New study examines importance and unique characteristics of U.S. female farmers

March 1, 2021

While women can be drawn into farming for many reasons, researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have found that female-owned farms in the U.S. are more common in areas that are closer to urban markets, that engage in agritourism activity, and that offer greater access to childcare.

Adverse childhood and combat experiences may drive veterans' suicidal thoughts

February 26, 2021

While there are a number of factors associated with suicide, veterans have unique experiences that may contribute to them thinking about killing themselves. A recent study of nearly 10,000 post-9/11 veterans sought to determine if traumatic childhood and combat experiences were associated with suicidal thinking.

Lake turbidity mitigates impact of warming on walleyes in upper Midwest lakes

February 26, 2021

Because walleyes are a cool-water fish species with a limited temperature tolerance, biologists expected them to act like the proverbial “canary in a coal mine” that would begin to suffer and signal when lakes influenced by climate change start to warm. But in a new study, a team of researchers discovered that it is not that simple.

Lethal house lures help reduce incidence of malaria in children

February 25, 2021

A new type of housing modification can reduce malaria incidence among children by around 40-50%, according to an international team of researchers. The intervention uses window screening, together with PVC tubes fitted with insecticide-laced screens and installed under the eaves of homes, as a novel method of killing malaria mosquitoes as they attempt to enter the house.

Study finds short window for donating convalescent plasma to COVID-19 patients

February 25, 2021

The optimal timeframe for donating convalescent plasma for use in COVID-19 immunotherapy, which was given emergency-use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration in August 2020, is within 60 days of the onset of symptoms, according to a new Penn State-led study. The research also reveals that the ideal convalescent plasma donor is a recovered COVID-19 patient who is older than 30 and whose illness had been severe.

Smell-check cards help call attention to common COVID-19 symptom

February 22, 2021

Students, faculty, staff and others visiting well-traveled areas of Penn State campuses may have noticed or received postcards with a "peel-and-sniff" area prompting them to detect and identify a particular aroma. If their olfactory senses fail them, they may be infected with COVID-19.

Pennsylvanians are experiencing hunger at highest levels since onset of pandemic

February 19, 2021

At the end of 2020, more than 12% of Pennsylvania households were experiencing hunger — the highest rate since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Their report confirms anecdotal and media reports and highlights the role that community resources, such as food pantries and free school lunches, are playing in the state.

Unique study of isolated bobcat population confirms accuracy of extinction model

February 18, 2021

The reintroduction of 32 bobcats to an island off the coast of Georgia more than three decades ago created an ideal experiment to examine the accuracy of a genetic-modeling technique that predicts extinction of isolated wildlife populations.

Songbirds' reproductive success reduced by natural gas compressor noise

February 18, 2021

Some songbirds are not dissuaded by constant, loud noise emitted by natural gas pipeline compressors and will establish nests nearby. The number of eggs they lay is unaffected by the din, but their reproductive success ultimately is diminished. That’s the conclusion of a team of Penn State researchers who conducted an innovative, elaborate study.

Silencing the alarm

February 17, 2021

Like a scene from a horror movie, tomato fruitworm caterpillars silence their food plants’ cries for help as they devour their leaves. That is the finding of a multidisciplinary team of researchers, who said the results may yield insights into the abilities of crop plants — such as tomato and soybean — to withstand additional stressors, like climate change.

Baby food product names may not accurately reflect ingredient amounts

February 10, 2021

The descriptions on the fronts of infant and toddler food packages may not accurately reflect the actual ingredient amounts, according to research published on Feb. 8 in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Researchers develop new tool for visualizing vulnerabilities in supply chains

February 9, 2021

Researchers at Penn State and the Korea Rural Economic Institute have developed a model to help visualize the interconnectedness of businesses and industries over geographic space, which potentially can show supply-chain vulnerabilities to future shocks, such as pandemics or climate-change impacts.

Changing cropping systems in impaired watersheds can produce water quality gains

February 9, 2021

Growing the right crop in the right place within an impaired watershed can achieve significant water quality improvements, according to Penn State researchers, who conducted a novel study in the drainage of a Susquehanna River tributary in an agricultural area in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Rebuilding soil microbiomes in high-tunnel agricultural systems focus of study

February 8, 2021

The presence of high salt and nitrogen concentrations in high- tunnel soils may make it more challenging to rebuild a healthy soil microbiome following a soil- clearing event, according to microbial ecologists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

The business of bees

February 4, 2021

The economic value of insect pollinators was $34 billion in the U.S. in 2012, much higher than previously thought, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State. The team also found that areas that are economically most reliant on insect pollinators are the same areas where pollinator habitat and forage quality are poor.

