Thursday, December 18, 2014

Season's Greetings from all the Team

 Christmas Card 2014

Check out our 2014 Christmas Card!

Meet the team: 

From left to right back row: Adam, Julie, Jen,  Steve, Mark, Andy, Paul
From left to right front row: Jenny, Alison, Colin 


Don't forget! Our office is closed from Wednesday 24th December, and re-opens Monday 5th January 2015

For over 30 years Greyhound Chromatography has been supplying high quality Chromatography consumables to laboratories around the world. Greyhound’s extensive range covers all areas of Environmental, Petrochemical, Food, Forensics, Chemical and Pharmaceutical analysis. Backed by a highly experienced technical services team, Greyhound is the preferred source amongst today’s analysts.

Contact Us:
Tel:     +44 (0)151 649 4000
Web:   www.greyhoundchrom.com

Email: info@greyhoundchrom.com


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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pesticides inadvertently increase crop damage from slugs - Chem Service Certified Reference Standards Supplied by Greyhound Chromatography

Pesticides inadvertently increase crop damage from slugs

Many farmers see pesticides as essential to the health of their crops. Without them, their plants may die before they are even mature and viable to produce food. These plants are in danger because of fungus, insects and rodents – all of which may be killed by various pesticides.

However, the important thing to remember about pesticides is that they may impact the whole environment and not just the organisms that they target. They may contaminate waterways and poison aquatic life, or they may disrupt the local food chain in a way that increases the population of other pests.

For example, one team of scientists from Pennsylvania State University and the University of South Florida suggested that one type of neonicotinoid may potentially lead to the rise of slug populations, thus further endangering crop yields, as published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

How harmful are slugs?
Experts from Penn State noted that slugs typically feed on broadleaf plants and weeds. They can attack all parts of the plant, including the leaves, stems, roots and even seeds. Crops that slugs enjoy eating include corn, alfalfa, soybeans, canola and others.

Farmers often find slug control difficult because different species of slugs have lifecycles in which every stage from egg to adult can be found in the field throughout the year. One slug alone can lay hundreds of eggs. Furthermore, there are few pest control techniques that effectively curb slug populations. The chemical compounds that are available may be prone to washing away easily or are expensive. When it comes to slugs, farmers may serve themselves well by taking a multi-pronged approach that incorporates chemical pesticides, selection of crops that sprout vigorous seedlings and reliance on the slugs' natural predators, which include centipedes, daddy longlegs, birds, frogs and various species of beetles.

Neonicotinoids 'should be used with care'
Pesticides can backfire on farmers because they unintentionally drive up the population of pests such as slugs. To observe this effect, the authors of the new paper conducted experiments in both the field and laboratory.

In the lab, the slugs encountered three types of soybean seeds: untreated, treated with fungicide, and treated with both fungicide and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam. Like all neonicotinoids, thiamethoxam interacts with nicotinic acetylcholine receptor sites, thus inducing neurotoxic events in insects, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. After the slugs consumed the soybeans, they were observed for survival rates. Results from this experiment showed that the slugs were not harmed by either the fungicide or thiamethoxam. However, when the slugs were fed to predator beetles, the insects that ate slugs that consumed thiamethoxam died, thus demonstrating a mechanism by which neonicotinoids can actually increase the slug population.

The field experiment included observations of slug populations and crop yields within quarter-acre plots of soybeans that were either treated or not treated with neonicotinoids. By the end of this study, the researchers observed that use of the pesticides decreased soybean density by 19 percent and reduced crop yield by 5 percent.

"Neonicotinoids are the most widely used insecticides in the world," study co-author Margaret Douglas, graduate student in entomology at Penn State, said in a statement. "Seed applications of neonicotinoids are often viewed as cheap insurance against pest problems, but our results suggest that they can sometimes worsen pest problems and should be used with care."

"This phenomenon dispels the common belief in the United States that insect predators do not contribute to slug control," added John Tooker, associate professor of entomology at Penn State. "It also emphasizes that if growers care for these predator populations they can help with slug control."

Optimal control of slug populations in agriculture remains a topic of scientific study.

For over 30 years Greyhound Chromatography has been supplying high quality Chromatography consumables to laboratories around the world. Greyhound’s extensive range covers all areas of Environmental, Petrochemical, Food, Forensics, Chemical and Pharmaceutical analysis. Backed by a highly experienced technical services team, Greyhound is the preferred source amongst today’s analysts.

