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Breaking research from Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Either quote directly from the release or arrange a call with the researcher(s). For more information, contact Ben Rand, media relations manager, at 607-255-2722 or benjamin.rand@cornell.edu.

 

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Climate Change, Habitat Loss Threaten Eastern Forest Birds

Published: 
Jul 28, 2017
Human-caused habitat loss looms as the greatest threat to some North American breeding birds over the next few decades. The problem will be most severe on their wintering grounds, according to a new study published in the journal Global Change Biology. By the end of this century, the study’s authors say, predicted changes in rainfall and temperature will compound the problem for birds that breed in eastern North America and winter in Central America [...] Read more

Dulled Taste May Prompt More Calories on Path to Obesity

Published: 
Jul 27, 2017
Cornell University food scientists have found that people with a diminished ability to taste food choose sweeter – and likely higher-calorie – fare. This could put people on the path to gaining weight. “We found that the more people lost sensitivity to sweetness, the more sugar they wanted in their foods,” said lead author Robin Dando, assistant professor of food science, whose research has been published online by the journal Appetite [...] Read more

Get a Whiff of This – Cornell Corpse Flower Set for First Outdoor Bloom

Published: 
Jul 27, 2017
How does a giant, foul-smelling plant from the tropics fare in an outdoor garden in New York? We will soon find out. One of Cornell University’s Titan arums (Amorphophallus titanum) – a rare plant also known as a “corpse flower” for the deathly odor it produces at flowering – has broken dormancy and is preparing to bloom this summer. But instead of unfurling its pungent inflorescence indoors in a warm, controlled environment, this giant flower will undergo its smelly transformation outdoors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’(CALS) Minns Garden. It’s believed to be the first time a corpse flower has ever bloomed outside in a temperate region [...] Read more

Clothbound Cheddar Conceived at Cornell, Finished in NYC Caves

Published: 
Jul 26, 2017
In 2014, Murray’s Cheese in New York City had an idea for a clothbound cheddar modeled on classic British versions. And this year, after two years of development, the company has launched Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve Ezra – a bright, lemony flavored cheddar named with a nod to Cornell University’s founder. Created with milk from cows on campus, the cheese is produced at Cornell University’s CALS’ Food Processing and Development Laboratory (FPDL) and shipped to Murray’s, where it is wrapped in cheesecloth and rubbed with lard before being in placed in rind caves to age for 12 months. It’s the newest New York-made clothbound cheddar on the market [...] Read more

Imaging Technology Reveals Copper Is Key to Meeting Future Food and Energy Needs

Published: 
Jul 24, 2017
For the first time, Cornell University researchers are using imaging capabilities at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) to explore how copper affects plant fertility. The work could provide key insights into how plants can be bred for better performance in marginal soils. The human population is expected to surpass 9 billion by 2050, and meeting future food and energy needs requires increases in agricultural production by enhancing productivity on existing land or by increasing the amount of land used for production [...] Read more

New Food Policies Could Take the Bite Out of India’s Malnutrition

Published: 
Jul 20, 2017
India has spent the last 50 years combating hunger by boosting its production of staple crops like wheat, rice and maize. The strategy has worked – up to a point. Now India struggles with chronic malnutrition and child stunting, even though it produces enough calories to keep hunger at bay. But new policies could diversify India’s diet with more nutritious foods [...] Read more

Heritage and Ancient Grain Project Feeds a Growing Demand

Published: 
Jul 19, 2017
After a century of markets dominated by a few types of wheat and white flour, ancient and heritage wheat varieties are making a comeback. Restaurants and bakeries that promote organic and local agriculture have sprouted up across the country in the last decade, meeting a rising consumer demand for tasty and nutritious foods that support an ethic of sustainability. In the Northeast, for example, Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan serves local and seasonal dishes. Its rotating menu offers “roasted beets and kale salad with einkorn and candied pistachio” and “sea urchin risotto with ancient grains and ruby red shrimp.” [...] Read more

Despite a Great Grip, Geckos Sometimes Slip

Published: 
Jul 19, 2017
Geckos climb vertically up trees, walls and even windows, thanks to pads on the digits of their feet that employ a huge number of tiny bristles and hooks. Scientists have long marveled at the gecko’s adhesive capabilities, which have been described as 100 times more than what is needed to support their body weight or run quickly up a surface. But a new theoretical study examines for the first time the limits of geckos’ gripping ability in natural contexts [...] Read more

Madoff Rip-off Shattered Trust, Changed Investment Behavior

Published: 
Jul 18, 2017
Notorious financier Bernie Madoff bilked more than 10,000 investors out of billions of dollars in the 1990s and 2000s in the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. But the effect of Madoff’s elaborate Ponzi scheme rippled far beyond his direct victims. For the first time, a Cornell University researcher and his colleagues have quantified just how much the rip-off cost the financial industry. After the fraud was discovered, people who knew Madoff’s victims or who lived in areas where victims were concentrated lost trust [...] Read more

