Don’t bug out over latest Zika news

Vector biologist Laura Harrington and chair of the Department of Entomology at Cornell University says overreaction to the threat of Zika virus in the continental U.S. could be harmful to citizens’ psychological well-being, as well as the environment as it may lead to mass spraying of insecticides that may not be effective in controlling the mosquitos. […]

Researchers Nudge Healthy Food Selection in Food Pantries

Grocery stores have long deployed insights from behavioral economics to influence the purchase of targeted foods. But can similar tactics work in community food panties to nudge clients to make healthier food choices? Researchers from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab have uncovered ways to do just that. Prioritizing the placement of healthier options and […]

Maize genome ‘dark matter’ discovery a boon for breeders

ITHACA, N.Y. – For astronomers, “dark matter” is the largely hypothetical substance that accounts for approximately 85 percent of the matter in the universe. Now, plant scientists have discovered a different kind of “dark matter” in the maize genome: a tiny percentage of regulatory DNA that accounts for roughly half of the variation in observable […]

Hunting for hidden life on worlds orbiting old, red stars

ITHACA, N.Y. – All throughout the universe, there are stars in varying phases and ages. Planetary diversity suggests that around other stars, initially frozen worlds could be the size of Earth and provide habitable conditions once the star becomes older. The oldest detected Kepler planets (exoplanets found using NASA’s Kepler telescope) are about 11 billion […]

School lunch subsidy could boost local farms, economies

ITHACA, N.Y. – If New York state lawmakers were to provide a subsidy of 5 cents per school lunch just one day per week for the purchase of local fruits and vegetables, it would likely provide a financial boost for New York farmers and local economies. The finding is according to a recent report, “The […]

Cutting-edge climate data for New York has new digital home

ITHACA, N.Y. – Type “New York climate data” into Google and be prepared for a deluge of nearly 8 million search results. Somewhere in that vast flood may be the relevant information you need, but wading through what’s trivial and out of date can be a frustrating slog requiring time and scientific know-how to navigate. […]

Finding Zika one paper disc at a time

An international, multi-institutional team of researchers that included Giullaume Lambert, a Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow in Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell Uniersity, has developed a low-cost, rapid paper-based diagnostic system for strain-specific detection of the Zika virus, with the goal that it could soon be used in the field to screen blood, urine, or saliva samples. […]

Junk-food junkies go healthy when rewarded

ITHACA, N.Y. – Healthy eating habits are more important than ever, with advocates calling for fast-food restaurants, schools and food providers to promote the sale of salads and vegetables as alternatives to burgers and fries. According to new Cornell University research, the most effective strategy for influencing such healthy food choices is not calorie counts […]

Flowers not to blame for allergies

Marvin Pritts, a horticulture professor at Cornell University, explains the science behind allergies and why it isn’t the showy flowers that are the culprit, but rather the inconspicuous flowers that few people even notice.   Bio: https://hort.cals.cornell.edu/people/marvin-pritts   Pritts says:   “It is the time of the year when sensitive individuals begin to express allergy […]

Beyond milkweed: Monarchs face habitat, nectar threats

ITHACA, N.Y. – In the face of scientific dogma that faults the population decline of monarch butterflies on a lack of milkweed, herbicides and genetically modified crops, a new Cornell University study casts wider blame: sparse autumnal nectar sources, weather and habitat fragmentation.     Media note: A video of the researcher explaining the findings is […]