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Wednesday, October 3 2012

  • Iowa State researchers developing ‘BIGDATA’ toolbox to help genome researchers

    The latest DNA sequencing technology is burying researchers in trillions of bytes of data. Iowa State's Srinivas Aluru is leading a team of researchers who will develop high performance computing tools to help researchers analyze all that data. The work is supported by a $2 million grant from the BIGDATA program of the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

  • Student wins scholarship for essay on her tsunami-survival experience

    Onalie Ariyabandhu's essay about her family’s harrowing experience during the Sri Lanka tsunami in 2004 won her a $2,500 essay from the 2012 International Student Voice magazine sponsored by International Student Protection. She is a sophomore majoring in economics, international studies and environmental studies. More than 700 international students studying abroad entered the competition with essays about an experience from their lives and how it influenced who they are today.

  • ISU researchers advancing gene targeting techniques in new paper published in Nature

    Iowa State University researchers are helping to advance new techniques that allow scientists to site-specifically mutate and edit the genes of living organisms. The innovation could have sweeping applications in agriculture and the study of human disease.

  • Iowa State researchers study clam shells for clues to the Atlantic’s climate history

    Iowa State University's Alan Wanamaker studies the growth increments in clam shells to learn about past ocean temperatures, growing conditions and circulation patterns. Wanamaker says a better understanding of the ocean's past can help researchers understand today's climate trends and changes.

  • World Food Prize winner will present Norman Borlaug Lecture at Iowa State on Oct. 15

    2012 World Food Prize laureate Daniel Hillel will present the Norman Borlaug Lecture at Iowa State. His presentation, "Soil, Water, Energy and Ecosystems in a Changing Climate," will be at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Hillel was honored by the World Food Prize for developing and implementing micro-irrigation systems that deliver water more efficiently to crops in dry lands. These precision watering systems have revolutionized agriculture in the Middle East and other arid regions around the world for more than 50 years. A reception and display of student posters that address world food issues will precede the lecture at 7 p.m. 


  • NSF adds three years, $12 million to ISU-based Center for Biorenewable Chemicals

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has added $12 million and another three years of support to the NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals based at Iowa State University. The continuing support brings federal investment in the center up to $30.5 million over eight years. The center's vision is to transform the industrial chemical industry from one based on petroleum to one based on biorenewable resources.

  • Lakota Nation leader and Nebraska rancher discuss Keystone XL Pipeline at ISU, Oct. 10

    The proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline has raised concerns for Native Americans, ranchers and environmentalists. Two leading opponents will present "The Keystone XL Pipeline and the Protection of American Lands" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Tom Poor Bear is vice president of the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Nation and leader of the Native American opposition to the pipeline. Randy Thompson is a Nebraska farmer and rancher whose lands were threatened by the original pipeline plan. Their talk is part of the university's National Affairs Series and is free and open to the public.

  • Chicano/Mexicano poet, actor and activist on campus for Latino Heritage Month

    The multitalented Michael Reyes, who has been featured on HBO Latino and PBS, will speak on Oct. 8 and 9, as part of the university's Latino Heritage Month Celebration. Reyes is a Chicano/Mexicano poet, actor, playwright, artist and community organizer specializing in youth development. "Take It Higher Than Just Higher Education," will be at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 8, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. His interactive presentation combines history, current events and performance into a fusion of education and entertainment as he examines the characteristics of a critical thinker, and what it means to be schooled versus educated. On Oct 9, Reyes will present a faculty workshop, "Multiculturism as a Culture," and a spoken-word performance, "Mexican/Chicano Identity and History Through Spoken Word and Puerto Rican Poems of Solidarity." 

  • Global environmental politics expert will present Iowa State's Hilton Chair Lecture Oct. 3

    Paul Wapner, an author and expert on global environmental politics and activism, will present "Environmentalism Without Nature" at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct.3, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Wapner wrote "Living Through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism," which is a call for environmentalists to regroup and refashion the American environmental movement to be more politically relevant in the 21st century. He is the 2012-13 Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair in Human Sciences. His presentation is free and open to the public. 

  • ISU experts see signs for optimism as harvest reaches peak in Iowa

    The latest government crop yield predictions may give grain farmers cause for optimism as the harvest season reaches its crescendo in Iowa. Although slightly lower than previous projections, last week’s crop yield report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is a far cry from the worst-case scenarios many farmers braced for earlier this summer as a withering drought took hold of much of America’s prime farmland.

  • ISU veterinarian encourages pet owners to pay closer attention as animals get older

    Pets often require extra medical consideration as they enter their golden years, a small animal veterinarian at Iowa State University said this week. In recognition of September as “Senior Pet Health Month,” Dr. Bianca Zaffarano, a clinician in the ISU Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, is reminding pet owners to pay close attention to changes their animals exhibit as they age.

  • ISU architecture professor pursues groundbreaking work on energy and buildings

    Buildings account for about 40 percent of all U.S. energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In the move toward renewable energy and green building technologies, considerable effort has gone into developing standards for energy-efficient materials, processes and systems, while little has been done to measure how well buildings actually perform once they’re in use. An Iowa State University architecture professor hopes her work with a five-year, $20 million National Science Foundation project will lead to better understanding of building energy-performance data to determine whether systems perform as expected, as well as what strategies work best in Iowa’s climate. (Video.)

  • Iowa State, Ames Lab researcher developing new computing approach to materials science

    Iowa State University's Krishna Rajan is using data mining, information theory and statistical learning concepts to develop a new approach to discovering materials. Like other methods, Rajan's approach can collect large amounts of data. But he's also developing ideas to target the data that's most relevant to solving a particular problem.

  • ISU researchers looking for improved diagnostic tools to detect re-emerging disease in pigs

    Veterinary researchers at Iowa State University are developing improved methods to diagnose a re-emerging swine disease that was essentially a non-issue five years ago but has become increasingly more common since then. Swine dysentery, also known as bloody scours, is a disease in pigs that causes diarrhea containing mucus and blood and eventually leads to uneven growth and increased mortality among infected herds. The disease virtually disappeared in the late 1990s but has re-emerged in recent years.

  • ISU’s Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital dedication set for Sept. 12; public invited

    After two years of construction and years of planning and design, Iowa State University will dedicate its new Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital at the College of Veterinary Medicine on Sept. 12 at 4:30 p.m. The dedication of the hospital marks the completion of the two-phase renovation and expansion project of the Dr. W. Eugene and Linda Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center that began in 2006 with the construction of Phase I, the large animal and equine hospital.