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Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
A new report just released examines how flooding and recent changes to the federal flood insurance program are impacting rural Pennsylvania in unique ways.  
September 7, 2017

A newly released report examines how flooding and recent changes to the federal flood insurance program are impacting rural Pennsylvania in unique ways.

Research underway in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will help poultry farmers provide safe, comfortable housing for cage-free chickens.
September 7, 2017

A shift in consumer behavior is prompting some poultry producers to change the manner in which chickens are housed and cared for, and research underway in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will help them convert from traditional caged housing to noncaged systems that continue to safeguard the health and safety of flocks and employees.

September 6, 2017

Ann Tickamyer, professor of rural sociology, examines why the geography, demography and history of rural communities keeps them poor, in a comprehensive analysis that extends from the Civil War to the present in the new publication, "Rural Poverty in the United States."

September 5, 2017

Penn State Extension has named client relationship managers and business operations managers to serve its 10 administrative areas across Pennsylvania. The appointments are part of recently announced changes to the organization's structure, product development and program delivery.

Ongoing research conducted by Nicole Webster, associate professor of youth and international development in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, examines the role of youth in civic engagement and social change. Here, members of a youth group that Webster mentored in Los Angeles, Calif., stand in front of a mural they created.
August 31, 2017

Ongoing research conducted by Nicole Webster, associate professor of youth and international development in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, examines the role of youth in civic engagement and social change.

The effects of maternal stress on offspring have often been described as “maternal programming,” which assumes that the characteristics and instinctive behaviors of offspring are primarily under maternal control. The ruffed grouse chicks that hatch from these eggs -- sought by raccoons, coyotes, foxes and more -- have already been "prepared" by their mother's stress hormones to elude predators.
August 31, 2017

If a human mother is stressed while pregnant, research shows her child is much more likely to have emotional, cognitive or even physiological problems, such as attention deficit, hyperactivity, anxiety, language delay, obesity, diabetes and hypertension. Conversely, the results of maternal stress on the offspring of other animals — particularly wildlife under threat from predators — is believed to be positive, and contributes to their survival.

Children have their picture taken during the 2016 Great Insect Fair.
August 31, 2017

Although insects are all around us, we tend to pay attention primarily to the ones that sting, bite, eat our garden plants or invade our homes. But there is much more about the world of insects and other arthropods that goes unnoticed. Giving the public a glimpse into this fascinating world is the goal of Penn State's Great Insect Fair, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the Snider Ag Arena on the University Park campus.

Researchers integrated the capability to simultaneously measure leaf thickness and leaf electrical capacitance into a leaf sensor to monitor water stress in plants.
August 30, 2017

Plant-based sensors that measure the thickness and electrical capacitance of leaves show great promise for telling farmers when to activate their irrigation systems, preventing both water waste and parched plants, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Micrograph of basal cell skin cancer
August 28, 2017

A protein may be a key part of a complex molecular cascade that can both cause and inhibit tumors in certain types of cancer, including skin and lung cancers. Penn State researchers suggest that understanding the basic biology of cancer can help the future design of anti-cancer therapies that attack cancer, but leave healthy cells alone.

Andrew Muirhead, Lufthansa Technik vice president, Product Division Original Equipment Innovation, describes how the airline group has adapted Lean Startup methodology to run a successful entrepreneurship program at the company–even developing products marketed to the airline's competitors. He was the keynote speaker at the summer meeting of Penn State faculty who teach the ENTI entrepreneurship minor.
August 28, 2017

Faculty and staff from across Penn State came together Aug. 15-16 at University Park in support of entrepreneurship teaching and learning at the fifth annual ENTI Summer Gathering. ENTI, launched is 2013, is Penn State’s Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The entrance to Pollock Road on University Park campus
August 25, 2017

The Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) announced the addition of three new cofunded faculty members who will join Penn State during the 2017–18 academic year. The faculty members are Kristina Douglass, Jonathan Duncan and Jillian Goldfarb.

Alex Barna performs with Essence of Joy, one of seven faculty-conducted choral ensembles in the Penn State School of Music. Organized in November, 1991 by Anthony Leach, the choir performs sacred and secular music from the African/African American choral traditions.
August 24, 2017

Alex Barna, a junior from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, has discovered an opportunity to distinguish himself from other pre-med students in the College of Agricultural Sciences' immunology and infectious disease major.

August 24, 2017

Eight older adults will be acknowledged at a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Sept. 22 at Penn State's Nittany Lion Inn for their accomplishments, community service and leadership in generating new programs and activities for strengthening intergenerational bonds and improving quality of life in the State College, Pennsylvania, area. The honorees are the first group of graduates of Penn State's Intergenerational Leadership Institute, a certificate training program for older adults.

An event on Oct. 4 will feature leading journalists discussing how the media is changing and what it means for communicating science to the public and policymakers.
August 24, 2017

To help researchers improve their science communications, the Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) and the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center will host a plenary featuring four national journalists. The plenary will take place at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, in Pike Auditorium (22 Biobehavioral Health Building).

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, center, and Dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences Rick Roush, right, toured industrial hemp research fields during Ag Progress Days. Greg Roth, professor of agronomy and associate head of the Department of Plant Science, left, is leading the research.
August 24, 2017

Penn State was one of 16 sites approved by the state Department of Agriculture as a pilot program for industrial hemp growth and cultivation research following Gov. Tom Wolf's signing of the Industrial Hemp Research Act last year.

Goldenrod can detect a compound produced by gall-inducing flies, according to researchers.
August 24, 2017

It cannot run away from the fly that does it so much damage, but tall goldenrod can protect itself by first "smelling" its attacker and then initiating its defenses, according to an international team of researchers.

August 23, 2017

The Research Unplugged speaker series, a collaboration between Penn State's Office of Government and Community Relations and Schlow Library, will include events every Thursday in October.

Alumnus and FLW professional bass fishing circuit rookie Grae Buck credits his experience on the Penn State bass fishing team as preparing him for an opportunity to compete at the top level of his sport.
August 23, 2017

There are an estimated 600,000 living Penn State alumni in the world, and Grae Buck is doing something none of the rest are: He's competing at the very top level of professional bass fishing, on the FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) Tour.

When it comes to profitability and weathering low commodity prices, farm size matters, Penn State agricultural economists suggest.
August 22, 2017

Many would argue that bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. But when it comes to the profitability and survival of Pennsylvania farms, size apparently matters, according to a report compiled by economists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Majid Foolad, center, professor of plant genetics at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, among the tomato plants used in his breeding program, with graduate students Mengyuan “Maggie” Jia, left, doctoral degree student in plant biology/plant science, and Jonathan Bonfiglio, right, master's degree student in plant science. Foolad won a $75,000 RAIN grant to commercialize new tomato varieties.
August 22, 2017

Penn State research teams working on two promising discoveries -- a new, energy-efficient treatment to kill destructive insects in wood and new tomato varieties bred for Pennsylvania conditions -- each have won $75,000 Research Applications for Innovation, or RAIN, grants to bring their discoveries to market.