Golden ticket: Researchers examine what consumers desire in chocolate products

November 9, 2020

Gold foil, ornate labels and an intriguing backstory are product characteristics highly desired by premium chocolate consumers, according to research conducted by food scientists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Could SARS-CoV-2 evolve resistance to COVID-19 vaccines?

November 9, 2020

Similar to bacteria evolving resistance to antibiotics, viruses can evolve resistance to vaccines, and the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 could undermine the effectiveness of vaccines that are currently under development, according to a paper published Nov. 9 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by David Kennedy and Andrew Read from Penn State. The authors also offer recommendations to vaccine developers for minimizing the likelihood of this outcome.

Penn State mourns loss of food science pioneer Philip Keeney

October 29, 2020

The Penn State community is mourning the loss of Philip Keeney, professor emeritus of food science, who died Oct. 17 at the age of 95. Intimately linked with the Department of Food Science since he helped to establish it in 1975, Keeney perhaps was best known for his research and teaching related to ice cream

Misleading mulch: Researchers find contents of mulch bags do not match claims

October 29, 2020

In response to complaints about misleading packaging and fraudulent behavior by some producers of bagged landscaping mulch, Penn State researchers conducted an investigation and devised a process to determine the wood species included in the products, and at what percentage.

Grafting with epigenetically-modified rootstock yields surprise

October 22, 2020

Novel grafted plants — consisting of rootstock epigenetically modified to “believe” it has been under stress — joined to an unmodified scion, or above-ground shoot, give rise to progeny that are more vigorous, productive and resilient than the parental plants.

Veterinary experts offer advice after pet cat tests positive for COVID-19 in Pa.

October 20, 2020

Despite the state's first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a domestic cat, veterinary experts say residents should not be concerned about contracting the virus from pets and other domesticated animals. However, people with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 should take precautions to protect the health of their pets.

More precise nitrogen recommendations for corn to help farmers, cut pollution

October 15, 2020

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have developed an important component of a new system that corn growers can use to adjust nitrogen fertilizer applications based on site-specific measurements of cover crops and soil organic matter.

Grant supports study of how carnivorous plants repurpose genes to digest prey

October 14, 2020

A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received funding from the National Science Foundation to examine the genetic mechanisms that enable carnivorous plants to repurpose defense proteins to digest their insect prey.

Penn State sensory scientists encourage smell checks to fight COVID-19 spread

October 8, 2020

With mounting scientific evidence that anosmia, or loss of smell, is one of the most specific symptoms of COVID-19 infection, sensory scientists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have launched a webpage to encourage people to perform a daily smell test in an effort to nip disease spread in the bud.

Plant pathologist at Penn State to aid NASA study on pathogen dispersal

October 8, 2020

A plant pathologist in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences is supporting a multi-institutional research project designed to help track the spread of a plant pathogen.

New website launches to support communities in preventing youth substance use

October 8, 2020

A new website, located at, will aid in recruiting Pennsylvania communities and families to participate in PROSPER, or PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience, a program proven to reduce use throughout entire communities by working with middle school students and their parents.

Penn State researcher part of project to develop novel COVID-19 vaccine

October 6, 2020

A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is part of a team of scientists working to develop a unique COVID-19 vaccine that uses a bovine adenovirus as a safe and effective delivery vehicle.

Harvesting vegetation on riparian buffers barely reduces water-quality benefits

October 2, 2020

Allowing farmers to harvest vegetation from their riparian buffers will not significantly impede the ability of those streamside tracts to protect water quality by capturing nutrients and sediment — and it will boost farmers’ willingness to establish buffers.

Researchers hear more crickets and katydids 'singing in the suburbs'

September 29, 2020

The songs that crickets and katydids sing at night to attract mates can help in monitoring and mapping their populations, according to Penn State researchers, whose study of Orthoptera species in central Pennsylvania also shed light on these insects' habitat preferences.

Team wins grant to develop nitrogen fertilizer decision tool for organic farmers

September 24, 2020

Penn State researchers have received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to perfect a tool they developed to help organic corn producers decide how much nitrogen — as fertilizer or manure — to apply to their crop fields.

