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May 3, 2019

The prevalence of the most abundant species of ticks found in Pennsylvania has shifted over the last century, according to Penn State scientists, who analyzed 117 years' worth of specimens and data submitted primarily by residents from around the state.

April 30, 2019

While touring a hospital in India, Penn State entomologist Matthew Thomas recalls walking past the intensive care unit and seeing a young boy — about 14 years old — severely ill from malaria. He learned later that the boy had died the following day, and the unfortunate circumstance of it all stayed with Thomas. If the boy had been bitten by any other mosquito, he may not have died.

April 2, 2019

Consuming unsafe food is a major public health threat globally, but the continent bearing the most burden is Africa, where more than 91 million people fall ill and 140,000 die each year from foodborne diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

March 12, 2019

An extract from the seeds of avocados exhibited anti-inflammatory properties in a laboratory study, according to Penn State researchers, and it represents a potential source for novel anti-inflammatory compounds that could be developed as a functional food ingredient or pharmaceuticals.

March 7, 2019

Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), in collaboration with the Institute for CyberScience (ICS) and the College of Information Sciences and Technology, has awarded over $100,000 in funding to support six new interdisciplinary teams of Penn State researchers whose work is aimed at developing innovative research programs using Twitter data. Faculty from the College of Agricultural Sciences are a part of three of these teams.

March 6, 2019

Consumer preference or aversion to wines made from native grapes — such as Concord, Niagara and Catawba, which are mostly grown in eastern North America — may depend on early exposure to the fruits' sweet, ultra "grapey" taste and aroma, according to researchers who conducted sensory tests with wine drinkers in Pennsylvania and California.

February 13, 2019

Employing advanced genetic-tracing techniques and sharing the data produced in real time could limit the spread of bacteria — Bacillus cereus — which cause foodborne illness, according to researchers who implemented whole-genome sequencing of a pathogen-outbreak investigation.

January 14, 2019

A cellular protein that interacts with invading viruses appears to help enable the infection process of the Zika virus, according to an international team of researchers who suggest this protein could be a key target in developing new therapies to prevent or treat Zika virus infection.

January 7, 2019

A natural antioxidant found in grain bran could preserve food longer and replace synthetic antioxidants currently used by the food industry, according to researchers at Penn State.

December 17, 2018

A biodegradable, edible film made with plant starch and antimicrobial compounds may control the growth of foodborne pathogens on seafood, according to a group of international researchers.

November 12, 2018

Mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles are well known as primary vectors of malaria. But a new study suggests that Anopheles species, including some found in the United States, also are capable of carrying and transmitting an emerging pathogen, Mayaro virus, which has caused outbreaks of disease in South America and the Caribbean.

November 1, 2018

Many vendors at farmers markets take inadequate precautions to prevent the spread of foodborne illness, and they should be trained to reduce food-safety risks, according to Penn State researchers who completed the final phase of an innovative five-year study.

October 25, 2018

While a warming climate in recent decades may be a factor in the waning of some local populations of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders, it cannot explain the overall steep decline of amphibians, according to researchers.

October 9, 2018

Nearly 15 percent of all chewing gum varieties sold promise to provide health-enhancing supplements to users, so Penn State researchers studied whether two vitamin-supplemented products were effective at delivering vitamins to the body. Their results validate the concept of gum as an effective delivery system for at least some vitamins.

October 2, 2018

In an innovative study that promises to reduce production costs for the most potent form of vitamin K — Menaquinone-7, Penn State researchers have developed a novel method to enhance the fermentation process that creates the supplement by agitated liquid fermentation in a biofilm reactor.

September 10, 2018

Soil may be a natural filter that can act as a tertiary treatment for wastewater, preventing antibiotics from contaminating groundwater, according to researchers who conducted a study at Penn State's Living Filter.

September 7, 2018

A unique gathering of physicians, veterinarians, ecologists and conservationists took place in Hershey recently with the goal of improving human, animal, plant and ecosystem health in Pennsylvania.

