Using a pig model to study chronic diseases may help minimize drug failure rate

Pigs have gut bacterial profiles and immune systems similar to humans. Using a pig model, in addition to mice models, may help minimize the failure rate of drugs for diseases linked to high-calorie diets, such as colon cancer and type 2 diabetes, say researchers.

Shale gas development spurring spread of invasive plants in Pa. forests

Vast swaths of Pennsylvania forests were clear-cut circa 1900 and regrowth has largely been from local native plant communities, but a team of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has found that invasive, non-native plants are making significant inroads with unconventional natural gas development.

Soil filters out some emerging contaminants before reaching groundwater

There is considerable uncertainty surrounding emerging contaminants in aquatic ecosystems and groundwater, and a recent Penn State study of compounds from pharmaceuticals and personal care products didn't add much clarity. But it did provide insight into the transport of the chemicals, according to researchers in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Researchers to develop new gene-editing method for the study of arthropods

A grant from the National Science Foundation will enable a Penn State-led team of entomologists to develop and disseminate a technology they say could bring gene-editing capabilities within reach of everyday scientists, regardless of the arthropod species they study. The $2.5 million award is part of NSF's Enabling Discovery through GEnomic Tools (EDGE) program.

Researchers working with sports venues to make them 'greener,' sustainable

Ecosystem and bioproduct researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are working with professional sports franchises to make their venues "greener" and reduce the environmental impact of their events.

Bats have potential to host avian and human influenza viruses, study shows

A study conducted by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences showed it is possible for avian and human influenza viruses to infect little brown bats, the most widely spread bat species in North America.

Research progressing on how to spur wide use of aviation biofuels

Slowed as much by extremely low oil prices as supply-chain and technological challenges, the effort to integrate biofuels into the nation's aviation fuel supply is nonetheless progressing, according to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Malting barley research at Penn State aims to support craft beer industry

The popularity of the craft beer industry has caught the attention of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, including Greg Roth, who's spearheading research in malting barley -- a key ingredient in craft beer production -- with a goal of helping Pennsylvania farmers benefit.

Researchers studying impact of warming conditions on woodland salamanders

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are spearheading a four-year-old collaborative effort to assess the impact of a warming climate on the Eastern red-backed salamander, a creature that lives on or under the forest floor.

Grape-based compounds kill colon cancer stem cells in mice

A compound made from grape skins and grape seeds killed colon cancer stem cells in mice, according to researchers. The study, along with previous studies on the low incidence of colon cancer in populations that tend to eat plants, may also offer clues to the role that foods play in suppressing and treating cancer.

Penn State researchers receive grant to develop new contraception technology

Francisco Diaz, associate professor of reproductive biology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Pak Kin Wong, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering, have received a grant through the Grand Challenges Explorations program — an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — to develop a novel approach to contraception.

Scientists to study how soil health is influenced by pest-management tactics

An entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study and compare how various pest-management regimes affect the health of soils. John Tooker, associate professor of entomology, will lead the project, which is titled "Exploring Soil Health and Pest Management Trade Offs to Maximize Crop Productivity."

Penn State Extension educators develop plan to educate plain sect on food safety

Penn State Extension educators have developed food-safety training programs to accommodate the cultural norms of plain sect — Amish and Mennonite — farmers.

Backyard poultry present Salmonella risk -- take precautions to stay safe

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this spring reports that there are eight ongoing outbreaks of Salmonella in 47 states linked to backyard poultry in the United States. As of May 13, 71 people had been hospitalized — 36 percent of those infected are children under the age of 5. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported.

Higher tick populations or not, take precautions against Lyme disease

Recent media reports have suggested that tick populations in Pennsylvania may be particularly high this year, leading to an increased risk of Lyme disease in the state. Although it is unclear whether the number of ticks actually is higher this spring — and if so, why — it nonetheless is always a good idea to take precautions to avoid ticks and the diseases they can transmit, according to entomologists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

From brook trout to walleyes, warming waters to play havoc with fisheries

A few degrees, on average, can make a huge difference in lakes and streams as aquatic species struggle to compete and in some cases survive, and that's why a warming climate is of concern to fisheries managers.

