'Growing Impact' examines PFAS water contamination, evaluation of existing tech

March 4, 2024

The latest episode of the "Growing Impact" podcast examines the challenges and potential negative health outcomes of PFAS in drinking water, highlighting efforts to evaluate decontamination technologies for safer community water sources.

New role for bacterial enzyme in gut metabolism revealed

February 28, 2024

Synthesized from cholesterol in the liver, bile acids long have been known to play a role in human metabolism. A team led by Penn State researchers has uncovered the mechanism by which bacteria in the gut generate a wide variety of new bile acid species, the functions of which are not yet clear.  

Penn State College of Ag Sciences seeks partners for statewide tech initiative

February 28, 2024

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences invites collaborators from within and beyond the University to join it as it embarks on a new initiative focused on leveraging emerging and advanced technologies to support sustainable and resilient agricultural systems and the broader living systems that support them.

Cyber-physical heating system may protect apple blossoms in orchards

February 28, 2024

Spring frosts can have devastating effects on apple production, and a warming climate may be causing trees to blossom early, making them more susceptible to the damaging effects of extreme cold events. Growers’ attempts to prevent the flowers from freezing by attempting to heat the canopies of their orchards largely have been inefficient. To deal with the worsening problem, Penn State researchers devised a frost protection cyber-physical system, which makes heating decisions based on real-time temperature and wind-direction data.

TerraSafe Materials and Penn State partner on sustainable packaging solutions

February 27, 2024

TerraSafe has established a lab in State College and entered a licensing agreement with Penn State to commercialize sustainable packaging solutions developed by researchers at Penn State. The agreement is based on technologies invented by a research team led by Jeffrey Catchmark, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and of bioethics in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Catchmark and his team have worked for years developing technology that can replace conventionally used materials with those that are significantly more environmentally friendly.

Lecture to discuss behavioral factors that drive what, why and how children eat

February 22, 2024

Kathleen Keller, professor of nutritional sciences and food science at Penn State, will deliver the 2024 Pattishall Research Lecture on March 20. Her lecture will discuss brain and behavioral factors that drive what, why and how children eat, and how these eating behaviors predict the development of childhood obesity.

Ladybug scents offer a more ecologically friendly way to protect crops

February 22, 2024

A team of researchers led by Sara Hermann, assistant professor of arthropod ecology and trophic interactions in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, has developed pest control tools based on chemicals present in interactions between ladybugs and aphids. These tools could offer farmers more sustainable pest-control options.

Dual-energy harvesting device could power future wireless medical implants

February 20, 2024

A new wireless charging device developed by Penn State scientists could dramatically improve powering capability for implantable biomedical devices — like pacemakers, insulin pumps and neurostimulators — while still being safe for our bodies, the researchers said.

Common plant could help reduce food insecurity, researchers find

February 16, 2024

An often-overlooked water plant that can double its biomass in two days, capture nitrogen from the air — making it a valuable green fertilizer — and be fed to poultry and livestock could serve as life-saving food for humans in the event of a catastrophe or disaster, a new study led by Penn State researchers suggests.

Dairy cows fed botanicals-supplemented diets use energy more efficiently

February 12, 2024

Supplementing the feed of high-producing dairy cows with the botanical extract capsicum oleoresin, obtained from chili peppers, or a combination of that extract and clove oil resulted in the animals using feed energy more efficiently and emitting less methane from their largest stomach, according to a new study conducted by Penn State researchers.

Stable profits, land preservation matter to farmers debating solar leases

February 12, 2024

While a stable and predictable profit is an important factor to Pennsylvania farmers considering leasing out their land for solar energy development, it’s not enough on its own, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers.

Sugar-reduced chocolate with oat flour just as tasty as original, study finds

February 12, 2024

The secret to making delicious chocolate with less added sugar is oat flour, according to a new study by Penn State researchers. In a blind taste test, recently published in the Journal of Food Science, 25% reduced-sugar chocolates made with oat flour were rated equally, and in some cases preferred, to regular chocolate. The findings provide a new option for decreasing chocolate’s sugar content while maintaining its texture and flavor.

Evaluating the quality of civilian transitions in post-9/11 veterans

February 12, 2024

Researchers at Penn State’s Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness have developed a new framework for assessing the quality of military-to-civilian transitions among post-9/11 veterans. They published their work in the journal Armed Forces and Society.

