Latest News

April 7, 2016

Next time you chew a stick of mint gum or pop a peppermint candy, think of insects. That distinctive flavor comes from essential oils the mint plant makes to defend itself against hungry insects. Strong flavors and smells of other plants, such as basil and cabbage, are also plant defense compounds. These weapons halt insect feeding in many ways. Plant compounds can taste or smell bad, fortify cell walls so insects can’t penetrate a leaf to feed, or affect digestion, eventually killing the attackers. But insects aren’t helpless against these plant defenses. They find ways to fight back — and one of their best weapons is their spit.

April 6, 2016

This issue features a small urban pollinator garden, new plans for the pollinator garden at the Penn State arboretum, information about a Penn State Center for Pollinator Research collaboration to determine great pollinator plants and more.

April 1, 2016

This is the 4th of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.

March 18, 2016

This is the 3rd of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.

March 11, 2016

There has been considerable discussion about the impact of pesticides – particularly neonicotinoids – on biodiversity in general and pollinator health specifically. While we have made significant progress in understanding these impacts, often missing from these discussions is whether the current neonicotinoid usage patterns actually benefit growers. As we all know (but often do not discuss), it is not simply a question of either using pesticides with no restrictions or banning them completely – the best approach is to use them in a way that maximizes the benefit while minimizing the cost to growers, consumers, and the environment.

March 10, 2016

The Zika virus outbreak has grabbed headlines and raised fears around the world. Penn State faculty member, Jason Rasgon talks about how little we know about Zika and how much we don't!

March 4, 2016

This is the 2nd of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.

February 19, 2016

This is the 1st of thirteen short news articles written by students, during the professional development class, about each other's research.

February 9, 2016

It’s easy to forget about the deadly diseases of the past when decades-old breakthroughs in science and medicine have kept them at bay for so long. Diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough and polio tend to lose their shock value when they’re out of sight and mind — as they have been, by and large, since the mid-20th century.

February 9, 2016

Invasive species, such as the gypsy moth and emerald ash borer, have had devastating effects on Pennsylvania's forests, and the keys to combatting these threats are active management, collaboration and research, according to U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson.

February 5, 2016

Project Goal: Evaluate native plant species and their cultivars for their attractiveness to pollinators and their suitability for homeowner and agricultural use.

February 3, 2016

Agriculture is a human endeavor that is practiced in every corner of the world. That's why consideration of human behavior in an international context is necessary to gain a complete picture of agricultural problems.

February 3, 2016

The world is awash in glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, produced by Monsanto. It has now become the most heavily-used agricultural chemical in the history of the world, and many argue that’s a problem, since the substance comes with concerning albeit incompletely-determined health effects.

January 13, 2016

Using modern genetic approaches, a team of researchers has provided strong support for the long-standing, but hotly debated, evolutionary theory of kin selection, which suggests that altruistic behavior occurs as a way to pass genes to the next generation.

January 8, 2016

Honeybees have almost become an annual crop. In fact, honey bee die-offs are so common now that beekeepers generally just order more bees in the spring when they lose a hive over the winter.

January 6, 2016

In collaboration with partners in Europe and Africa, researchers at Penn State have received a five-year, $10.2-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate a new method for preventing the transmission of malaria. The method involves limiting mosquito access to houses by blocking openings and installing "eave tubes" that contain a unique type of insecticide-laced mosquito netting developed by Dutch partner In2Care that kills the insects as they attempt to enter.

December 16, 2015

The Hippocratic Oath says first, do no harm. This pledge is exemplified by not only the physicians at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center but also facilities staff who maintain the campus grounds.

December 10, 2015

If you are familiar with the recent trend in augmented reality coloring pages, here is one we developed with a company called QuiverVision just for kids (young and not-so-young)!

December 4, 2015

Dicamba herbicide drift onto plants growing adjacent to farm fields causes significant delays in flowering, as well as reduced flowering, of those plants, and results in decreased visitation by honey bees, according to researchers at Penn State and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.