Tumbling bumblebee populations linked to fungicides

ITHACA, N.Y. – When a Cornell-led team of scientists analyzed two dozen environmental factors to understand bumblebee population declines and range contractions, they expected to find stressors like changes in land use, geography or insecticides. Instead, they found a shocker: fungicides, commonly thought to have no impact. “Insecticides work; they kill insects. Fungicides have been […]

Vitamin E discovery in maize could lead to more nutritious crop

ITHACA, N.Y. – New research has identified genes that control vitamin E content in maize grain, a finding that could lead to improving the nutritional profile of this staple crop. Cornell University scientists and colleagues from other institutions combined different types of genetic association analyses to identify 14 genes across the genome that were involved […]

Regional sourcing key to success of Empire Rye, craft beverages

A handful of New York state craft distilleries is launching a new, regional whiskey, “Empire Rye.” Christopher Gerling, an enologist and craft-beverage expert, says that local sourcing and geographical identification are key ingredients to Empire Rye and other regional food and drink. Gerling says: “Craft beverages and local sourcing of raw materials go hand in […]

NY regional pedigree distilled into Empire Rye

A handful of New York state craft distilleries is launching a new, regional whiskey, “Empire Rye.” Bradley J. Rickard, an expert on economic and policy issues in food and beverage markets – and associate professor in Cornell University’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, notes that such industry-led initiatives are driven by […]

Cornell research helping hemlocks survive in New York state

ITHACA, N.Y. – Efforts to battle an invasive forest pest just got a boost from a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation grant that enables Cornell Botanic Gardens to continue – and expand – its work to conserve hemlock trees that are foundational to the university’s campus and natural areas. Ecologists refer to hemlocks […]

Wildfires fed by outdated forestry practices, climate change

Forestry expert and Cornell Cooperative Extension Associate Mark C. Whitmore grew up in the Western United States and conducted forestry research in the area impacted by this week’s California fires. Whitmore says fire is a natural part of those ecosystems, but past forestry practices coupled with climate change serve to intensify the severity of such […]

California wildfires threaten regional grape, wine production

As firefighters and first responders work to save lives and property impacted by the Northern California wildfires, Cornell University Associate Professor of Enology Anna Katharine Mansfield, whose field work and research includes the chemistry of wine aroma and flavor, warns that these fires will have long-term impacts on the region’s vineyards and wine production. Bio: […]

New Salmonella test boosts food safety for humans and animals

ITHACA, N.Y. – A new test allows accurate, rapid testing for Salmonella bacteria, one of the leading causes of food-borne illness across all regions of the world. Salmonella can infect animals as well as people, with commonly reported cases of people falling sick after handling pets and livestock. Tests that used to take days now […]

Mold contamination in sea salts could potentially spoil food

ITHACA, N.Y. – Like fine wines, sea salts are artisanal products that inspire talk of terroir, texture and provenance. Now there’s evidence that they can also be sources of spoilage molds. Research from Cornell University mycologist Kathie Hodge and doctoral candidate Megan Biango-Daniels reveals varying levels of mold contamination in commercial sea salts. Among those […]

War on weeds takes toll on beneficial bacteria in the soil

ITHACA, N.Y. – As farmers battle in their above-ground war on weeds, they may inadvertently create underground casualties – unintentionally attacking the beneficial bacteria that help crops guard against enemy fungus, according to Cornell University research. Specifically, Cornell researchers found negative consequences of the weed-killing herbicide glyphosate on Pseudomonas, a soil-friendly bacteria. “Beneficial Pseudomonas in […]