A Note from Neeli: February 2024

February 7, 2024

President Neeli Bendapudi shares the story of “Together, Tacit,” an inspiring interdisciplinary research and creative collaboration between the College of Arts and Architecture and the College of Engineering.

Supplementing financial aid with education may benefit SNAP recipients

February 2, 2024

Pairing education with financial assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could help to improve diet quality, according to new research published in the journal Agricultural Economics.

'Growing Impact' podcast explores effect of solar energy's expansion on land use

February 2, 2024

The latest episode of the "Growing Impact" podcast explores how to minimize the conflict that can occur when considering placement of solar energy installations.

Edge habitats along roads and power lines may be key to conserving rare plants

January 31, 2024

Managing forest edge habitats to maintain a gradient of canopy cover and plant density could be key to conserving some threatened native plant species such as wild lupine, according to Penn State researchers, who said edge habitats along roadways and utility rights-of-way provide prime opportunities to promote rare native plant populations.

Proteins in milk — not just fat — may help reduce oral burn from spicy food

January 31, 2024

Spicy food lovers know that milk can ease the oral burn, but why? Some believe that fat is the soother, with whole cow’s milk reducing the bite more than low-fat cow’s milk or plant milks. A new study conducted by Penn State food scientists, however, suggests that protein plays a role in cooling the heat sensation, too.

Penn State entomologists appointed to national committee on pollinator research

January 29, 2024

Two entomologists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have been appointed to serve on a new U.S. Department of Agriculture subcommittee on pollinators.

Fungi into the Future

January 29, 2024

Mushrooms, and specifically the common white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, are big business in Pennsylvania. The state grows almost two-thirds of all Agaricus produced in the United States. Penn State’s leadership in research and education has shaped and supported the industry since its beginnings. In recent years, however, mushroom-related research at Penn State has expanded, fungus-like, across departments and even colleges into new and surprising areas, from food science to environmental clean-up to architecture and design.

Six researchers recognized with Institute of Energy and the Environment Awards

January 29, 2024

Six Penn State researchers who were nominated by the Penn State community for their collaborative, interdisciplinary research efforts were recognized with Institute of Energy and the Environment’s Research Awards.

Foodborne-pathogen Listeria may hide from sanitizers in biofilms

January 24, 2024

An estimated 1,600 people in the U.S. contract a serious infection from Listeria bacteria in food each year and, of those individuals, about 260 people die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Penn State researchers may now better understand how the bacteria, called Listeria monocytogenes, survive and persist in fruit-packing plants by evading and surviving sanitizers.  

Veterans of color and female veterans reported more stress during COVID-19

January 23, 2024

A recent study conducted by researchers at the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State found veterans of color and female veterans reported significantly higher levels of stress than their white male counterparts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research to help private forest owners manage woodlands for ecosystem services

January 17, 2024

Funded by a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a team of forest ecologists and social scientists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will conduct research aimed at helping owners of small- to medium-sized forest tracts manage their woodlands for ecosystem services they deem desirable.    

Women farmers quantitatively linked to better community well-being

January 17, 2024

Having more women in agriculture is associated with greater community well-being, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their work is the first to quantitatively assess this link, and their findings suggest that women farmers approach their operations in ways that positively impact their communities.

Novel, interdisciplinary training program launched for doctoral degree students

January 16, 2024

A team comprised of faculty from five departments in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and the Department of Biology in the Eberly College of Science, funded by a $262,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has created a novel program to train doctoral degree students to conduct interdisciplinary research on the relationship between soils, plants and consumers.

Economics propelling population shifts in spite of climate-driven risks

January 12, 2024

People are willing to live in locations where there is a greater risk of climate-driven extreme weather and natural disasters if there is an increase to their overall economic well-being, according to a study by a Penn State researcher.

One Health Microbiome Symposium to convene experts for innovative discussions

January 9, 2024

Penn State’s One Health Microbiome Center will host the One Health Microbiome Symposium on May 30-31, 2024, at the Huck Life Sciences Building on the University Park campus.

Why are bees making less honey? Study reveals clues in five decades of data

January 3, 2024

Honey yields in the U.S. have been declining since the 1990s, with honey producers and scientists unsure why, but a new study by Penn State researchers has uncovered clues in the mystery of the missing honey.

Growing Impact podcast discusses how climate, agriculture impact Colorado River

January 3, 2024

The latest episode of Growing Impact discusses how climate change and overuse of the Colorado River have significantly decreased the volume of the fifth largest river in the U.S.

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600