Newly discovered trait helps plants grow deeper roots in dry, compacted soils

February 1, 2021

A previously unknown root trait allows some cereal plants to grow deeper roots capable of punching through dry, hard, compacted soils, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest that harnessing the inherited characteristic could lead to crops better able to deal with a changing climate.

Summer weather conditions influence winter survival of honey bees

February 1, 2021

Winter survival of honey bee colonies is strongly influenced by summer temperatures and precipitation in the prior year, according to Penn State researchers, who said their findings suggest that honey bees have a "goldilocks" preferred range of summer conditions outside of which their probability of surviving the winter falls.

Research at Penn State aims to improve air quality in cage-free poultry houses

January 31, 2021

Research carried out by faculty in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is helping commercial poultry operations — some with multiple buildings each housing between 20,000 and 50,000 hens — convert from traditional caged housing to noncaged systems while safeguarding animal and employee safety.

Grozinger receives National Academy's Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

January 21, 2021

Christina Grozinger, Publius Vergilius Maro Professor of Entomology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will receive the National Academy of Sciences' 2021 Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences for her work addressing global declines in pollinator populations.

Feral colonies provide clues for enhancing honey bee tolerance to pathogens

January 19, 2021

Understanding the genetic and environmental factors that enable some feral honey bee colonies to tolerate pathogens and survive the winter in the absence of beekeeping management may help lead to breeding stocks that would enhance survival of managed colonies, according to a study led by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

U.S. school cafeterias waste more food than those in other developed countries

January 18, 2021

An innovative assessment of food waste at a U.S. school by an international team of researchers suggests that American school cafeterias waste more food than those in other developed countries, and the true costs extend well beyond just the weight of food not eaten.

Pulsed ultraviolet light technology to improve egg safety, help poultry industry

January 13, 2021

Pulsed ultraviolet light can be an effective alternative to some of the antimicrobial technologies now used by the poultry industry to kill pathogens on eggshells, according to Penn State researchers, who simulated production conditions to test the technology.

Report suggests Pa.'s agricultural diversity is key to understanding its impact

January 12, 2021

Pennsylvania's largest farms claimed the lion's share of agricultural product sales and net farm income between 2012 and 2017, but the state's many small farms made significant contributions beyond their economic impact, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Climate change reduces the abundance and diversity of wild bees, study finds

January 12, 2021

Wild bees are more affected by climate change than by disturbances to their habitats, according to a team of researchers led by Penn State. The findings suggest that addressing land-use issues alone will not be sufficient to protecting these important pollinators.

Levels of stress hormone in saliva of newborn deer fawns may predict mortality

January 11, 2021

The first-ever study of the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the saliva of newborn white-tailed deer fawns yielded surprising results, and that has Penn State researchers suggesting that predation on very young fawns may not be limiting deer herds.

Discovery of chemical clue may lead to solving cacao's black pod rot mystery

December 23, 2020

The finding of relatively high levels of the antimicrobial compound clovamide in the leaves of a disease-resistant strain of cacao has significant implications for breeding trees that can tolerate black pod rot, according to Penn State researchers who conducted a novel study.

Researchers investigate an at-home 'scratch-and-sniff' test for COVID-19

December 22, 2020

A self-administered "scratch-and-sniff" test for COVID-19 may be around the corner, according to researchers at Penn State, the University of Florida and Arizona State University. The team, which received $912,000 from the National Institutes of Health, will analyze two different smell tests with a goal of developing inexpensive, at-home tests to help identify new cases of COVID-19 and provide a warning sign of a community outbreak in time to thwart it.

Study: Bumble bees lacking high-quality habitat have higher pathogen loads

December 21, 2020

Bumble bees found in low-quality landscapes — characterized by a relative lack of spring flowers and quality nesting habitat — had higher levels of disease pathogens, as did bumble bees in areas with higher numbers of managed honey bee hives, according to research led by Penn State scientists.

Penn State botanists get state grant to study ginseng in Pennsylvania

December 16, 2020

Two Penn State botanists have received a grant from Pennsylvania to study wild ginseng population genetics, morphology and human influence through seed planting in the state.

'Windows of opportunity' crucial for cutting Chesapeake nutrient, sediment loads

December 14, 2020

The vast majority of nutrients and sediment washed into streams flowing into the Chesapeake Bay are picked up by deluges from severe storms that occur on relatively few days of the year. That is the conclusion of a new study led by Penn State researchers, who say it offers clues for cleaning up the impaired estuary.

Office for Research and Graduate Education

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217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600

Office for Research and Graduate Education

Address

217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600