DNA Tracking Tool Tips the Scales for Distinguishing Invasive Fish

Published: 
Jul 14, 2017
Rather than conduct an aquatic roll call with nets to know which fish reside in a particular body of water, scientists can now use DNA fragments suspended in water to catalog invasive or native species. “We’ve sharpened the environmental DNA (eDNA) tool, so that if a river or a lake has threatened, endangered or invasive species, we can ascertain genetic detail of the species there,” said senior author David Lodge, the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University, and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology [...] Read more

Tiny Wasps Add a Sting to Lily Beetle Battle

Published: 
Jul 13, 2017
Many gardeners across New York state have given up on growing lilies, thanks to the lily leaf beetle, which has devastated the plants in many areas statewide, across the Northeast and in Canada. Researchers at Cornell University have now released parasitoid wasps as a natural control and alternative to pesticides at three test sites across the state [...] Read more

‘Eelevator’ Project Helps Eels Survive Journey Through New York Waters

Published: 
Jul 6, 2017
An “eelevator” designed and built by a team that includes Cornell University researchers is helping American eels survive their harrowing journey from the Atlantic Ocean to the Hudson River and into rivers in or near New York City. In the past, eel ladders and “trap-and-pass” devices have been used on the Hudson River to give the fish access to the waters above dams. But in what may be a first, a liftable version placed on the Sparkill Creek in Rockland County is providing a new way to assist eels on their migration [...] Read more

Bacteria-Coated Nanofiber Electrodes Clean Pollutants in Wastewater

Published: 
Jun 28, 2017
Cornell University materials scientists and bioelectrochemical engineers may have created an innovative, cost-competitive electrode material for cleaning pollutants in wastewater. The researchers created electro-spun carbon nanofiber electrodes and coated them with a conductive polymer, called PEDOT, to compete with carbon cloth electrodes available on the market. When the PEDOT coating is applied, an electrically active layer of bacteria – Geobacter sulfurreducens – naturally grows to create electricity and transfer electrons to the novel electrode [...] Read more

Tiny Mite Takes a Major Bite Out of NYS Honeybee Population, Threatens Fruit and Vegetable Crops

Published: 
Jun 28, 2017
A tiny mite is causing major problems for New York’s honeybee population and is threatening the fruit and vegetable crops that are a major part of the state’s agriculture industry. The varroa mite is a common parasite that weakens honeybee colonies by feeding on bee blood and fat stores, and transmitting deadly viruses across the colony. One of those viruses, deformed wing virus, causes misshapen wing growth in infected bees [...] Read more

Rising Seas Could Result in 2 Billion Refugees By 2100

Published: 
Jun 23, 2017
In the year 2100, 2 billion people – about one-fifth of the world’s population – could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to Cornell University research [...] Read more

Climate Change Label Leads to Climate Science Acceptance

Published: 
Jun 21, 2017
On the heels of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, a new Cornell University study finds that labels matter when it comes to acceptance of climate science. The U.S. public doubts the existence of “global warming” more than it doubts “climate change” – and Republicans are driving the effect, the research shows [...] Read more

Name That Tasty Table Grape, New from Cornell CALS

Published: 
Jun 20, 2017
Big on flavor, aroma and size, Cornell University’s newest grape lacks one defining feature: a name. Grape breeder Bruce Reisch spent years developing the grape, and now he’s offering the public the chance to name it. Currently dubbed NY98.0228.02, the grape is a seedless, flavorful berry with the attractive blue coloring of a Concord at nearly double the size [...] Read more

Transforming Last Night’s Leftovers into Green Energy

Published: 
Jun 19, 2017
In a classic tale of turning trash into treasure, two different processes soon may be the favored dynamic duo to turn food waste into green energy, according to a new Cornell University-led study. “Food waste should have a high value. We’re treating it as a resource, and we’re making marketable products out of it,” said lead author Roy Posmanik, a postdoctoral researcher. “Food waste is still carbon – a lot of carbon.” [...] Read more

Healthy Diet? That Depends on Your Genes

Published: 
Jun 12, 2017
recently published Cornell University study describes how shifts in the diets of Europeans after the introduction of farming 10,000 years ago led to genetic adaptations that favored the dietary trends of the time. Before the Neolithic revolution that began around 10,000 years ago, European populations were hunter-gatherers that ate animal-based diets and some seafood. But after the advent of farming in southern Europe around 8,000 years ago, European farmers switched to primarily plant-heavy diets [...] Read more

NY Grows Greater Greenhouse Crops with Less Energy

Published: 
Jun 5, 2017
A public-private consortium led by researchers at Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is poised to match consumer appetite for increased, local vegetable production with reduced greenhouse energy consumption. The Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering consortium is being launched to transform the way greenhouses operate in order to reduce electricity use up to 70 percent [...] Read more

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