August 22, 2018

In the world of plant-feeding insects, who shows up first to the party determines the overall success of the gathering; yet viruses can disrupt these intricate relationships, according to researchers at Penn State.

August 18, 2018

High bitter-taste sensitivity is associated with a significantly increased risk of cancer in older British women, according to researchers who conducted a unique study of 5,500 women whose diet, lifestyle and health has been tracked for about 20 years.

August 16, 2018

Eating white button mushrooms can create subtle shifts in the microbial community in the gut, which could improve the regulation of glucose in the liver, according to a team of researchers. They also suggest that better understanding this connection between mushrooms and gut microbes in mice could one day pave the way for new diabetes treatments and prevention strategies for people.

July 18, 2018

High bitter-taste sensitivity is associated with a significantly increased risk of cancer in older British women, according to researchers who conducted a unique study of 5,500 women whose diet, lifestyle and health has been tracked for about 20 years.

July 5, 2018

Gypsum recycled from manufacturing and construction waste has gained popularity as a bedding source for the dairy industry. However, when gypsum — a source of sulfate — finds its way into low-oxygen manure-storage facilities via removal as soiled bedding, this innocuous product can turn into a deadly gas with a few moves of an agitation device, a dangerous threat that researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences believe can be counteracted with an additive.

July 2, 2018

While current training for food safety and sanitation usually incorporates high-technology presentations, such as videos and slide shows, there is still a need for low-tech approaches, according to Penn State researchers.

June 28, 2018

A collection of bacteria in the gut may use a cell-signaling protein to help regulate vitamin D, a key nutrient that, among other benefits, is involved with building and maintaining bones, according to a team of researchers. In a study on mice, researchers found that microbiota — a community of microorganisms in the gut that can help digest food and maintain immune function — may regulate the metabolism of endocrine vitamin D through a protein called fibroblast growth factor 23, or FGF 23, said Margherita T. Cantorna, distinguished professor of molecular immunology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

June 22, 2018

An international team of researchers has discovered evidence of 27 previously unknown viruses in bees. The finding could help scientists design strategies to prevent the spread of viral pathogens among these important pollinators.

June 14, 2018

The spotted lanternfly is starting to sour the grape and wine industries in southeastern Pennsylvania, and research underway in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences aims to spoil the invasive pest's party.

June 7, 2018

A faculty team in Penn State's Department of Food Science is offering a novel microbiology workshop in June and July to visiting college students from around the Commonwealth and Puerto Rico. The workshop, hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences, will include nine students from seven Pennsylvania institutions — Gettysburg College, Juniata College, Lafayette College, La Roche College, Mount Aloysius College, Saint Vincent College and Shippensburg University — and five students from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez.

June 5, 2018

Development of wound dressings made of semi-synthetic biomaterials will be the focus of a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

June 5, 2018

As the emergence of the spotted lanternfly continues to threaten portions of Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry, two researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences who are studying the invasive insects joined colleagues from more than 20 universities on Capitol Hill today (June 6) to show members of Congress and their staffs the importance of funding agricultural research.

April 2, 2018

Research has shown that the consumption of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids provides a myriad of health benefits, including lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

July 3, 2017

The Coin honors individuals whose achievements or terms of service have advanced the U.S. Army Malaria Vaccine Mission. The coin is awarded by the Director of the Division of Malaria Vaccine Development at WRAIR. Past recipients of the coin have included Bill Gates.

June 16, 2017

Two Penn State researchers 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.

May 5, 2017

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.

March 6, 2017

A core set of genes involved in the responses of honey bees to multiple diseases caused by viruses and parasites has been identified by an international team of researchers. The findings provide a better-defined starting point for future studies of honey-bee health, and may help scientists and beekeepers breed honey bees that are more resilient to stress.

February 24, 2017

Penn State Cancer Institute has appointed Jeffrey M. Peters, distinguished professor of molecular toxicology and carcinogenesis in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State, as its new deputy director, following a national search. As deputy director, Peters will catalyze collaborations among cancer researchers across Penn State’s colleges and campuses and help lead the Cancer Institute’s application for National Cancer Institute designation in 2018.

