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Thursday, May 12 2016

  • Cyclone Space Mining doubles down on new and better robot technology

    Iowa State student-engineers are investing long hours in the design and assembly of their space-mining robots. The students will deploy their machines May 16-20 at the annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The students like the technical upgrades they've made to this year's robots -- including metal tracks, a suspension system and better motors. And they think their two-robot mining system could be a great way to collect a lot of simulated Martian soil.

  • Architecture grad students among winners in AIA sustainable design competition

    ISU architecture graduate students Mengwei Liu and Anastasia Sysoeva are among the winners of the second annual American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment Top 10 for Students competition. Their project for Des Moines' 6th Avenue Corridor will be on display May 19-21 at the 2016 AIA National Convention in Philadelphia and at the 105th  Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Annual Meeting in Detroit next March. It was developed in the Sustainable Building Design studio taught by Ulrike Passe, associate professor of architecture and director of the ISU Center for Building Energy Research. 

  • ISU review finds majority of technologies aimed at reducing odor and gas emissions from livestock production never see field-scale testing

    A review of hundreds of academic articles on technologies to reduce odor and gas emissions from livestock operations shows that most such technologies undergo lab testing but never reach farm-scale study. A team of ISU researchers surveyed all the available publications on mitigation practices that focus on animal housing, manure storage and land application techniques.

  • Time to change how news media cover mass shootings, says Iowa State prof

    The amount of media attention focused on the shooter in a mass killing sends the wrong message, says an Iowa State University associate professor of psychology. Douglas Gentile, an expert on media effects, says news reports about the killer, the type and number of weapons used and rounds of ammunition glamorize the situation and set a “high score” for future mass shooters to beat.

  • Iowa State University researchers receive $1 million grant to study antimicrobial resistance in animal production

    The grant from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture will allow the interdisciplinary team of researchers to advance new technology to study antimicrobial resistance, which poses a growing threat to human and animal health.

  • ISU graduating senior adapts urban roots to global agriculture

    Malcolm Smith knows that awesome things happen when he steps outside his comfort zone. He chose to attend an agricultural sciences high school without knowing anything about ag. He left his hometown of 2.7 million diverse people to go to college in a town of 60,000 less diverse people. He went on a service learning internship in Uganda after his freshman year and took graduate-level courses at a German university his sophomore year. On Saturday, May 7, Smith graduates from Iowa State with a double major in global resource systems and public service and administration in agriculture.

  • New grant will help Iowa State University researchers to explore genetics of stress resistance in corn

    A $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help ISU plant scientists build a better understanding of how corn plants deal with stress conditions such as heat waves. The research will focus on a delicate but vital process in plant cells called protein folding.

  • Iowa State's Hotel Memorial Union will help to serve growing student housing needs

    Iowa State’s Memorial Union and Department of Residence will convert Hotel Memorial Union guest rooms to temporary student residence hall space beginning this fall. Repurposing the space will add up to 80 student beds on central campus. The MU housing will be operated like all other residence halls, with support from community advisers and other Department of Residence staff. Returning students who have a current 2016-17 residence contract have the option of selecting MU housing beginning April 28. Those interested can learn more at

  • Iowa school teams, individuals head to science and technology world championship

    School students from across the state are heading to the FIRST Championship in St. Louis. They'll demonstrate what they've researched, built and learned in LEGO League and robotics programs. The whole idea is to inspire kids to be the "innovators, doers, and tinkerers of tomorrow."

  • Clothing made from tea byproduct could improve health of fashion industry

    The fashion industry generates a lot of waste, which is why a team of Iowa State University researchers developed a new fiber that's 100 percent biodegradable. Researchers are testing the fiber – made from a green tea byproduct – to see if it's a viable alternative.  

  • Jolly named Iowa State human sciences dean

    Laura Dunn Jolly, professor of textiles, merchandising and interiors at the University of Georgia, Athens, has been appointed the next dean and Dean's Chair of the College of Human Sciences. She will join the university July 5. Jolly succeeds current Dean and University Professor Pam White, who is retiring after more than 40 years of service to Iowa State.

  • Iowa State engineers develop micro-sized, liquid-metal particles for heat-free soldering

    Martin Thuo of Iowa State and the Ames Laboratory has led development of liquid-metal particles that can be used for heat-free soldering and other applications. He says Iowa State is the perfect place for the latest development of soldering technology. Back in 1996, a research team led by Iver Anderson of the Ames Laboratory and Iowa State patented lead-free solder. Thuo hopes his innovation is just as useful and has helped launch a startup company to develop and market the technology.

  • Industrial design and Courage League Sports team up to create assistive sports devices

    Industrial design students at Iowa State University are learning to use a tool that will serve them well throughout their careers. It's not a soldering iron, needle nose pliers, glue gun or even a 3-D printer. It's empathy. This spring, 29 students are designing assistive sports equipment for a recreational facility that serves people with special needs. Courage League Sports in Urbandale has teamed up with Iowa State's industrial design department to create the equipment. And several students have gone above and beyond, volunteering to better understand the athletes' special needs.

  • Paleontologists find North America’s oldest monkey fossil along Panama Canal

    Aaron Wood, director of Iowa State's Carl F. Vondra Geology Field Station, found a tiny, black-colored fossil tooth in 2012 when he was a postdoctoral research associate for the Florida Museum of Natural History. It turns out that find was North America's oldest monkey fossil. The journal Nature just published a paper describing the discovery.

  • ADVISORY: Iowa State University sources available to comment on spring planting

    Spring planting is underway, and Iowa State University agricultural experts are available to comment on the trends and stories that will shape the upcoming growing season.

  • Brazil’s impeachment battle a sad day for democracy, Iowa State political scientist says

    An Iowa State University political scientist says it is likely Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will be impeached. Amy Erica Smith says the impeachment battle is politically motivated and reflects a fundamental misunderstanding by many lawmakers of how the country’s democratic institutions work. 

  • ‘Good cop’ parent not enough to buffer some harmful effects of ‘bad cop’ parent

    New Iowa State University research shows harsh parenting may increase a child’s risk for poor physical health and obesity as they get older. And attempts by one parent to counterbalance the harsh behavior are not always effective in lessening that risk. The work is published in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

  • National Science Foundation grant to help Iowa State researchers develop genetic tools to improve performance of yams as global food staple

    A new grant from the National Science Foundation will allow ISU researchers to study the genome of the yam, an important crop in global agriculture. The research team will utilize revolutionary genome-editing technology including the CRISPR/Cas9 system to develop an array of tools that could answer specific questions regarding yam gene function.

  • ISU economist working to better assess the costs of climate change

    To effectively combat climate change, an Iowa State University economist says we need to better understand the costs. Ivan Rudik says estimates of the damage from greenhouse gas emissions are highly uncertain. Better assessment will help find the most effective ways to reduce emissions and address climate change. 

  • Iowa State physicist analyzes first electron neutrino data from NOvA Experiment

    Iowa State physicists are part of the huge NOvA Neutrino Experiment. The experiment just published two papers about the first experimental observations of muon neutrinos changing to electron neutrinos. The discovery could offer insight into fundamental neutrino properties such as mass and could help explain the dominance of matter in the universe.