2015 Year in Review

As 2015 comes to an end, the Iowa State University News Service staff is looking back and sharing some of its favorite and more popular stories of the year. Click on each headline to link to the full release.

Biotech potato 225x120

Iowa State University agronomist helps NASA satellite measure soil moisture

With the help of an Iowa State University agronomist, a recently launched NASA satellite will record moisture content in soil across the globe. NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite is tracking moisture to better understand weather and climate, especially as they relate to flooding.

Biotech potato 225x120

New research from Iowa State University economist finds consumers willing to spend more for biotech potato products

New research from an Iowa State University economist found consumers were willing to spend more for biotech potato products with reduced levels of a chemical compound linked to cancer. The findings underscore the importance of efforts to educate consumers on the use of biotechnology in the production of healthful food.

Chimp hunting with spear

Iowa State anthropologist finds female chimps more likely to use tools when hunting

Iowa State University anthropology professor Jill Pruetz and her research team were the first to observe savanna chimps using tools to hunt prey. Since making that discovery, Pruetz's team has observed more than 300 tool-assisted hunts and found female chimps hunt with tools more than males. 


Insulin resistance increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease, new Iowa State study

An Iowa State University study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, found a strong association between insulin resistance and memory function decline, increasing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Auriel Willette, a research scientist in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, says insulin resistance is common in people who are obese, pre-diabetic or have Type 2 diabetes.

Students and offenders working on prison garden

Iowa State students and incarcerated women grow thriving vegetable garden and more at prison

Improbable teams of students and incarcerated women continue to transform acres of barren prison yard into a beautiful, bountiful landscape full of life — and now food. The ongoing partnership between Iowa State University's Department of Landscape Architecture and the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville is in its third year of providing hands-on learning experiences to students and offenders alike.


Want to live longer? Go for a run, says Iowa State researcher

Need an incentive to lace up your shoes and go for a run? A new Iowa State University study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found running for just five or 10 minutes a day can significantly reduce your risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Students talking and texting on mobile phones

Are you a nomophobe?

Smartphones are a great way to stay connected with family and friends. But what if you suddenly lost that connection? A new Iowa State University study identifies the dimensions of nomophobia to help you determine if you suffer from it. 

Violent video game

Parents influence children’s play of violent video games, according to Iowa State study

Parents who are more anxious and emotional can impact the amount of violent video games their children play, according to new consumer research from Iowa State University. Researchers found that parents who were more warm and restrictive were successful in limiting children’s play of violent video games. However, highly emotional and anxious parents had the opposite effect – their children played more. 

virtual reality

Virtual reality puts football recruits in the middle of game day at Jack Trice Stadium

Iowa State University researchers are using the sophisticated tools of the Virtual Reality Applications Center to create a virtual Jack Trice Stadium for football recruits. It's a way to show off the stadium's game-day atmosphere and the university's strengths in science and technology.

Vincent the Cat

Cat that received prosthetic legs at ISU veterinary hospital making strides in recovery

Vincent, a 3-year-old domestic short-haired cat that received prosthetic legs at Iowa State, is making a strong recovery. In fact, his doctor thinks he might start jumping soon. When Vincent was brought to the animal shelter as a kitten, his hind legs were missing below the midway point of his shinbones.