College of Agricultural Sciences news


College of Agricultural Sciences edition

College of Agricultural Sciences edition

Monday, November 16, 2020


Person eating lemon

Smell and taste changes provide early indication of COVID-19 community spread

Self-reports of smell and taste changes provide earlier markers of the spread of infection of SARS-CoV-2 than current governmental indicators, according to an international team of researchers. The researchers also observed a decline in self-reports of smell and taste changes as early as five days after lockdown enforcement, with faster declines reported in countries that adopted the most stringent lockdown measures.  Full story


Could SARS-CoV-2 evolve resistance to COVID-19 vaccines?

Similar to bacteria evolving resistance to antibiotics, viruses can evolve resistance to vaccines, and the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 could undermine the effectiveness of vaccines that are currently under development, according to a paper published Nov. 9 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by David Kennedy and Andrew Read from Penn State. The authors also offer recommendations to vaccine developers for minimizing the likelihood of this outcome.  Full story

Book co-edited by Penn State faculty explores gender relations in agriculture

While women represent a significant portion of the global agricultural workforce, they face many roadblocks to success, including limited access to land, technological advancements, education and financing. These barriers, and ways to overcome them, are explored in a new publication, “Routledge Handbook of Gender and Agriculture,” co-edited by faculty in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.  Full story

Penn State Extension provides free courses to young women in Kenya

In August, Penn State Extension (in the College of Agricultural Sciences) partnered with the Global Give Back Circle (GGBC), an organization focused on providing education and mentorship opportunities to young women in five African nations. Global Give Back Circle “leverage[s] the time and talent of women globally, through a Mentorship Program designed to help at-risk girls continue their education and embrace economic freedom,” according to their website.   Full story

Soldier tells his little girl goodbye

Family symposium highlights parent-child separations

Penn State’s 28th annual National Symposium on Family Issues was recently held focusing on the causes and consequences of parent-child separations. For the first time ever, the event was held virtually, but that didn’t deter experts around the nation from participating and offering their diverse research on the subject.   Full story