CT scans offer new view of Lake Malawi cichlid specimens in Penn State museum

May 18, 2021

Computed tomography — CT scanning — which combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around an organism and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images of its bones, is providing new insight into an old initiative to characterize fishes in Africa’s Lake Malawi.

Discovery of flowering gene in cacao may lead to accelerated breeding strategies

May 17, 2021

For the first time, a gene that controls flowering in cacao has been identified, a discovery that may help accelerate breeding efforts aimed at improving the disease-ridden plant, Penn State researchers suggested in a new study.

2021 Guentter Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award finalists, winner named

May 14, 2021

Penn State University Libraries and the Schreyer Honors College recognized the 10th annual finalist presentations and winner of the recently endowed Robert F. Guentter Jr. Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award on May 6, immediately following the three finalists’ remote presentations. Finalists represented the College of Agricultural Sciences, the College of Information Sciences and Technology, and the College of the Liberal Arts.

Staph infection turf study yields insight in coronavirus survivability on fields

May 11, 2021

When Andrew McNitt and colleagues were conducting a study of the survivability of bacteria that cause staph infections on synthetic and natural turf football fields in 2008-09, no one had heard of COVID-19, of course. So, the question of whether the novel coronavirus that triggered the global pandemic could persist on playing surfaces and infect players was unimaginable.

CRISPR/Cas technology could enable early diagnosis of devastating citrus disease

May 10, 2021

Penn State and U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists have used cutting-edge CRISPR/Cas technology to develop a diagnostic test that could enable early diagnosis of citrus greening, or Huanglongbing, a serious disease that threatens worldwide citrus production, which is valued at roughly $17 billion from the sale of fresh fruit and juices.

Researchers to seek novel strategies to boost, expand turkey breeding

May 10, 2021

A Penn State research team has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop novel strategies to overcome the constraints that the seasonal cycle imposes on reproductive output of turkey hens.

Mutant corn gene boosts sugar in seeds, leaves, may lead to breeding better crop

May 3, 2021

An abnormal build up of carbohydrates — sugars and starches — in the kernels and leaves of a mutant line of corn can be traced to one misregulated gene, and that discovery offers clues about how the plant deals with stress.

Penn State launches new artificial intelligence center for engineered systems

April 23, 2021

A newly founded, interdisciplinary research center established to further foundational and applied artificial intelligence in engineered systems will be housed in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the Penn State College of Engineering.

Cranial Devices Inc. wins $75,000 in virtual tech tournament

April 22, 2021

Invent Penn State’s 2021 virtual Tech Tournament showcased eight of Penn State’s most disruptive innovations and early-stage startups born out of Penn State’s research enterprise. The winner of the $75,000 top prize, Cranial Devices Inc. (CDI), was led by Barry Fell, a consultant for the Surgery Innovation Group in the Department of Surgery at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He co-founded CDI with Dr. Randy Haluck, professor of surgery at Penn State College of Medicine.

Climate-smart ag strategies may cut nitrous oxide emissions from corn production

April 21, 2021

Using dairy manure and legume cover crops in crop rotations can reduce the need for inputs of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer for corn, thereby protecting water quality, but these practices also can contribute to emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. That’s the conclusion of Penn State researchers, who measured nitrous oxide emissions from the corn phases of two crop rotations.

Little crop of horrors

April 21, 2021

An international team of researchers has received a grant from the Human Frontier Science Program to investigate how carnivory-related genes, such as those involved in digestion, could help crops not only avoid pests, but also thrive in low-nutrient environments. Ultimately, the team’s goal is to reduce reliance on pesticides and fertilizers.

Golf course turfgrass species 'remembers' if it was mowed, develops differently

April 19, 2021

Poa annua, or annual bluegrass, a turfgrass species commonly found on golf course putting greens around the world, possesses transgenerational memory, “remembering” whether its parent was mowed or not mowed, according to a new study by Penn State researchers.

USDA grant to support expansion of online tool for pollinator conservation

April 14, 2021

A Penn State-led research team has received a nearly $950,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to create the next generation of an online decision-support tool designed to help conserve pollinator populations across the United States.

Dietary cocoa improves health of obese mice; likely has implications for humans

April 13, 2021

Supplementation of cocoa powder in the diet of high-fat-fed mice with liver disease markedly reduced the severity of their condition, according to a new study by Penn State researchers, who suggest the results have implications for people.

Venture & IP Conference panel to highlight venture growth during COVID-19

April 9, 2021

“The State of Venture and Growth Capital in the COVID-19 Era” panel during the Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference will explore the effects of COVID-19 on venture and growth investing and its outlook through 2021. Taking place virtually from 1:45-2:35 p.m. on April 15, the panel also will examine important investment lessons learned because of the pandemic.