January 4, 2017

A newly discovered virus infecting the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats could help scientists and wildlife agencies track the spread of the disease that is decimating bat populations in the United States, a new study suggests.

August 11, 2016

A genetic mutation may have helped modern humans adapt to smoke exposure from fires and perhaps sparked an evolutionary advantage over their archaic competitors, including Neandertals, according to a team of researchers.

August 2, 2016

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a two-year grant to Jason Rasgon, associate professor of entomology and disease epidemiology at Penn State, to test whether common American mosquitoes can carry the Zika virus.

August 2, 2016

While Penn State has developed a reputation as a leader in pollinator research, the experiences of entomology alumni illustrate another key contribution to pollinator health. Penn State is playing a critical role in training the next generation of scientists to address problems — such as parasitic mites, diseases and pesticide effects — that are likely to take longer to solve than the duration of a research grant or even an entomologist's entire career.

June 28, 2016

Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.

June 17, 2016

The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation recently awarded grants totaling more than $2 million to research teams led by David Hughes, assistant professor of entomology and biology, to study microbes in the genus Ophiocordyceps -- known as "zombie-ant" fungi -- and how they precisely manipulate the behavior of their ant hosts.

May 26, 2016

Zombie ants are only one of the fungi-insect relationships studied by a team of Penn State biologists in a newly compiled database of insect fungi interactions.

May 10, 2016

Asthma is a chronic lung disease affecting 10 percent of school-aged children in the United States. The Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management, or PA IPM, program — a collaboration between the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture — is partnering with the School District of Philadelphia to reduce asthma triggers in schoolchildren by preventing pests, including mice and cockroaches, from entering schools.

March 16, 2016

Compounds that stop a cellular rescue operation for stuck ribosomes may bolster the nation's defenses against biowarfare and bioterrorism, as well as create alternative antibiotics to handle increasingly resistant pathogens, according to a team of researchers.

February 22, 2016

Jeffrey Catchmark, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, is working to commercialize a patent-pending biofoam pad for wound and trauma care.

February 22, 2016

After decades of research aimed at improving the yield, appearance and safety of fruits, vegetables and grains, it's time to focus science on the health benefits those foods can provide, according to a cancer researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

February 22, 2016

Six projects have received funding from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences under its Strategic Initiatives and Networks Program, which aims to increase the capacity for interdisciplinary research by strengthening existing programs and promoting formation of new interdisciplinary research partnerships.

February 8, 2016

To help tackle the complexities of infectious disease dynamics, Penn State has developed an interdisciplinary approach to disease research, bringing together a diverse team of theoreticians and empirical scientists — representing such disparate fields as molecular biology, mathematics, plant pathology, entomology, genomics, statistics, physics, population dynamics and more — under a single umbrella. Now entering its 13th year in existence, Penn State's Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics has become a global leader in infectious disease research.

December 17, 2015

Two Penn State researchers have been chosen to receive a grant through the Grand Challenges Explorations program, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Johanna Ohm, graduate student in biology, and Matt Thomas, professor and Huck Scholar in Ecological Entomology, will develop an insect-based artificial diet for adult Aedes/Anopheles mosquitoes as a viable alternative to mammalian blood meals.

December 17, 2015

A bile acid that can turn off a receptor in the gut has prevented and reversed fatty liver disease in mice, according to an international team of researchers. The compound may help treat certain metabolic disorders, such as Type 2 diabetes and

November 12, 2015

Troy Ott, professor of reproductive physiology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is developing a blood test that dairy farmers and livestock veterinarians can use to tell whether a cow failed to conceive after insemination.

October 28, 2015

Scientists had high hopes that heroin would be a safer and less addictive alternative to morphine, which had left tens of thousands of soldiers dependent on it after the Civil War. At the dawn of the 20th century, philanthropic societies even dispensed free samples of heroin to morphine addicts. Unfortunately, the wonder drug, when injected, turned out to be two to four times more potent than morphine and highly addictive.

September 29, 2015

Exploring the effects of environmental stress and policy strategies for building more resilient communities in the central Asian highlands is the focus of a new NASA-funded research project at Penn State.

