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.

Understanding agriculture’s impacts on 'the zone where rock meets life'

December 7, 2020

Penn State researchers working at Cole Farm are studying the effects of agriculture on the critical zone, the porous boundary layer extending from bedrock to treetops where rock, water, soil, air and living organisms interact. Research at the farm is shedding light on critical zone processes, and how to manage boundary-layer resources in environmentally and economically sustainable ways.

After shipping, pallets pose big risk to public, cause many accidents, injuries

December 2, 2020

Shipping pallets — often used as display platforms in retail settings or seen as raw material for household projects — were responsible for sending more than 30,000 people to the emergency rooms of U.S. hospitals over a recent five-year period, according to a new study by a Penn State researcher.

University endorses climate change letter to world leaders

December 2, 2020

Penn State was one of 37 international universities that endorsed a letter drafted by the International Universities Climate Alliance that urged world leaders to protect humankind from climate change.

Researchers aim to 'upcycle' nutrient waste on farms using duckweed

December 1, 2020

With a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Penn State researchers will investigate how duckweed could be grown on Pennsylvania farms to limit nutrient pollution into the Chesapeake Bay.

'Anti-antibiotic' allows for use of antibiotics without driving resistance

December 1, 2020

An inexpensive, FDA-approved drug — cholestyramine — taken in conjunction with an antibiotic prevents the antibiotic from driving antimicrobial resistance, according to new research by scientists at Penn State and the University of Michigan.

Penn State food scientist gets grant to study novel metal food can coatings

November 24, 2020

Gregory Ziegler, professor of food science in the College of Agricultural Sciences, recently received a grant of about $470,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to conduct a three-year study of alternative coatings for metal food cans.

Penn State researcher to explore how vitamin D affects COVID-19

November 23, 2020

Funding from the National Institutes of Health will enable Margherita Cantorna, distinguished professor of molecular immunology and nutrition in the College of Agricultural Sciences, to study whether vitamin D supplementation could help people ward off or reduce symptoms caused by COVID-19.

COVID-related unemployment hits people of color, women and older workers hardest

November 18, 2020

Job losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic have affected wide swaths of the population, but workers in some demographic groups and industry sectors have been hit harder than others, according to "COVID-19 and Pennsylvania’s Economy," a series of reports compiled by researchers in Penn State's Center for Economic and Community Development.

Biochar from agricultural waste products can adsorb contaminants in wastewater

November 16, 2020

Biochar — a charcoal-like substance made primarily from agricultural waste products — holds promise for removing emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals from treated wastewater. That’s the conclusion of a team of researchers that conducted a novel study.

Dairy cows exposed to heavy metals worsen antibiotic-resistant pathogen crisis

November 16, 2020

Dairy cows, exposed to drinking water contaminated with heavy metals for a few years, carry more pathogens loaded with antimicrobial-resistance genes able to tolerate and survive various antibiotics. That’s the finding of a team of researchers that conducted a study of two dairy herds in Brazil four years after a dam holding mining waste ruptured, and it spotlights a threat to human health, the researchers contend.

Smell and taste changes provide early indication of COVID-19 community spread

November 11, 2020

Self-reports of smell and taste changes provide earlier markers of the spread of infection of SARS-CoV-2 than current governmental indicators, according to an international team of researchers. The researchers also observed a decline in self-reports of smell and taste changes as early as five days after lockdown enforcement, with faster declines reported in countries that adopted the most stringent lockdown measures.

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

Office for Research and Graduate Education

Address

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