Contact Us:

Tel:                 +44 (0)151 649 4000
Web:               www.greyhoundchrom.com

Email:             info@greyhoundchrom.com


Follow us!


Twitter:             @greychrom
Facebook:         www.facebook.com/GreyhoundChromatography
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How does human activity affect nitrogen cycle in the ocean? - Chem Service Certified Reference Standards Supplied by Greyhound Chromatography

How does human activity affect nitrogen cycle in the ocean?

As the human population on the planet continues to increase, pressure on the environment increases dramatically. More and more area gets cleared of trees and other vegetation to make way for housing and farmland, releasing nitrogen into the atmosphere and decreasing the land's ability to trap and contain carbon. Farmers have to cultivate larger amounts of food to keep up with population demands, resulting in pollution from fertilizer and other chemical compounds, all of which are likely to wash away and end up in watersheds. Once these nutrients reach the ocean, they upset the nitrogen cycle and contribute to eutrophication, a process in which algae populations explode because of increased levels of nitrogen and similar nutrients.

In the interest of measuring the impact of human activity on the nitrogen cycle and ocean eutrophication, an international team of scientists looked at decades worth of ocean data. They concluded that humans are responsible for half of the world's oceanic nitrogen fixation, as published in the journal Science.

What is the nitrogen cycle?
According to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the nitrogen cycle is a process in which nitrogen, which makes up 80 percent of the atmosphere, journeys between the environment and organisms. The element enters the soil two ways. Either microbes in the soil absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to nitrates, or lightning oxidizes atmospheric nitrogen, which creates nitrates and acidifies precipitation that falls to the earth. Nitrates in the soil then move through the food chain, and are re-deposited into the soil as dead organisms decompose. These compounds may also wash away from the soil and into watersheds, or be converted back into atmospheric nitrogen.

Though this cycle has continued throughout Earth's natural history, environmental scientists have suggested that humans have disrupted it. This can happen as a result of deforestation, the burning of fossil fuels, ranching of waste-producing livestock and sewage contamination of bodies of water.

The pollution of water with nitrogen is dangerous because it drives eutrophication. The algae cut off sunlight to other important marine plant and animal life, and eventually die themselves, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. When the algae rot, the decomposition process depletes the water of oxygen and creates dead zones, where young fish, seafloor dwellers and other aquatic life forms cannot survive. This upsets the balance of the ecosystem. Additionally, algae blooms can release toxins into the water that make their way up the food chain. If consumed by humans, these toxins may cause problems for the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems.

'This is a sobering result'
The authors of the paper in Science understood that human activity negatively affected the nitrogen cycle, and asserted that measuring the impact was important.

"The burgeoning human population needs energy and food — unfortunately, nitrogen pollution is an unintended consequence and not even the open ocean is immune from our daily industrial activities," David Karl, professor of oceanography and director of the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography at the University of Hawai'i, said in a statement.

Karl collaborated with several researchers from Switzerland, Korea and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Together, they combined oceanic data with NOAA's state-of-the-art Earth System Model. They concluded that the nitrate concentration of the Northern Pacific ocean increased significantly during during the past 30 years due to increased deposition of atmospheric nitrogen.

"This is a sobering result, one that I would not have predicted," Karl said. "The North Pacific is so vast it is hard to imagine that humans could impact the natural nitrogen cycle."

Karl and his colleagues predicted that increased nitrogen pollution may lead to a shift in the ocean's food web that favors organisms that thrive in high nitrate and low phosphorus settings. To gain a better understanding of the global scale of the problem, research teams similar to the the one that authored the new study have to evaluate the conditions of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, as well.

In the meantime, those concerned about the environment and health of the oceans need to help develop policies that will improve the use of fossil fuels and agricultural resources.

For over 30 years Greyhound Chromatography has been supplying high quality Chromatography consumables to laboratories around the world. Greyhound’s extensive range covers all areas of Environmental, Petrochemical, Food, Forensics, Chemical and Pharmaceutical analysis. Backed by a highly experienced technical services team, Greyhound is the preferred source amongst today’s analysts.

Contact Us:

Tel: +44 (0)151 649 4000
Web: www.greyhoundchrom.com

Email:         info@greyhoundchrom.com


Follow us!


Twitter:               @greychrom
Facebook:         www.facebook.com/GreyhoundChromatography
Google+:           www.google.com/+Greyhoundchrom
YouTube:          www.youtube.com/GreyhoundChrom
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/greyhound-chromatography

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