News

Compost to computer: Bio-based materials used to salvage rare earth elements

Penn State researchers used micro- and nanoparticles created from the organic materials to capture rare earth elements from aqueous solutions.

Soil tillage reduces availability of ‘longevity vitamin’ ergothioneine in crops

Soil tillage on farms may significantly reduce the availability in crops of ergothioneine, an amino acid produced by certain types of soil-borne fungi and bacteria that is known as a “longevity vitamin” due to its potent antioxidant properties, according to new research. The study is among the first to demonstrate that soil disturbance can directly impact a key dietary factor associated with long-term human health.

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

In an effort to boost the profitability and sustainability of organic specialty crop productions, a team of scientists is improving and optimizing a method for controlling soilborne pests and pathogens and promoting soil health that prevents oxygen from entering the soil.

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

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.

What makes plant cell walls both strong and extensible?

A plant cell wall’s unique ability to expand without weakening or breaking — a quality required for plant growth — is due to the movement of its cellulose skeleton, according to new research that models the cell wall.

Mutant corn gene boosts sugar in seeds, leaves, may lead to breeding better crop

An abnormal build up of carbohydrates — sugars and starches — in the kernels and leaves of a mutant line of corn can be traced to one misregulated gene, and that discovery offers clues about how the plant deals with stress.

Student Poster Session Highlights Biorenewable Research on Campus

A student poster session highlighted a recent workshop hosted by the Center for Biorenewables

Novel bioresorbable, tissue-healing surgical device approved by FDA

A new surgical tendon fixation system that not only re-attaches damaged tissues but also facilitates healing as it is absorbed by the body has been granted 510(k) clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, indicating that the device is “as safe and effective” as other legally marketed devices and is ready to go to market.

Team wins grant to develop nitrogen fertilizer decision tool for organic farmers

Penn State researchers have received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to perfect a tool they developed to help organic corn producers decide how much nitrogen — as fertilizer or manure — to apply to their crop fields.

Advanced biofuels show promise for replacing some fossil fuels

Plant-based biofuels can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and growing these crops in certain landscapes offers net climate benefits compared to other land use options, according to a team of international scientists.