The Agricultural Research Service has launched a database for phytonutrients known as “proanthocyanidins,” a subclass of flavonoids, in 206 selected foods. Phytonutrients are beneficial compounds found in plant-based foods and are widely studied by the scientific community because of purported health benefits. The new database will be valuable in the continuing investigation of the health benefits of consuming diets rich in plant foods. To access the new database on the Internet, go to: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/PA/PA.html

The National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation recently released animal germplasm from its collection for the first time, to researchers with the University of Missouri-Columbia. The Missouri scientists received semen samples from three Holstein bulls. Holsteins are the main breed of dairy cows raised in the United States. The researchers are trying to identify genes associated with milk production and specifically requested these samples from bulls born in 1957, 1964 and 1972.