Predictive models show wildlife managers where to find destructive feral swine

June 1, 2023

Feral swine are considered one of the top invasive species of concern in North America because of the damage they do to agricultural and natural systems. To best manage them, resource management agencies need to know more precisely where and when to implement control methods. A new study by a Penn State-led research team developed a method to help guide control efforts in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  

Penn State engineers report low-cost human biomarker sensor designs

May 31, 2023

Penn State researchers have developed a low-cost, RNA-based technology to detect and measure biomarkers, which can help decode the body’s physiology. The presence of protein biomarkers can indicate chronic or acute conditions, from arthritis to cancer to bacterial infections, for which conventional tests can cost anywhere from $100 to upwards of $1,000. The new technology can perform the same measurement for about a dollar.

Strategic city planning can help reduce urban heat island effect

May 23, 2023

New Penn State research suggests that certain urban factors can reduce the tendency of cities to trap heat — a phenomenon called the “urban heat island.”

Cutter named recipient of prestigious international food safety award

May 18, 2023

Catherine Nettles Cutter, Penn State Extension assistant director for food safety and quality programs, received the prestigious Fellow Award from the International Association for Food Protection in recognition of her exceptional contributions to food safety.

Penn State student awarded prestigious NSF grant for nematology research

May 17, 2023

Mariah Kidd, a Penn State student earning her master’s degree in plant pathology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, recently was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program grant for her research in nematology.

PlantVillage receives $4.96 million grant to combat crop loss in Africa

May 16, 2023

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are awarding a $4.96 million grant to PlantVillage to help increase food production for smallholder farmers who face pests and disease of their crops across sub-Saharan Africa. The research project, called Delphi, will create a modeling platform that can be used by researchers globally to improve the speed and accuracy of efforts to identify emerging threats.

Penn State's renamed One Health Microbiome Center affirms broad expertise

May 15, 2023

The Microbiome Center in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State has announced its renaming to the One Health Microbiome Center, reflecting its collaborative culture and aspirations to write its next chapter in the booming study of microbial communities that live throughout the world's environments.

‘Nature is messy': Pioneers in landscape transcriptomics study genes in the wild

May 11, 2023

An interdisciplinary team in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences — in an initiative aimed at better understanding the implications of climate change for animal and plant life and agricultural systems — is focusing on an emerging field of study called landscape transcriptomics.

Analysis of U.S. farms offers clearer, more nuanced picture for policymakers

May 8, 2023

A new Penn State-led study set out to analyze U.S. farming counties to better understand the diversity of farms across the country, which researchers say suggests that agricultural policies should not be designed with a “one size fits all” approach.

Newly discovered immune system mechanism suppresses parasitic infection

May 4, 2023

Type I interferon plays a critical role in suppressing inflammation in mice infected with the schistosome parasite, Penn State immunology researchers have found. The discovery may lead to effective therapies for those suffering from schistosomiasis, second only to malaria as the most prevalent parasitic disease globally.  

Biofortification of microgreens with zinc could mitigate global ‘hidden hunger’

May 3, 2023

When the seeds of plants such as pea and sunflower are biofortified with zinc, the seedlings they quickly produce — harvested as microgreens — could both help to mitigate global malnutrition and boost the odds of people surviving a catastrophe. 

Energy, environmental seed grants awarded to interdisciplinary research teams

May 2, 2023

The 19 interdisciplinary research teams that received funding include more than 75 researchers who are affiliated with 10 colleges and research units across seven Penn State campuses.

2023 Undergraduate Exhibition welcomed 237 participants

April 28, 2023

A total of 237 Penn State undergraduates presented during the Undergraduate Exhibition from April 10-12, showcasing their research, projects and performances during a virtual and in-person event.

Early-nesting ducks at increased risk due to changes in climate, land use

April 24, 2023

Each year approximately 10 million waterfowl fly north to their breeding grounds in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America, but the landscape that greets them has changed. Weather patterns and agricultural practices have significantly transformed the pothole-dotted native grasslands that waterfowl have used for thousands of years.

Low use of nutrition labels contributes to health disparities in China

April 20, 2023

Nutrition labels can help guide consumers toward making healthier food choices, but new research suggests that a lack of knowledge about how to use them may be contributing to nutrition gaps between people in urban and rural China.

Organic beekeeping rivals conventional methods for bee health, productivity

April 19, 2023

Honey bee colonies managed using organic methods were as healthy and productive as those managed in conventional systems, while avoiding the use of synthetic pesticides to control pests and pathogens inside the hive, according to newly published research led by Penn State entomologists.

