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Wednesday, April 2 2014

  • Why we think we’re good at something when we’re not

    Reality TV has a way of highlighting the worst in people, even when they genuinely think they’re doing their best. American Idol is just one example, in which contestants who can’t carry a tune are shocked when told they can’t sing. Zlatan Krizan, an associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University, says it’s a natural reaction because we have a hard time accurately evaluating our abilities.

  • ISU student follows in his father's footsteps on a National Student Exchange program

    ISU chemical engineering sophomore William Rabe will spend his junior year at the University of Alabama as part of the National Student Exchange program. He's following in the footsteps of his father, who went to Alabama 31 years ago on an NSE and met his future wife. Rabe is one of about 50 ISU students participating in the NSE program each semester.

  • Collaborative science yields new insight into links among nitrogen, herbivores and plant biodiversity

    A collaborative approach to gathering data spearheaded by Iowa State University faculty and students has revealed new insight into plant biodiversity and netted publication in a top scientific journal. The study gathered worldwide data on how nitrogen levels affect the number of plant species that can thrive in grassland environments across the globe.

  • Limiting screen time improves sleep, academics and behavior, ISU study finds

    Parents may not always see it, but efforts to limit their children’s screen time can make a difference. A new study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found children get more sleep, do better in school, behave better and see other health benefits when parents limit content and the amount of time their children spend on the computer or in front of the TV.

  • Journalist and environmental writer Elizabeth Kolbert will speak at ISU April 3

    Two-time National Magazine Award winner Elizabeth Kolbert will discuss disappearing and extinct species — the subject of her new book — during a talk, "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History," at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Best known for her book "Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change," Kolbert has been a staff writer for the New Yorker since 1999. Her talk is free and open to the public.

  • More than 700 Iowa students to show off their science and technology projects

    A record 700-plus school students from across the state will show off their science and technology projects at Hilton Coliseum on Thursday and Friday, March 27 and 28. Public hours for the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa are:

    • Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum for all exhibits
    • Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for junior high exhibits displayed on the Hilton floor and 2:30 to 6 p.m. for senior high exhibits displayed on the Hilton concourse
    • The fair’s award ceremony is 7 p.m. Friday at Hilton
  • Resistance to Bt corn by western corn rootworm is a growing concern for farmers, according to Iowa State University entomologist

    A researcher at Iowa State University is urging Iowa farmers to adopt a diverse range of pest management tactics to suppress the resistance of western corn rootworm to Bt corn. Beginning in 2009, farmers in northeast Iowa began to report rootworm problems despite the use of Bt corn. Similar instances in surrounding states suggest the issue is of growing concern.

  • Designer will discuss international research on synthetic aesthetics April 2

    The emerging field of synthetic biology aims to create new biological parts, devices and systems, ranging from biofuels to medical applications. London-based designer and writer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg will discuss boundary-crossing collaborations among engineers, artists, designers and synthetic biologists in "Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology's Designs on Nature" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Her talk is free and open to the public.

  • Four Iowa State students named Goldwater Scholars

    Four Iowa State University Honors students have received Goldwater Scholarships, the nation's premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. A total of 283 Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,166 applicants nationwide.The maximum number of applicants that an institution can submit is four. All four of ISU's were selected for the first time.

  • Iowa State engineer builds instrument to study effects of genes, environment on plant traits

    Iowa State University's Liang Dong is leading a research team that's developing an accessible instrument with the scale, flexibility and resolution needed to study how genes and environmental conditions affect plant traits. Dong says the instrument could enable experiments that are now impossible. The project is supported by a three-year, $697,550 grant from the National Science Foundation.

  • Salamanders are shrinking due to climate change, according to Iowa State researcher

    Certain species of salamanders in the eastern United States appear to be shrinking as a consequence of climate change, according to an Iowa State University professor.

  • Life lessons: Children learn aggressive ways of thinking and behaving from violent video games

    Children who repeatedly play violent video games are learning thought patterns that will stick with them and influence behaviors as they grow older, according to a new study by Iowa State University researchers. The effect is the same regardless of age, gender or culture. Douglas Gentile, lead author of the study published in JAMA Pediatrics, says it is really no different than learning math or to play the piano.

  • Participate in Board of Regents efficiency and transformation review

    Iowa State University will host a public forum at 10 a.m. April 1 as part of a comprehensive efficiency review at Iowa’s three public universities. The forum, which will be held in the Howe Hall auditorium, is designed to help stakeholders learn more about the review process.

  • U.S. News releases latest graduate school rankings; Iowa State’s ag engineering ranked 4th

    Iowa State's graduate programs in agricultural and biosystems engineering, statistics, engineering and chemistry continue to earn high rankings in the annual ranking of graduate programs compiled by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

  • Iowa State University forestry professor helps Iowans prepare for decline of ash trees

    As the specter of the emerald ash borer continues its seemingly inevitable spread across the state, an Iowa State University professor is encouraging cities to plant a diverse range of trees to protect against future pests.

  • Changes to special education in Iowa could hurt students and teachers

    Iowa State University School of Education faculty members are concerned that proposed changes for special education teaching endorsements in Iowa could have negative consequences. The Board of Educational Examiners wants to consolidate certain requirements to help address a shortage of special education teachers in the state.

  • Prolonged crisis in Ukraine could roil grain markets, according to Iowa State University economics professor

    Upheaval in Ukraine could result in a dip in global supplies of corn and soybeans and roil grain markets across the globe, according to an Iowa State University economist. Recent tensions with Russia, focused in the Crimea region and the Black Sea, could create a bottleneck that shuts down Ukrainian exports to the rest of the world.