Feed supplement for dairy cows cuts their methane emission by about a quarter

The addition of 3-Nitrooxypropanol to the feed of dairy cows reduced their enteric methane emissions by about 25% in a recently published study — one in a series of Penn State studies of the investigational substance in the United States — which might be an early step toward it being approved for use in this country.

How does flooding affect homeownership?

Flooding is the costliest natural disaster, according to environmental economist Katherine Zipp. Over the last 20 years, flooding has caused $500 billion in global damages. In that same time period, flooding in the U.S. caused $60 billion in damages, $45 billion of which has occurred in the past five years. Zipp is part of a team that is studying how floodplain damages affect long-term housing development in high flood-risk areas.

Study suggests U.S. households waste nearly a third of the food they acquire

American households waste, on average, almost a third of the food they acquire, according to economists, who say this wasted food has an estimated aggregate value of $240 billion annually. Divided among the nearly 128.6 million U.S. households, this waste could be costing the average household about $1,866 per year.

Technology that destroys pests in wood moves closer to commercialization

A technology that uses dielectric heating and radio frequency energy to destroy destructive pests lurking within wood products is closer to reaching the marketplace after a recent commercial trial at Penn State’s University Park campus.

Novel composite antimicrobial film could take a bite out of foodborne illnesses

A novel composite film — created by the bonding of an antimicrobial layer to conventional, clear polyethylene plastic typically used to vacuum-package foods such as meat and fish — could help to decrease foodborne illness outbreaks, according to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Scientists examine potential economic impact of spotted lanternfly in PA

If not contained, the spotted lanternfly potentially could drain Pennsylvania’s economy of at least $324 million annually and cause the loss of about 2,800 jobs, according to a study carried out by economists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Penn State scientist shares knowledge of soil science during visit to Ukraine

Ukraine is called the “breadbasket of Europe,” a moniker earned because of the fertile, black soils that blanket its landscape. As a longtime professor of environmental soil science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Rick Stehouwer has studied this famed “chernozem” soil, knowledge he acquired through books, lectures and lab samples. He had the opportunity to expand his understanding and see the soil for himself thanks to a philanthropic program through the college’s Office of International Programs that paved the way for him to visit the Eastern European country this past July.

Innovation is widespread in rural areas, not just cities

Conventional measures of innovation suggest that only big cities foster new ideas, but a more comprehensive measure developed at Penn State shows that innovation is widespread even in rural places not typically thought of as innovative. This “hidden” innovation brings economic benefits to businesses and communities, according to researchers, whose findings will help decision makers think in new ways about innovation and how they can support it.

Craft-beer boom linked to record number of US states growing hops

Craft breweries may be fueling an unprecedented geographic expansion of hop production across the U.S., according to researchers at Penn State and the University of Toledo. Their findings suggest that as more craft breweries emerge around the country, so may new opportunities for farmers.

Ground broken for new ag engineering shop at Fruit Research and Extension Center

Groundbreaking took place Nov. 6 for a new agricultural engineering shop at Penn State's Fruit Research and Extension Center that will, when completed, enhance research to help growers improve efficiency, reduce costs and deal with labor shortages.

Choosing most cost-effective practices for sites could save in bay cleanup

Using site-specific watershed data to determine the most cost-effective agricultural best management practices — rather than requiring all the recommended practices be implemented across the entire watershed — could make staying below the Chesapeake Bay’s acceptable pollution load considerably less expensive.

Pollinator project will complement Penn State solar power initiative

A unique undertaking in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will shine a light on how solar farms can contribute to healthy ecosystems and boost pollinator populations.

Penn State receives $7.3 million grant to advance spotted lanternfly research

A $7.3 million grant awarded to Penn State will support an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional team of researchers as they conduct research and develop strategies to combat the spotted lanternfly.

Plant pathologist awarded grant to aid global study of seedborne pathogens

A nearly $4 million grant awarded to Penn State will support an interdisciplinary, multi-university team of researchers as they explore bacterial pathogens causing leaf spot diseases that are damaging valuable agricultural crops such as watermelon and pumpkin.

Daddy daycare: Why some songbirds care for the wrong kids

Interspecific feeding — when an adult of one species feeds the young of another — is rare among songbirds, and scientists only have been able to speculate on why it occurs, but now, Penn State researchers have new insight into this behavior.

Penn State's Great Insect Fair imagines a world without bugs

Appreciating insects' role in agriculture and the environment will be the focus of Penn State's 2019 Great Insect Fair, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Snider Agricultural Arena on the University Park campus.

