New tool weighs costs and benefits of managing evolution of pathogens and pests

November 16, 2021

A new economic tool can help physicians, farmers and other people whose activities may influence the evolution of biological organisms, such as pathogens and insects, decide when they should invest in evolution management strategies.

Horn fly resistance observed in organic Holstein cattle, study finds

November 16, 2021

Research conducted in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences suggests that some Holstein dairy cattle, particularly those with white coat coloration, naturally fend off the horn fly, a parasitic insect known to cause stress and disease in grazing cattle.

Keeping chocolate milk smooth, stable without carrageenan

November 12, 2021

Fat-free chocolate milk processed for the first time with high-pressure jet technology exhibits enhanced viscosity, stabilizing cocoa particles in the fluid and eliminating the need for adding a controversial emulsifier.

Penn State awarded nearly $39M for global research on threats to crops

November 6, 2021

A new USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab housed at Penn State will help smallholder farmers around the world cope with pests in a climate-changed world.

Deer may be reservoir for SARS-CoV-2, study finds

November 3, 2021

More than 80% of the white-tailed deer sampled in different parts of Iowa between December 2020 and January 2021 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The findings suggest that white-tailed deer may be a reservoir for the virus to continually circulate and raise concerns of emergence of new strains that may prove a threat to wildlife and, possibly, to humans. 

Seed-grant recipients to put a human face on materials research

October 29, 2021

The Materials Research Institute and the College of Engineering have announced the recipients of the Materials Matter at the Human Level seed grants. The grants were developed to continue the history of MRI and the College of Engineering partnering to fund materials projects that benefit humankind, including those aimed at improving the health and economic development of under-resourced populations. 

Erie researchers identify new threat to American chestnut trees

October 25, 2021

Researchers at the Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center have been studying the blight that rendered American chestnuts “functionally extinct.” Now, they’ve noticed another problem.

Popular perennial flowering plants can attract diverse mix of pollinators

October 22, 2021

Popular species of perennial flowering plants vary widely in their attractiveness to pollinators, but homeowners and landscape managers who select certain perennial cultivars can support a diverse community of pollinators in their own backyards, according to a new study from a team of Penn State researchers.

Scientists uncover the genetic pathway that colors bumble bee stripes

October 21, 2021

Researchers are using supercomputers to find out more about the role that evolutionary genetics plays in shaping the distinctive color patterns that give different bee species their regional flare.

Preparing for potential pandemics is focus of new federal grant to Penn State

October 21, 2021

Researchers at Penn State have received a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study H7N9 with a goal of developing new and fundamental knowledge of virus mutations that could indicate the potential for transmissibility in humans.

Food pantries essential for reducing hunger among middle-class in 2020

October 20, 2021

Food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community food services played a critical role in helping Americans meet their food needs, especially during the first five months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research by a team of economists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Penn State-led team awarded $17M to study climate risk and adaptation strategies

October 19, 2021

A multi-institutional research team led by Penn State has been awarded a $17 million, five-year cooperative research agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science to understand how interconnected systems are exposed to natural hazards that create vulnerabilities and risks for society and how societies respond and adapt to these risks.

Grant to fund research on biological approach to manage soil pathogens and pests

October 19, 2021

In an effort to boost the profitability and sustainability of organic specialty crop production systems, a team of scientists is improving and optimizing anaerobic soil disinfestation as a management approach to control soilborne pests and pathogens and promote soil health.

Penn State receives grant to study factors promoting early childhood development

October 18, 2021

Penn State was recently awarded a five-year, $5.8 million grant and selected as part of a longitudinal NIH-funded consortium called the HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study to study the effects of genetics, home environment, and prenatal substance use on child health and brain development.

Saliva-based COVID-19 test may provide at-home results in 30 minutes

October 14, 2021

Penn State researchers plan to develop an affordable and accurate at-home, saliva-based COVID-19 test, rivaling the simplicity and convenience of pregnancy tests and glucose monitors, but with higher sensitivity.

Pioneering Penn State virologist Marilyn Roosnick retires

October 14, 2021

After a fascinating and productive scientific career, Penn State professor Marilyn Roossinck, a trailblazing researcher in virology, has announced her decision to retire.

