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Tuesday, October 16 2012

  • ISU study: Aphid attacks weaken genetic defenses in soybeans, may open door for other pests

    Aphids possess a unique ability to block the genetic defense response of soybeans and may open the door for other pests to do even more damage to crops, according to a recent study by researchers at Iowa State University. The paper found that aphids essentially can short-circuit the hormonal defense mechanism in soybeans meant to combat insect infestations, making it easier for other pests, such as the soybean cyst nematode, to colonize the plant as well.

  • Evolving microbes help Iowa State engineers turn bio-oil into advanced biofuels

    A research team led by Iowa State University's Laura Jarboe is working to develop hungry, robust microbes that can ferment biofuels from the bio-oil produced by rapidly heating biomass such as corn stalks and sawdust. It's all part of Iowa State's efforts to combine two conversion paths -- thermochemical and biochemical -- to find efficient ways to produce renewable fuels and chemicals.

  • Search begins for Iowa State's next business dean

    Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert has identified an 18-member search committee to seek a successor to Labh Hira, who retired as College of Business dean in March and currently serves as interim president of the ISU Foundation.

  • Leaders of USAID and Peace Corps will speak Oct. 18

    The chief administrators of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Peace Corps will present the World Affairs Series keynote address. Dr. Rajiv Shah and Carrie Hessler-Radelet will present "Feed the Future: Food Security and Agriculture in Development" at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Shah leads more than 8,000 professionals in 80 missions around the world, and spearheads President Barack Obama's landmark Feed the Future food security initiative. Hessler-Radelet has worked in the field of public health for the past two decades, specializing in HIV/AIDs, and maternal and child health. Their address is free and open to the public.

  • Prominent D.C. attorney to discuss Supreme Court's reshaping of American law Oct. 18

    An attorney who has argued 25 cases before the Supreme Court in the past 13 years, and is founder and publisher of SCOTUSblog -- a premier Internet site about the law and legal system -- will present Iowa State University's Constitution Day Lecture. Thomas Goldstein will present "How Has the Supreme Court Reshaped American Law?" at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Goldstein is with the firm Goldstein and Russell, and teaches Supreme Court litigation at both Stanford and Harvard law schools. His talk, which is part of the National Affairs Series, is free and open to the public.

  • Swine Medicine Education Center receives federal grant to advance mission

    A federal grant announced this week will help to propel Iowa State University’s Swine Medicine Education Center (SMEC) from a regional presence to a national leader that will attract veterinary students from across the country. The three-year, $713,847 Higher Education Challenge Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will transform SMEC into a national center of excellence and a resource for providing unparalleled hands-on opportunities to veterinary students who want to specialize in swine medicine.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.