Novel use of laser technology reveals interactions between roots, soil organisms

A novel use of a custom laser system — developed in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences eight years ago — allows researchers to see how soil organisms affect plant roots. The discovery has implications for future breeding of more resilient and productive crops, according to an international team of scientists.

Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building project advances

The Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning today (Sept. 12) recommended approval of the final plans and authorization to expend funds for the Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building at the University Park campus at a cost of $98.5 million. The project will be presented to the full board for a vote on Friday, Sept. 13.

Penn State entomologists join project to track historical parasite populations

Supported by a $4.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a multi-institutional project will draw on Penn State entomological expertise and collections to document and digitize the historical population dynamics of arthropod parasites, such as ticks, lice and mosquitoes.

Berkey Creamery partners with Meats Lab to promote Penn State-grown products

Penn State tailgaters and students alike have new products to enjoy thanks to a partnership between Berkey Creamery and the Penn State Meats Laboratory. The Creamery now carries five flavors of salami, five flavors of beef jerky and three flavors of meat snack sticks, all made at the Meats Lab.

Deer browsing is not stopping the densification of Eastern forests

Selective browsing by white-tailed deer has been blamed by many for changing the character and composition of forest understories in the eastern U.S.; however, its impact on the forest canopy was previously unknown.

Penn State asks visitors to help 'stop the spread' of spotted lanternfly

This is the time of year when thousands of students, families and football fans are coming to University Park, and Penn State officials want to make sure those visitors are not transporting the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that is threatening the northeastern U.S., especially southeastern Pennsylvania.

Research predicts stability of mosquito-borne disease prevention

More than half of people in the world, including in the United States, live alongside Aedes aegypti — the mosquito that transmits dengue, Zika and other often deadly viruses. Dengue virus, alone, infects nearly 400 million people worldwide each year. To reduce transmission of dengue to humans, scientists have introduced Wolbachia bacteria to A. aegypti mosquitoes. Now a team of international researchers has found that Wolbachia’s ability to block virus transmission may be maintained by natural selection, alleviating concern that this benefit could diminish over time.

Foodborne pathogen sheltered by harmless bacteria that support biofilm formation

Pathogenic bacteria that stubbornly lurk in some apple-packing facilities may be sheltered and protected by harmless bacteria that are known for their ability to form biofilms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery could lead to development of alternative foodborne-pathogen-control strategies.

Whole genome sequencing may help officials get a handle on disease outbreaks

In a series of studies, researchers showed that whole genome analysis can provide highly detailed information on pathogens in a timely fashion. The findings could help public officials prepare treatment and prevention options when disease outbreaks threaten the public.

Penn State biorenewable systems students climb to new heights in sustainability

From the top of Penn State's indoor rock climbing wall, climbers can enjoy views of Beaver Stadium, Rothrock State Forest and even a sunset over Happy Valley. From the ground, Colin Geary and Nelson DiBiase, biorenewable systems majors in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, saw something different: a sport inspired by nature, using a wall’s worth of plastic.

Where Curiosity Leads

One scientist’s quest to create a replacement for plastics led him to something entirely different—a biofoam that fills traumatic wounds, stops bleeding, and dissolves as the wound heals.

Novel powdered milk method yields better frothing agent

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A novel method of processing — using high-pressure jets to spray milk and then quickly drying the spray — yields skim milk powders with enhanced properties and functionality, according to Penn State researchers, who say the discovery may lead to "cleaner" labels on foods.

Plants defend against insects by inducing 'leaky gut syndrome'

Plants may induce "leaky gut syndrome" — permeability of the gut lining — in insects as part of a multipronged strategy for protecting themselves from being eaten, according to researchers at Penn State. By improving our understanding of plant defenses, the findings could contribute to the development of new pest control methods.

Location, Location, Location: Where and How do Food Hubs Flourish?

For a new food hub to succeed, it should be located in a community with a population sufficient to sustain it, according to a team of economists, who found that a county seeking to establish its first food hub needs roughly 182,000 residents for that food hub to break even.

Media Contacts

  • Senior Public Relations Specialist/News Editor
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  • Public Relations Specialist/Science Writer
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Media Contacts

  • Senior Public Relations Specialist/News Editor
  • Associate Director of Communications
  • Public Relations Specialist/Science Writer
  • Science and News Writer
  • Penn State Extension Writer (Marketing Communications Specialist)