When planning your next picnic, make sure you leave the tunaat home. University of Georgia entomologists have found severalant species prefer tuna over other foods they tested.”We did this study to find out what food products nativeants like best,” said Mark Brinkman, a research scientistwith the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Unlike picnickers, entomologists want to attract ants. “We want to find out how many species of ants are present in Georgia,” Brinkman said. “Using food baits to collect ants is the first step in this project.”Tuna and Honey: The Top ChoicesFor the study, Brinkman narrowed down the ant menu to tunain oil, uncooked eggs, honey and peanut oil. “Peanut oilis a fat, honey is a sugar, egg is a protein and tuna is a protein in oil,” he said. “I chose these foods to representseveral food groups.”Brinkman said he decided to test eggs as a food bait becauseof his observations in nature. “I have often seen them eating bird eggs that have fallen out of nests,” he said.After testing the food baits last summer, Brinkman found tunain oil to be the top choice of ants in Georgia. Of the more than5,000 ants collected during the study, 4,594 were caught usingthe tuna bait. Honey was the second favorite food bait attractingsome 355 ants and egg was the third choice attracting some 294ants. Only 50 ants were caught in the peanut oil baits.”The majority of the ants collected with tuna baits werefire ants,” Brinkman said. “It’s not that other speciesdon’t like tuna, too. Once fire ants show up, they monopolizea food bait.”There’s More Than One Way to Catch AntsBrinkman’s study helps UGA entomologists lighten their loadwhen collecting ant species for research. “Now instead oftaking all these different food baits along, we take the tunabaits,” he said.Food baits, like the tuna one used by UGA researchers, mayprove to be very effective tools for attracting ants, but UGAentomologists can’t rely on it alone. “We attracted 13 species of ants with the food baits and there may be a couple of hundred species in Georgia,” Brinkman said.To collect as many species as possible, UGA entomologists alsouse pitfall traps to collect ants. “Basically, you drilla hole in ground, insert a vial and the ants fall in,” Brinkman said.Researchers actively search for ants in nature, too, and collect them in leaf litter samples. “We collect leaf litter, putit in the top of a large funnel and heat it up,” he said.”The ants fall down into a collecting station.”
Waterbury, Vt.-A website created to inform mothers across the nation about the quality of healthcare in each state recently ranked Vermont first in the nation for maternal and early childhood health.MomScore, an interactive tool that presents moms and moms-to-be with relevant, comprehensive data about maternal health in their states, was created by RevolutionHealth.com, a leading comprehensive health and medical information site.The website reviewed over 50 quality indicators of maternal and infant health from federal and state government sources, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Census Bureau, and leading non-profit organizations such as the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In consultation with clinical and public health policy experts, they identified ten key indicators of maternal and early childhood health.Vermont ranked no. 1 in five of the ten indicators, boasting the best family paid leave policy, lowest risk of pregnancy complications, most affordable children’s health insurance, and the lowest infant as well as maternal mortality. In each of the other indicators, access to prenatal care, availability of childcare, air quality, low incidence of violent crime, and affordable health insurance rates, Vermont ranked within the top 10 states.”I am pleased that MomScore confirms that Vermont is the best place in the country to support maternal and early childhood health,” noted Governor Jim Douglas. “This ranking highlights the commitment my administration, state legislators, our congressional delegation, and our community partners have made to ensuring that all Vermonters have access to excellent pre-and post-natal care and affordable, high quality health care through innovative and affordable programs like Green Mountain Health.”Governor Douglas noted, however, that this success must be replicated across the entire healthcare system. “Every family deserves the peace of mind that affordable and accessible healthcare provides. That is why I am absolutely committed to taking more bold steps to reform our healthcare system and reduce the cost of care.”Cynthia D. LaWare, Secretary of the Agency Human Services, agreed. “This website is wonderful acknowledgment of the hard work the Governor, AHS staff, particularly at the Health Department, the Office of Vermont Health Access, and the Department for Children and Families’ have done to ensure Vermont mothers and their children receive the best possible start in life. While we should never be completely satisfied, clearly we can be proud of all we are doing to promote maternal and child health.”Revolution Health Group is a leading consumer-centric health company founded to transform how people approach their overall health and wellness. The cornerstone of Revolution Health is RevolutionHealth.com, a free, comprehensive health and medical information site, specifically designed with women and other caregivers in mind. The site offers respected, scientifically sound health information as well as more than 125 online tools aimed at helping individuals take control of their well-being.Please visit: www.revolutionhealth.com/momscore(link is external) for further information.
Despite recommendations from student leaders, the group searching for President Steven B. Sample’s successor has decided not to add students to the search committee.Though members of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee have held sessions with student groups to gather student input, there is no student representation on the committee. This has raised concern among some students and prompted the Undergraduate Student Government to pass a resolution recommending the addition of students to the committee, which currently includes seven trustees and six faculty members.But even in light of the recommendations from USG and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, the search committee announced in a leader to the student government presidents that they will not change their process, citing confidentiality, among other reasons.“We were bummed when we heard that they didn’t want to change their process,” USG President Holden Slusher said.The last presidential search in 1991 did include students on the search committee.But in a recent letter to Johannes Schmitt — the president of GPSS — and Slusher, the Board of Trustees Chairman Edward P. Roski Jr. wrote, “every institution seeks input in a different way, depending on the conditions that exist at the time,” and they “appreciate” the resolution.Previously, Roski told the Daily Trojan that it was “important” to get student input and that the committee was “making every effort to include student viewpoints.”Slusher said USG was thankful for the sessions, but “hopes that student interests were always number one.”“We trust the trustees in their decision,” Slusher said. “And we understand that there is more to it than what students want.”