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Thursday, June 6 2013

  • Presidential Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research awards announced

    Four Iowa State research teams will receive up to $4.5 million over three years to pursue competitive grants to fund large-scale, multidisciplinary research efforts of national and international importance. The grants are part of the Presidential Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research, a program launched by President Steven Leath to support research efforts that could lead to major advances, discoveries and technologies. Three other projects received awards under a smaller, proof-of-concept category. These awards provide pursuit funds for emerging research areas that are more limited in scope or require proof of concept before investigators can pursue larger funding. Each project will receive up to $100,000 for one year.

  • Hamilton Hall reopened; suspicious substance in mail determined to be photo paper residue

    UPDATE 7:54 p.m. Wednesday: Officials have determined that the substance in the manila envelope received at the Iowa State Daily appears to be photo paper residue/particles. Law enforcement have reopened Hamilton Hall and given the all clear.

    A package containing a suspicious white powder was received and opened at the Iowa State Daily newsroom about 4:40 Wednesday afternoon. The building has been evacuated; a limited number of people who may have had contact with the package remain on the scene and are speaking with investigators. The Ames Fire Department (hazmat unit) and ISU Police are on the scene at Hamilton Hall on the Iowa State campus. The Des Moines Fire Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been notified. The investigation continues. Watch this space and Twitter (@IowaStateUNews) for updates.

  • Flood impact on mosquitoes unclear, according to Iowa State entomologist

    Recent flooding throughout the state might give mosquito populations a boost. But, then again, it might not. It’s difficult to predict how the rainy weather of recent weeks will impact mosquitoes, according to an Iowa State University entomologist.
     

  • ISU architecture professor's new book reveals the backstory of early Chicago skyscrapers

    Landmark Chicago skyscrapers like the Wrigley Building defined the city and inspired a nation during an era of prosperity and progress. In the years between Chicago's Great Fire of 1871 and the country's Great Depression, Chicago was an epicenter for architecture's modernization and urbanization. And it was a political hotbed of corruption, muckraking, unions and reform. Those worlds intersect in a new book by Thomas Leslie, Pickard Chilton Professor in Architecture at Iowa State University. "Chicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934" weaves together the daily struggles, technical breakthroughs and negotiations that produced Chicago's magnificent buildings. 

  • Mental block: Iowa State professor discovers way to alter memory

    A series of studies conducted by an Iowa State University research team shows that it is possible to manipulate an existing memory simply by suggesting new or different information. The key is timing and recall of that memory, said Jason Chan, an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State.

  • Iowa State meteorologist, grad students worked with Tim Samaras, calling him 'the safest storm chaser we knew'

    Bill Gallus

    Bill Gallus

    Iowa State University meteorology professor and storm chaser Bill Gallus said researchers around the country are "in shock" over the death of Tim Samaras, the well-known storm chaser who was killed in the El Reno, Okla., tornado Friday.

    "He was the safest storm chaser we knew," said Gallus. "He was incredibly safe. That's why we worked with him."

    Gallus is available to speak with members of the news media at 515-294-2270 or wgallus@iastate.edu.

  • ISU’s Catt Center releases new report on municipal gender balance

    More women are now serving on municipal boards and commissions in Iowa due in part to the state’s gender balance law. The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University, in partnership with the Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, created the Gender Balance Project to track compliance at both the county and municipal level.

  • Jack Trice Stadium boasts the nation's best field

    The natural, green grass of Jack Trice Stadium has been named College Football Field of the Year by the Sports Turf Managers Association. Tim Van Loo, Athletics turf grounds manager, and a team of students work diligently to make Jack Trice Stadium's field look plush and gorgeous.

  • Iowa State professor uses statistical analysis to make sports projections

    With 24-hour sports networks and social media, there is no shortage of sports information and statistics for fans to access. But a desire for better analysis of those statistics led Gray Calhoun, an assistant professor of economics at Iowa State University, to create VisualScoreboard.com.

  • Iowa State formula racers think engine problems are finally behind them

    Iowa State's Formula SAE Team likes a lot about this year's mini open-wheel racer: reliable engine, wider cockpit, roomier engine bay, new shock attachments. All those changes should make for a race car that's easier to run, operate and fix.