Five Penn State faculty to be featured on ‘The Academic Minute’

April 7, 2021

Five Penn State faculty will be featured in a week’s worth of episodes of “The Academic Minute,” presenting on teaching and learning techniques.

Entomologist to examine how plant domestication influences pollinator evolution

April 7, 2021

A grant of nearly $1.4 million from the National Science Foundation will support Margarita López-Uribe, an entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, in a study examining the influence of plant domestication on the ecology and evolution of wild pollinator species in agricultural landscapes.

Tech Tournament to showcase Penn State’s most disruptive innovations

April 6, 2021

Eight of Penn State’s most disruptive and promising early-stage technologies will compete for $150,000 in the Invent Penn State Tech Tournament, a signature event of the Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference, at 2:45 p.m. on April 15

Lanternfly's attraction to vertical silhouettes could help monitor, trap it

March 29, 2021

Like moths to a flame, spotted lanternflies are visually drawn toward and seemingly captivated by vertical objects such as utility poles, a behavior that could be valuable in predicting where the pests might be heading, according to entomologists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Nutritional journal highlights research on micronutrient's disease-fighting role

March 25, 2021

The Journal of Nutritional Science designated a Penn State research paper on how a dietary antioxidant may fight chronic disease and aging as its “Paper of the Month” in February. The article suggested that incorporating more of the dietary amino acid ergothioneine into one’s diet may help stave off long-term health problems.

Urban agriculture can help, but not solve, city food security problems

March 24, 2021

While urban agriculture can play a role in supporting food supply chains for many major American cities — contributing to food diversity, sustainability and localizing food systems — it is unrealistic to expect rooftop gardens, community plots and the like to provide the majority of nutrition for the population of a metropolis.

Uniform drying time for goldenseal to enhance medicinal qualities of forest herb

March 22, 2021

Developing a standardized drying protocol for goldenseal could lead to more predictable health applications and outcomes by preserving the alkaloids found in the plant, which is native to Appalachia, according to Penn State researchers, who conducted a new study of the medicinal forest herb.

Tool can provide swine producers with early diagnosis of often-fatal 'Strep zoo'

March 17, 2021

A team led by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has developed a diagnostic test that can identify virulent forms of the swine bacterial pathogen Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus — often referred to as "Strep zoo" — which can cause severe illness and death in pigs, other animals and rarely people.

A wing and a prayer: Chickens, praying mantises among likely lanternfly enemies

March 15, 2021

Potential predators of the spotted lanternfly are being brought into focus thanks to shutterbugs who have captured images of birds, insects, mammals and even fish consuming the invasive planthopper.

Farmland acreage falls in Pa. while population rises in prime agricultural areas

March 9, 2021

The number of acres of farmland in Pennsylvania fell by 6% between 2012 and 2017, at a time when the state's prime farming regions are experiencing population growth that may create long-term challenges for producers. That's one conclusion of a new report from the Center for Economic and Community Development in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Another common cold virus?

March 9, 2021

If it becomes endemic — circulating in the general population — and most people are exposed in childhood, SARS-CoV-2 may join the ranks of mild cold-causing coronaviruses that currently circulate in humans, according to a model developed by Penn State and Emory scientists.

Young white-tailed deer that disperse survive the same as those that stay home

March 8, 2021

Juvenile white-tailed deer that strike out to find new home ranges — despite facing more risks — survive at about the same rate as those that stay home, according to a team of researchers who conducted the first mortality study of male and female dispersal where deer were exposed to threats such as hunting throughout their entire range.

Addressing the energy, environmental complexities of urban areas

March 5, 2021

Because cities are such complex human-created systems, the Institutes of Energy and the Environment created a new research theme, Urban Systems, which will address the essential and urgent needs for sustainable, healthy and affordable solutions for urban areas.

Four librarians receive national awards for achievement, distinguished service

March 5, 2021

Four Penn State University Libraries faculty librarians — Alexandria Chisholm, Sarah Hartman-Caverly, Hailley Fargo and Helen Smith — have been named 2021 co-recipients among three honors conferred by the Association of College & Research Libraries’ 2021 Achievement and Distinguished Service Awards.

Grant aimed at developing corn cultivars that grow deeper, stronger roots

March 1, 2021

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study a novel root trait that may lead to corn cultivars with enhanced drought tolerance and carbon sequestration through the growth of roots able to probe deeper by punching through hard, compacted soils.

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