Virtual program to address local law issues around solar energy projects

September 22, 2020

A team of Penn State professors will collaborate to deliver a virtual continuing legal education (CLE) course, “Local Law for Solar Project Development in Pennsylvania,” hosted by Penn State Dickinson Law at noon Friday, Sept. 25.

Plant scientist gets $1 million grant to boost organic production, conservation

September 21, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a researcher in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences a $1 million grant for his investigation of intensifying organic grain production while balancing production and conservation goals.

Center for Nanoscale Science renewed at $18 million for six years

September 21, 2020

The Center for Nanoscale Science, a National Science Foundation Materials Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), has again successfully renewed its NSF support in the highly competitive MRSEC program. The new iteration of the center encompasses two of NSF’s Big Ideas — Quantum Leap and Harnessing the Data Revolution.

Wastewater sampling may give advanced warning of potential COVID-19 outbreaks

September 20, 2020

Wastewater sampling for coronavirus on campus and in the surrounding community could alert University decision makers to a potential outbreak several days before individuals exhibit symptoms of an infection. The initiative — part of Penn State’s multilayered approach to test, monitor and mitigate for COVID-19 — could enable leaders to take swift actions to minimize the virus’s spread with the goal of helping to protect the health and safety of the community.

Study at Penn State to examine potential for birds to eat spotted lanternfly

September 17, 2020

Do birds find the spotted lanternfly to be a tasty treat or a nauseating nibble? That is one of the questions researchers at Penn State hope to answer, and they are seeking citizen scientists, especially bird watchers, to help in their quest for knowledge.

Penn State researchers to study novel coronavirus potential to infect livestock

September 9, 2020

A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will enable Penn State researchers to study the potential for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, to infect and spread among livestock.

Penn State Extension food safety training given in Ukraine has a lasting benefit

September 9, 2020

Food safety training, developed by Penn State Extension and delivered to food industry professionals and university students and faculty members in Ukraine, resulted in a significant and lasting improvement in participants’ food safety knowledge, behavior, attitude and skills, according to researchers.

Insect Biodiversity Center to promote insect conservation, healthy ecosystems

September 8, 2020

The newly launched Insect Biodiversity Center at Penn State will create a focal point for the study and conservation of insects and the ecosystems with which they interact. The center brings together faculty researchers and educators from eight Penn State colleges.

Penn State researchers to study political content sharing on Facebook

September 8, 2020

As the 2020 election draws closer, political content on social media is becoming more and more prevalent. A group of researchers, being led by principal investigator S. Shyam Sundar, James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects at Penn State, is examining spontaneous sharing of political content on Facebook.

Grant to enable creation of AI tools to improve adolescents’ diets and nutrition

August 25, 2020

With a $1.2 million grant from Fondation Botnar, an international team of researchers will assess the feasibility of creating and launching a global-scale artificial-intelligence app for mobile devices that diagnoses diet-related problems and offers nutritional advice to adolescent girls living in urban settings in Ghana and Vietnam.

Aspirin after calving can provide relief to dairy cows, increase milk production

August 25, 2020

Dairy cows that received a short course of anti-inflammatory medication after calving had lower metabolic stress and produced more milk than untreated cows, according to researchers, who say the regimen they tested could be adopted more easily by producers than previously studied treatment strategies.

Advanced biofuels show promise for replacing some fossil fuels

August 25, 2020

Plant-based biofuels can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and growing these crops in certain landscapes offers net climate benefits compared to other land use options, according to a team of international scientists.

Reducing transmission risk of livestock disease

August 24, 2020

According to a new study, the risk of transmitting the livestock virus PPRV, which threatens 80% of the world’s sheep and goats, increases with certain husbandry practices, including attendance at seasonal grazing camps and the introduction of sheep and goats to the herd.

Invasive shrubs in Northeast forests grow leaves earlier and keep them longer

August 19, 2020

The rapid pace by which invasive shrubs have infiltrated forests in the northeastern United States has made scientists suspect they have a consistent advantage over native shrubs, and the first region-wide study of leaf timing, conducted by Penn State researchers, supports those suspicions.

Merit-based NSF grant extension supports expansion of gene-editing technology

August 17, 2020

Researchers who developed an improved method of gene editing for the study of arthropods will expand the technology for use in vertebrate species such as mice, fish and birds after receiving new funding from the National Science Foundation.

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