September 25, 2015

Adolescents who live in rural areas and small towns and cities are more likely to abuse prescription painkillers than adolescents who live in large urban areas, according to sociologists.

September 25, 2015

Scientists wonder why some people get so sick and even die after being infected by the foodborne pathogen E.coli O157:H7, while others experience much milder symptoms and recover relatively quickly. Now Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences researchers believe they have discovered an explanation.

August 27, 2015

Compounds found in purple potatoes may help kill colon cancer stem cells and limit the spread of the cancer, according to a team of researchers.

August 10, 2015

Several promising technologies earned Penn State faculty researchers grants of $75,000 each to help them transform research projects into viable products on the market. The College of Agricultural Sciences Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program awarded the Research Applications for Innovation grants, which are designed to promote innovation and economic development by encouraging the transfer of technologies to existing and start-up companies.

August 3, 2015

Scientific experiments with the herpesvirus that causes Marek's disease in poultry have confirmed, for the first time, the highly controversial theory that some vaccines could allow more-virulent versions of a virus to survive, putting unvaccinated individuals at greater risk of severe illness. The research has important implications for food-chain security and food-chain economics, as well as for other diseases that affect humans and agricultural animals.

April 29, 2015

Research into anti-cancer compounds gives whole new meaning to the phrase "eat healthy."

March 27, 2015

Honey bees use different sets of genes, regulated by two distinct mechanisms, to fight off viruses, bacteria and gut parasites, according to researchers at Penn State and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The findings may help scientists develop honey bee treatments that are tailored to specific types of infections.

September 24, 2014

How people perceive and taste alcohol depends on genetic factors, and that influences whether they "like" and consume alcoholic beverages, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

September 5, 2014

The taste of common sugar substitutes is often described as being much more intense than sugar, but participants in a recent study indicated that these non-nutritive sugar substitutes are no sweeter than the real thing, according to Penn State food scientists.

August 29, 2014

A unique method for delivering compounds that could positively impact the global battle against HIV and AIDS may be possible, thanks to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

August 25, 2014

A parasitic fungus that reproduces by manipulating the behavior of ants emits a cocktail of behavior-controlling chemicals when encountering the brain of its natural target host but not when infecting other ant species, a new study shows. The findings, which suggest that the fungus "knows" its preferred host, provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, according to researchers.

August 20, 2014

A parasitic fungus that must kill its ant hosts outside their nest to reproduce and transmit its infection, manipulates its victims to die in the vicinity of the colony, ensuring a constant supply of potential new hosts, according to researchers at Penn State and colleagues at Brazil's Federal University of Vicosa.

July 11, 2014

Mosquitoes infected with the bacteria Wolbachia are more likely to become infected with West Nile virus and more likely to transmit the virus to humans, according to a team of researchers.

July 7, 2014

Fine-scale climate model projections suggest the possibility that population centers in cool, highland regions of East Africa could be more vulnerable to malaria than previously thought, while population centers in hot, lowland areas could be less vulnerable, according to a team of researchers. The team applied a statistical technique to conventional, coarse-scale climate models to better predict malaria dynamics at local levels.

July 7, 2014

An international team of researchers has discovered honey bee colonies in Newfoundland, Canada, that are free of the invasive parasites that affect honey bees elsewhere in the world. The populations offer a unique opportunity to investigate honey bee health, both with and without interfering interactions from parasites.

July 7, 2014

Malaria parasites alter the chemical odor signal of their hosts to attract mosquitos and better spread their offspring, according to researchers, who believe this scent change could be used as a diagnostic tool.

June 18, 2014

With recent headlines about dangerous "superbugs," an outbreak of Salmonella from chicken parts on the West Coast and the announcement by a national restaurant chain that it plans to serve only "antibiotic-free" chicken, it's no wonder the public is alarmed and confused.

May 29, 2014

Female mice deprived of dietary zinc for a relatively short time before conception experienced fertility and pregnancy problems and had smaller, less-developed fetuses than mice that ingested zinc during the same times, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.