Novel lighting system designed for machine vision module of agricultural robots

October 12, 2021

A novel camera system using active lighting devised by Penn State researchers may be a crucial step in developing machine vision systems that allow robotic devices to more clearly "see" the agricultural targets with which they will react.

Penn State researchers developing genomic resources to identify novel pathogens

October 4, 2021

To enhance the early detection of novel infectious bacteria that could cause outbreaks of infectious diseases, a team of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will sequence the genomes of 700 Bacilli bacteria — near relatives of the biothreat pathogen that causes anthrax — in a study intended to enhance the early detection of novel infectious bacteria that could cause outbreaks of infectious disease and public health emergencies.

Plant pathologists at Penn State head investigation into tar spot disease in Pa.

October 1, 2021

Plant pathologists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are keeping a watchful eye on a corn disease new to Pennsylvania that has the potential to cause significant yield loss and reduce grain quality.

New tool predicts changes that may make COVID variants more infectious

September 29, 2021

Researchers at Penn State have created a novel framework that can predict with reasonable accuracy the amino-acid changes in the virus’ spike protein that may improve its binding to human cells and confer increased infectivity to the virus. The tool could enable the computational surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 and provide advance warning of potentially dangerous variants with an even higher binding affinity potential. This can aid in the early implementation of public health measures to prevent the virus’ spread and perhaps even may inform vaccine booster formulations.

Two student teams awarded $25,000 for using artifical intelligence for good

September 29, 2021

A panel of judges named InsectEye and AI-powered Recycling the winning teams in the 2021 Nittany AI Challenge. The teams will receive a combined total of $25,000 in funding to continue moving their solutions forward.

U.S. soybean, corn yields could be increased through use of machine learning

September 29, 2021

Research guided by a plant pathologist in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences suggests that machine-learning algorithms that are programmed to recognize changing weather patterns could show producers and agricultural managers how to increase soybean and corn yields in the United States.

USDA grant supports Penn State research on mushroom industry automation

September 28, 2021

A nearly $4 million grant awarded to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will support an interdisciplinary, multi-university team of researchers as they investigate technologies designed to address labor shortages on mushroom farms.

Small but mighty: Microgreens go from trendy vegetables to functional food

September 28, 2021

Starting decades ago as fashionable, high-value gourmet greens, today microgreens have gained popularity among consumers for their nutritional profile and high content of antioxidant compounds. Now, a new study suggests that the tiny plants have the potential to help provide global nutrition security.

Collaborative climate project provides research opportunities to undergrads

September 16, 2021

Researchers from several disciplines across Penn State are spearheading an NSF-funded program for underrepresented U.S. undergraduate students to research extreme weather events and climate change in Peru.

Loggers, landscapers face deadly danger felling trees in forests and urban areas

September 14, 2021

Tree felling — whether by professional loggers in a forest setting or by landscapers in urban and rural landscapes — is the most dangerous job in what are two of the most dangerous industries, according to Penn State researchers who conducted a new study of associated deaths.

Software tool that finds spots for water-quality devices will work in Northeast

September 14, 2021

A computer software package widely used in the Midwest to strategically position riparian buffers and other structures aimed at protecting water quality on agricultural land can be used effectively in the eastern United States, with some limitations, Penn State researchers report in a new study.

Urban stormwater study finds little difference between managed, unmanaged flows

September 14, 2021

At a time when many municipalities are seeking to control urban stormwater by investing heavily in green infrastructure — such as water-quality ponds, infiltration basins, porous pavement and riparian plantings — a new study suggests that these expensive efforts may not have much of an impact.

Researchers address need for bridges in remote Alaska as climate warms

September 10, 2021

Bridges are increasingly critical for remote communities in rural Alaska, where global warming is causing rivers to freeze later, thaw earlier and form thinner ice. With a new grant from the National Science Foundation, researchers at Penn State plan to investigate the importance of bridges for the well-being of remote Alaskan communities and develop a protocol for these and other communities to fund, construct, monitor and maintain bridges.

National society to recognize two Penn State entomologists

September 9, 2021

Two entomologists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will receive prestigious awards from the Entomological Society of America during its 2021 annual meeting Oct. 31 to Nov. 3. Kelli Hoover, professor of entomology, was elected as a fellow of the society, and Flor Acevedo, assistant professor of entomology, will receive the society's Early Career Professional Research Award.

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