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Story Ideas for Media 4/16/07


Earth Day is April 22. Expert says demands for "green" energy will require increasing crop yields.
Increased ethanol demand in the United States will most likely put strains on the agricultural sector – from markets to the environment to crop production and food products. One Ohio State University agricultural economist suggests increasing expenditures on crop yield research to soften the blow of such impacts and keep the country internationally competitive. Carl Zulauf, professor of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, says "the idea is to build yield down the road so that we can accommodate food demand, fuel demand and the environment, while minimizing other potential suppliers coming in and taking our market share." CONTACT: Carl Zulauf, (614) 292-6285, zulauf.1@osu.edu.


Omega-3 fatty acids affect risk of depression, inflammation.
A new study suggests that people whose diets contain dramatically more of one kind of polyunsaturated fatty acid than another may be at greater risk for both clinical depression and certain inflammatory diseases.
The report, published recently in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, suggests that we need to balance out our intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The current typical American diet contains 20 times more omega-6 than omega-3, a ratio that researchers say should be lowered to 4-to-1, or even 2-to-1.
Jan Keicolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State and lead author of the paper, says the study looks at the intersection of behavior, immune function and diet. "It now appears that diet is a very important variable in the equation as to how people respond to depression and stress."
The study, conducted in OSU's Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, focused on a group of 43 middle-aged to elderly men and women, nearly half of which were the caregiver spouses of people with Alzheimer's or other dementias. CONTACT: Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, (614) 292-0033; kiecolt-glaser.1@osu.edu SEE: