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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)!
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.
Two Penn State researchers have been chosen to receive a grant through the Grand Challenges Explorations program, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Johanna Ohm, graduate student in biology, and Matt Thomas, professor and Huck Scholar in Ecological Entomology, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project titled "Insects feeding insects: An artificial hemolymph-based diet to rear Aedes/Anopheles mosquitoes."
America's beekeepers are having a rough time. They lost an estimated 42 percent of their hives last year.
Crop diseases, a major cause of famine, have always been diagnosed by visual inspection, though scientists today also use microscopes and DNA sequencing. But the first line of defense is still the keen eyes of farmers around the world, many of whom do not have access to advanced diagnostics and treatment advice.
What does being a healthy bee mean? The seven students selected for the 2015 Apes Valentes Awards had some very different ideas. To some of them, Apes Valentes (Latin for “healthy bee”) included bumble bees, others honey bees, and to another Japanese orchard bees. Some students sought to identify the flowering plant species that are most nutritious for bees, while others worked on developing new management approaches to help breed and maintain healthy bee populations.
Even as larvae, honey bees are tuned in to the social culture of the hive, becoming more or less aggressive depending on who raises them, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.
A new Penn State project aimed at improving the food system in East Africa by enhancing pollination services and promoting bee-derived products has received a Food Systems Innovation Grant from the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation, based at Michigan State University.
Chemical signaling among social insects, such as bees, ants and wasps, is more complex than previously thought, according to researchers at Penn State and Tel Aviv University, whose results refute the idea that a single group of chemicals controls reproduction across numerous species.
Pleas join us in congratulating the department’s multiple winners: Dr. Andy Deans, Mitzy Porras, Loren Rivera Vega, Flor E. Acevedo, Anjel Helms and Mehmet Ali Doke.
The issue contains 19 review articles from genomics to ecology, reviewing our current state of knowledge on pollinator health, and providing creative and concrete ideas for the next steps in tackling these issues.
Beekeepers have plenty of tough days. But urban beekeeper Steve Rapaski is not having one of those today.
This Lectureship was established in 1981 by ARS to honor the memory of Sterling B. Hendricks and to recognize scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the chemical science of agriculture. Hendricks contributed to many diverse scientific disciplines, including soil science, mineralogy, agronomy, plant physiology, geology, and chemistry. He is most frequently remembered for discovering phytochrome, the light-activated molecule that regulates many plant processes.
The AGRO Division has established an endowment fund in collaboration with Bayer CropScience that is used to promote an understanding of the role of chemistry in agriculture. To address this goal, awards are made through the Division’s Education Committee.
If you want to hang out with a bunch of bees, you'd better be prepared for a little pain. Mario Padilla, a honeybee researcher at Penn State University, can usually tell when his hives are getting agitated. But he's already been stung three times today. And he's about to get it again.