Research focuses on reclaiming strip-mine sites for biofuel crop production

Marvin Hall, a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, is currently working a project to bring highly productive life back to damaged land by planting a crop — switchgrass — that can be used as an alternative fuel source.

Grant aimed at solving agricultural water issues through community engagement

A group of institutions led by Penn State has received nearly $2.2 million for the first year of a planned four-year, $5 million project aimed at developing a model for engaging communities and stakeholders to ensure adequate supplies of good-quality water both for and from agriculture. Partners include the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Arizona State University and the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

From Coca to Cacao

As Colombia emerges from 50 years of violence, Penn State scientists are helping poor farmers switch from growing coca, the stuff of cocaine, to growing cacao, the principal ingredient in chocolate. Cacao for Peace, the international partnership they are a part of, seeks to transform Colombia's rural Caribbean coast in a cacao-growing hotspot.

Penn State researchers hope to extend berry growing season in Northeast

Researchers at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are among a group of researchers examining how the use of high and low tunnels and plastic coverings extend the growing season for strawberries and raspberries, and as a result, increase yields while also reducing pesticide use and improving berry quality and shelf-life.

Dr. Andrew Read gives Graduate School Commencement Speech

Andrew F. Read, Ph.D., Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and Entomology and Eberly Professor of Biotechnology, was the keynote speaker for this year's Graduate School commencement ceremony held on May 7, 2017.

Invent Penn State’s Fund for Innovation awards $75,000 to Persea Naturals

A team of food science researchers from Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences are launching a promising new venture to produce a line of all-natural, vibrant food colors, dubbed AvoColor, using a compound derived from the seed of the avocado.

If some hemlock trees can just hang on, birds that need them may be OK

In 2000, when a team of scientists led by Robert Ross studied the response of birds to the beginning of hemlock tree decline in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Matt Toenies was just seven years old, and the ecological havoc wreaked by invasive species was the farthest thing from his mind.

Plant sciences student helps research natural fungicide

Cullen Dixon, a plant sciences major, participates in a lab that tests the effectiveness of secondary metabolite compounds produced by sorghum as potential biopesticides in combating foliar diseases of Zea mays, or corn.

Ingesting soy protein may ease severity of inflammatory bowel disease

A diet supplemented with soy protein may be an effective adjunct therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases, Penn State researchers reported after completing a study that included mice and cultured human colon cells.

Researchers aim to eliminate malaria in Southeast Asia

Researchers at Penn State have received more than $1 million in first-year funding from the National Institutes of Health to investigate malaria transmission in Southeast Asia with a goal of working toward the disease's elimination in the region. They will receive up to approximately $9 million over seven years for this project.

Shale gas threat to forests can be eased by consolidating infrastructure

Fragmentation of ecologically important core forests within the northern Appalachians — driven by pipeline and access road construction — is the major threat posed by shale-gas development, according to researchers, who recommend a change in infrastructure-siting policies to head off loss of this critical habitat.

Cricket-fortified pasta pitch wins $7,500 Ag Springboard top prize

A team of food science graduate students won the Ag Springboard student business pitch contest and $7,500 grand prize after pitching and serving judges pasta made with cricket flour.

Researchers recruiting citizen-scientists for 'Great Pumpkin Project'

A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is reaching out to Master Gardeners, teachers, students and other interested parties to participate in a citizen-science project that ultimately could benefit growers, crops, pollinators and the environment. "The Great Pumpkin Project" is aimed at describing the geographic distribution of important crop plants and the insects and microbes with which they interact.

Cover crops may be used to mitigate and adapt to climate change

Cover crops long have been touted for their ability to reduce erosion, fix atmospheric nitrogen, reduce nitrogen leaching and improve soil health, but they also may play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change on agriculture, according to a Penn State researcher.

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)

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)