “We hatch a certain number of each breed every year, so […] Read more


Protect yourself from quad rollovers

An average of 15 Albertans die each year while 
on quads, and rollovers are the leading cause

Recent research has proven a crush-protection device on a quad can reduce deaths due to rollovers by 30 per cent. “Quads are great machines for use on the farm because of where they can go and the tasks they can do,” said Don Voaklander, director of the Injury Prevention Centre at the University of Alberta. […] Read more

This bioacoustic unit attached to an aspen tree continuously records the sounds of wildlife.

Listening to the sounds of nature 24-7

A University of Alberta researcher is using bioacoustics technology to record the soundscapes of Alberta wildlife. “Technology has changed the way we survey for wildlife,” said Erin Bayne, associate professor of biological sciences. “If it makes a sound, we can count it. This is giving us a whole new insight to animal behaviour.” Bayne and […] Read more


When geologists sample sediment, they are increasingly finding evidence of human activity — from radioactive dust to bits of plastic and chunks of concrete. So scientists are now arguing it’s time to formally recognize a new epoch in Earth’s history, the Anthropocene.

Scientists say it’s a new era: the Anthropocene

Researchers say the term — which means the human period — recognizes the
 extent of human-caused change to the planet over the last 60 years

Characterized by the mantra “better living through chemistry,” the time immediately following the Second World War was steeped in a euphoric state of consumption of mass-manufactured materials. Now a new paper argues that this time should be formally recognized as the beginning of a new epoch by calling it the Anthropocene — or human period. […] Read more

One national symbol helps another

Welcome home! Beaver ponds speed spring thaw for returning geese


A new University of Alberta study shows that busy beavers are helping Canada geese get an earlier start when the birds fly home and begin spring nesting. Ponds in Alberta where beavers were active tended to result in earlier thaw of winter snowpack, giving the geese a better chance at reproductive success, according to the […] Read more


Mustard —it’s not just for hotdogs anymore

research The meal byproduct from mustard seed crushed for oil has antibacterial properties

University of Alberta researcher Christina Engels has discovered how to extract a compound from mustard seeds that can protect against food spoilage, and add economic value to a leftover byproduct. Engels recovered a particular compound — sinapic acid — from mustard seed meal, which shows antibacterial effects against such strains as Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli […] Read more