  • Iowa State design professor leads team in autism research and outreach

    What started as a school project for her cognitively disabled son has turned into a career focus for one Iowa State University graphic design professor. Debra Satterfield's teenage son, John, has epilepsy and an autism spectrum disorder. A few years ago, she discovered his talents as a painter. Since then Satterfield has led a team of faculty and students on the design of educational, social inclusion and play experiences for children with cognitive disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders.

  • Iowa State student launches business to market new technology

    An Iowa State graduate student is another step closer in the development of a bio-based raw material that could replace petroleum-based chemicals in many products. As part of that development, Shivani Garg has launched her own business to market the technology.

  • Iowa State’s Team LunaCY ready to repeat last year’s top results at NASA competition

    Iowa State's Team LunaCY is looking for more success at NASA's annual competition for mining robots. Iowa State's team won three first-place awards at last year's competition. Team members think they have the machine to bring a few more awards back to campus.

  • Wind Energy in Iowa

    Host Ben Kieffer of the River to River show takes a look at wind energy in Iowa with both large- and small-scale turbines. He also talks with an Iowa State professor and a graduate student working on designing a different wind turbine tower—one made out of concrete. Iowa State's Sri Sritharan and Grant Schmitz are at 30:45 on the podcast.

  • Iowa State engineers design, test taller, high-strength concrete towers for wind turbines

    Iowa State's Sri Sritharan and Grant Schmitz have designed and tested a concept for building concrete towers to replace the steel towers used for wind turbines. Concrete towers could be a practical way to raise turbine towers from today's 80 meters to the better winds at 100 meters and higher. Even under extreme loads up to 170,000 pounds, the engineers' test segments performed well in structural tests.

  • Power Pullers preparing for national competition with new quarter-scale tractor

    A team of students at Iowa State University is putting the finishing touches on a built-from-scratch 1/4-scale tractor to enter in a nationwide engineering competition at the end of May.

  • It’s all about reliability for this year’s Iowa State Baja racing team

    The student-engineers of Iowa State's Baja SAE Team have been busy designing and building what they hope is a reliable off-road racer. Their first real test is later this week at an international competition in Bellingham, Wash. Team members are hoping the car can survive the contest's big event, a four-hour endurance race.

  • What the birth rate says about changing family dynamics

    An Iowa State University sociologist is not surprised by a recent U.S. Census Bureau report showing a spike in the number of unmarried women giving birth. According to the report, nearly 36 percent of babies born in 2011 were to single mothers.

  • Harmon named associate vice president for student affairs

    Martino Harmon, executive director of student success and retention at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Ohio, will become the next associate vice president for student affairs at Iowa State.

  • Spalding named College of Business dean

    David Spalding, senior vice president and senior adviser to Dartmouth College's interim president Carol Folt, has been appointed the next Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the College of Business. He will begin his new position Aug. 1.

  • Iowa State professor weighs benefit vs. risk of facial recognition technology

    Law enforcement agencies are using facial recognition software as a crime-fighting tool. Now businesses are looking to use the technology to reach customers. But an Iowa State University professor questions whether customers are ready for it.

  • Human health and performance conference to be held at Iowa State

    An international conference to be held at Iowa State University will focus on protein-centric scientific developments that will enhance human health and performance. The conference, titled “Proteins in Human Health and Performance,” will feature an extensive lineup of health experts with a central focus on proteins, including their roles in muscle health and weight management.

  • Iowa State, Ames Lab researcher to study the effects of cell adhesion on spread of cancer

    Sanjeevi Sivasankar of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory has studied how healthy cells stick to each other. Now he's turning his attention to cells affected by cancer. A four-year, $715,000 grant from the American Cancer Society will support studies of the bonds between cancer cells and how changes in those bonds could affect the spread of cancer.

  • For farmers, plenty of uncertainty accompanies planting season

    The first week of May is traditionally thought of as the ideal time for Iowa farmers to begin planting, but a slow start to spring and volatile grain markets in recent weeks have left many producers anxious to get in the fields, agronomy and grain markets experts at Iowa State University said.