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


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Winter runoff into streams on par with ocean salinity

Apr 2, 2015
ITHACA, N.Y. – Examining nearby creeks and outflows, Cornell students have found that the amount of road salt in winter and spring runoff that flushes into streams is of near-oceanic salinity levels, according to a new, unpublished report from Cornell’s Soil and Water Lab in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. The students found […] Read more

Project aims to grow local farms, shrink childhood obesity

Mar 30, 2015
Cornell University nutritional scientists, supported by a grant announced March 26 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, plan to test a recipe to lower childhood obesity while boosting the bottom line for farmers. The multistate project, funded at $1 million this year and expected to total $5 million over five years, seeks to increase access […] Read more

Three new alfalfa varieties combat beetles, leafhoppers, tricky soil

Mar 11, 2015
ITHACA, N.Y. – Dairy and other livestock farmers in the northern U.S. have three new alfalfa options this growing season – all pioneered by Cornell University researchers as a way to combat devastating pests, increase yields and improve forage quality. Developed by Donald Viands, a professor of plant breeding and genetics in the School of […] Read more

Disease-carrying fleas abound on New York City’s rats

Mar 2, 2015
ITHACA, N.Y. – In the first study of its kind since the 1920s, rats in New York City were found to carry a flea species capable of transmitting plague pathogens. In research appearing March 2 in the Journal of Medical Entomology, lead author Matthew Frye, an urban entomologist with Cornell University’s New York State Integrated […] Read more

‘Megadrought’ likely for western U.S. by end of century

Feb 12, 2015
The consequences of climate change paint a bleak picture for the Southwest and much of America’s breadbasket, the Great Plains. A “megadrought” likely will occur late in this century, and it could last for three decades, according to a new report by Cornell University and NASA researchers in the journal Science Advances, published today. “The […] Read more

Algorithm tests your tweet skills using website created by Cornell scientists

Feb 11, 2015
ITHACA, N.Y. – As countless political orators have demonstrated, it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Using automated text analysis, Cornell University researchers have identified an array of features that can make a tweet more likely to get attention, and have created a website that will predict which version of a […] Read more

Cornell farmer programs aid veterans, receives USDA grant

Feb 2, 2015
A well-established agricultural outreach effort run by Cornell University is taking on a new mission designed in part to help returning veterans find futures in farming, thanks to a grant announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Northeast Beginning Farmer Project, part of the Cornell Small Farms Program, was awarded $712,500 through the […] Read more

Fight fat with favorable feedback, not fear

Jan 29, 2015
Is it better to tell people about the harms of certain health decisions or about the benefits of positive health related decisions? That depends on who you are talking to, according to recent research by the Cornell Food & Brand Lab. Published in the journal Nutrition Reviews, the paper finds that the type of health […] Read more

Is this the year you join the 1 percent?

Jan 28, 2015
ITHACA, N.Y. – Here is some good news: There is a 1-in-9 chance that a typical American will hit the jackpot and join the wealthiest 1 percent for at least one year during his or her working life, according to new research by Tom Hirschl, professor of development sociology at Cornell University, and Mark Rank […] Read more

Probiotic helps treat diabetes in rats, could lead to human remedy

Jan 27, 2015
Science may be one step closer to treating diabetes with a human probiotic pill, according to new Cornell University research. In the study, published Jan. 27 in the journal Diabetes, the researchers engineered a strain of lactobacillus, a human probiotic common in the gut, to secrete a Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). They then administered it […] Read more

Researchers show which TV ads are likely to make viewers buy online

Jan 20, 2015
ITHACA, N.Y. – One of the emerging fears of television advertisers is that distracted viewers – those increasingly frenetic “multi taskers” using smartphones, laptops and tablets while viewing television – are becoming less susceptible to advertisers’ messages. Or are they? Results of a new study by researchers at Cornell, Harvard and the University of California, […] Read more

Cornell University works to help military family service professionals across America

Jan 20, 2015
ITHACA, N.Y. – The Military Families Learning Network (MFLN), has been selected to continue and expand its work serving military family service professionals around the world, receiving a Department of Defense/USDA grant that will further its success. Cornell University Cooperative Extension faculty member Keith Tidball is working with the Military Families Learning Network to lead […] Read more

Bacteria Be Gone! New Technology Keeps Bacteria From Sticking to Surfaces

Jan 16, 2015
Just as the invention of nonstick pans was a boon for chefs, a new type of nanoscale surface that bacteria can’t stick to holds promise for applications in the food processing, medical and even shipping industries. The technology, developed collaboratively by researchers from Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, uses an electrochemical process called anodization […] Read more

Social media helps world show solidarity, resist fear after terror attacks

Jan 14, 2015
Drew Margolin, a professor of communication at Cornell University who studies human dynamics through social media and is co-author of the study “The Ripple of Fear, Sympathy and Solidarity During the Boston Bombings,” says reactions to Boston and Paris terror attacks show social media solidarity as a powerful weapon against fear. Margolin says: “There are […] Read more

Apple Breeder known for SnapDragon and RubyFrost varieties named Director of Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station

Jan 12, 2015
Susan K. Brown, the Herman M. Cohn Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences, was made the Goichman Family Director of New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva, NY on January 2, 2015. Having served as associate director since July 1, 2013, Brown’s administrative accomplishments include leading the NYSAES strategic planning process, in concert […] Read more

Clearing the ‘cloud hanging over climate science’

Dec 8, 2014
There is cloud hanging over climate science, but one Cornell University expert on communication and environmental issues says he knows how to help clear the air. In the December issue of Nature Climate Change, Jonathon Schuldt, assistant professor of communication, argues that only by creating a “science of climate diversity” can climate science and the […] Read more

Densovirus named top suspect in devastating sea star wasting disease

Nov 17, 2014
Since 2013, millions of sea stars native to the Pacific coast of North America from Baja California to southern Alaska have succumbed to a mysterious wasting disease in which their limbs pull away from their bodies and their organs exude through their skin; a disease researchers say could trigger an unprecedented ecological upheaval under the […] Read more

Cornell’s rare corpse plant to bloom … again

Nov 17, 2014
Though a rose smells sweet no matter what it is called, Cornell’s rare corpse plant stinks like rotting flesh in spite of its many names. Also known as titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum), the plant bloomed for the first time in March 2012, attracting more than 10,000 visitors over five days and is expected to bloom […] Read more

Gut bacteria: How genes determine the fit of your jeans

Nov 6, 2014
Our genetic makeup influences whether we are fat or thin by shaping which types of microbes thrive in our body, according to a Cornell-led study published today in the journal Cell. By studying pairs of twins, researchers identified the Christensenellaceae bacterial family, which is highly heritable and more common in lean individuals. Moreover, a member […] Read more

Proposed Geneva solar array conjures electrifying future

Nov 5, 2014
Continuing an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Cornell is proposing a 10-acre solar farm on university property in the town of Seneca, New York, where the university conducts agricultural research. The proposed 2-megawatt solar farm will offset nearly 40 percent of the annual demand of Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, […] Read more