Opening farms to visitors boosts nearby farms’ direct sales, and vice versa

April 18, 2023

Farmers use many marketing strategies to diversify their incomes and stay in business. New research suggests that two of these strategies — agritourism and direct farm sales — complement one another when they occur within the same community. The findings could help farmers and the local organizations that support them plan strategically for farm resilience and growth.

Extension experts release guidelines to increase safety of manure-storage

April 17, 2023

Farming is one of the most dangerous work environments in the U.S. Among the factors that contribute to farming’s risk profile is the potential presence of toxic gases associated with manure storage facilities. As manure storage emptying season approaches, Penn State researchers seek to reinforce the message that increased awareness of manure gas dangers saves lives.

T-cell vaccine for COVID-19 may last longer than current vaccines

April 13, 2023

The current COVID-19 vaccines are designed to trigger an antibody response to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is vulnerable to mutations that could make the vaccine less effective over time. Focusing on the T-cell instead, Penn State researchers partnered with Evaxion Biotech on a study that was the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of an artificial intelligence-generated vaccine in a live viral challenge model. Such a vaccine may provide long-lasting immunity against future emerging variants and could be used as a model for other seasonal viral diseases like the flu.

Stronger paper bags, reused repeatedly then recycled for biofuel could be future

April 11, 2023

As the world searches for ways to reduce the use of plastics such as single-use plastic bags, a novel study by Penn State researchers demonstrates a process to make paper bags stronger — especially when they get wet — to make them a more viable alternative.

Broccoli consumption protects gut lining, reduces disease, in mice

April 6, 2023

Broccoli is known to be beneficial to our health. For example, research has shown that increased consumption of the cruciferous vegetable decreases incidences of cancer and type 2 diabetes. In a recent study, researchers at Penn State found that broccoli contains certain molecules that bind to a receptor within mice and help to protect the lining of the small intestine, thereby inhibiting the development of disease. The findings lend support to the idea that broccoli truly is a "superfood."

Digging into the past: Forgotten soil samples are opportunity for new research

April 5, 2023

Penn State researchers recently opened sealed jars of soil samples collected on campus in 1915 and 1933. Because the samples were taken before many of the changes in agricultural and industrial practices throughout the past century, they offer scientists the chance to study how these changes have affected the microorganisms that live within the soil.

Soil nutrients affect how attractive plants are to bees from the ground up

April 4, 2023

Pollination is vital for many plants, and nutrients present in the soil before these plants even sprout may affect how attractive they eventually are to pollinators, according to Penn State-led research.

Foundation grant to fund research on reducing methane emissions from livestock

April 4, 2023

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture has awarded a grant to a team in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences to fund research aimed at reducing enteric, or intestinal, methane emissions from cows and sheep, using plant and fungal sources.

Innovative method predicts the effects of climate change on cold-blooded animals

April 3, 2023

In the face of a warming climate that is having a profound effect on global biodiversity and will change the distribution and abundance of many animals, a Penn State-led research team has developed a statistical model that improves estimates of habitat suitability and extinction probability for cold-blooded animals as temperatures climb.

Squash bees flourish in response to agricultural intensification

April 3, 2023

A new study led by Penn State found that the squash bee (Eucera pruinosa) has evolved in response to intensifying agriculture — namely squashes in the genus Curcurbita. The research is the first to demonstrate the role of agriculture as an evolutionary force acting on a wild insect pollinator and may have implications for food security.

Is a little-known amino acid concentrated in mushrooms the key to healthy aging?

March 31, 2023

Ergothioneine — or ERGO, an amino acid made primarily by fungi and found in high concentrations in mushrooms — may be a useful tool in fighting these conditions, according to a Penn State researcher.

Wildfire proximity associated with asthma cases in rural Alaska

March 30, 2023

It’s been widely reported that Alaska is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. Penn State researchers are examining the resulting impacts, such as wildfires, and how they affect health conditions like asthma.

The Microbiome Center announces a free bioinformatics resource for Penn State

March 29, 2023

The Penn State Microbiome Center, in coordination with the lab of David Koslicki, is offering free access to the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes to all Penn State faculty, staff and students.

Geography Coffee Hour talk to explore microorganisms and their impact on life

March 27, 2023

Microbes may be tiny, but they play a big role in shaping the world. Seth Bordenstein, Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Endowed Chair in Microbiome Sciences and professor of biology and entomology at Penn State, will offer insights into his research on microbiomes and their impact on the world in his talk, “Why We Look Down (To the Microbes) For Wonder, Impact and Discovery,” on March 31.

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