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Friday, July 18 2014

  • Iowa State University entomologists warn travelers about Chikungunya virus

    The two mosquito species known to transmit Chikungunya virus are exceedingly rare in Iowa, but travelers should still pay attention to new reports of disease outbreaks, according to Iowa State University entomologists. The first locally acquired cases of the virus in the United States were confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week.

  • Iowa State's FY 2014 external funding is second highest on record

    External funding at Iowa State increased to $368.4 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That's a 12.9 percent increase from the previous year's total of $326.4 million, and the second-highest total for the university.


  • ISU experts develop food safety campaign to keep older adults safe

    Iowa State University researchers are targeting leafy greens in an effort to protect older adults from foodborne illnesses. Leafy greens are a common source of contamination in such outbreaks, according to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and older adults are often most susceptible to severe illness or death.

  • Veishea Task Force report delivered to President Leath

    The Veishea Task Force's final report and recommendations were delivered to Iowa State University President Steven Leath the afternoon of July 11. President Leath will review the report and announce his decision with respect to the recommendations by early August. The task force report is available here.

  • Iowa African-American Hall of Fame announces 2014 inductees and leadership award recipients

    The Iowa African-American Hall of Fame, housed in Iowa State's Black Cultural Center, will induct three new members and award scholarships to two Iowa students on Aug. 1 in Des Moines. Tickets to the reception and banquet are available by calling Rose Wilbanks at 515-294-1909.

  • Iowa State University research sheds light on feed efficiency in pigs

    Research conducted at Iowa State University is dispelling myths about the practice of breeding pigs to improve feed efficiency, a measurement of how well swine convert the feed they consume into mass. The research has the potential to help pork producers save money and lower prices for consumers.

  • Iowa State is first U.S. student team to win international data mining competition

    A team of ISU graduate students topped 98 universities from 28 countries to capture first place in the 15th annual Data Mining Cup. The winner was announced July 2 in Berlin. It is the first time a U.S. team has won. A leading European data mining company sponsors the intelligent-data analysis competition for universities "to identify the best up-and-coming data miners." Teams had six weeks to develop a solution for a data mining problem about optimal return prognosis. 

  • Iowa State landscape architecture students create decompression area for employees of new prison for women

    As a follow up to their outdoor classroom project for offenders last summer at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women, ISU landscape architecture students and their professor are designing and building an outdoor decompression area specifically for correctional officers and staff. It's part of the ICIW's $68 million modernization and expansion. Working as paid interns, the students are getting a design-build experience like no other 

  • After a slow start to mosquito season, floods may boost population, according to Iowa State entomologists

    The next few weeks could bring a rise in mosquito populations as floodwaters recede across the state, a pair of Iowa State University entomologists warned this week. Recent flooding in Iowa could leave behind plenty of standing water, which is prime real estate for mosquitoes to lay eggs.

  • Iowa State engineers turn LEGO bricks into a scientific tool to study plant growth

    Iowa State University engineers are using transparent LEGO bricks to build controlled environments to study how variations in climate and soil affect plant growth. LEGO bricks "are highly convenient and versatile building blocks" for the studies, the researchers report in a paper just published in the peer-reviewed, online journal PLOS ONE.

  • Iowa State University veterinary researcher pushes for more systematic reviews in animal medicine and agriculture

    Wider agricultural application of a research-based review process called systematic review could lead to more transparent decision making in animal medicine and food safety, according to an Iowa State veterinary researcher. A staple of decision making in human medicine for decades, systematic review is a way of synthesizing all the research on a given question.

  • Iowa State researchers find evidence of growing polarization in U.S.

    To better understand the growing political divide in America, Iowa State University researchers developed a technique to determine if election results truly represent the “will of the people.” Their study of ballot data from the Cambridge, Massachusetts, City Council elections provides new evidence of the growing polarization of U.S. voters.

  • ISU prof: No paid leave for families is shameful

    President Obama outlined several initiatives aimed at improving workplace flexibility and access to affordable child care as part of a White House Summit on Working Families. The president highlighted the fact that the U.S. is the only developed country to not offer government-sponsored paid maternity leave – a fact that Susan Stewart, an associate professor of sociology at Iowa State University, says needs to change.

  • Measuring Ames' gravity

    Daniel Winester, seated, and Franek Hasiuk, standing, set up a gravimeter inside the Christian Petersen Art Museum on June 21. Winester, of the National Geodetic Survey, set the instrument over a brass gravity mark a crew set in the museum floor last summer. The mark allows researchers to do any follow-up studies at the same spot. Over the course of 24 hours, the nearly $2 million instrument measures a place's absolute gravity. Hasiuk, an assistant professor of geological and atmospheric sciences, says gravity varies depending on your distance from the Earth's center and the material underground. He has an explanation here. Larger image. Photo by Mike Krapfl.

  • Iowa State University veterinary researchers use forensic technology to track down drug residues in milk

    Veterinarians at Iowa State University are using advanced forensic techniques and the same technology used by crime scene investigators to monitor drug residues in milk and meat. The ISU researchers work with other veterinarians and producers to strengthen food safety and make sure animals are medicated properly.