2019 Year in Review

As 2019 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 read the full release.

Radiation clinic

Precision radiation therapy now a treatment option for pets

The Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital at Iowa State University opened a new radiation treatment facility for pets with tumors. The facility delivers stereotactic radiation therapy, a high-dose and precise option that can reduce greatly the number of treatments necessary to get the desired results. The treatment causes less disruption to a pet’s life and has fewer side effects.


Drinkwater in studio

Artist wants to find 'what's good' in divided world

Jennifer Drinkwater is scouring Iowa and Mississippi for stories about “what’s good” in the world to document people’s perspectives on the positives in their communities. The goal of the “What’s Good Project” is to shine a light on overlooked communities and community assets.


Happy students on campus

A simple strategy to improve your mood in 12 minutes

We all have a remedy – a glass of wine or a piece of chocolate – for lifting our spirits when we’re in a bad mood. Rather than focusing on ways to make ourselves feel better, a team of Iowa State University researchers suggests wishing others well. 


Rose with metallic lines

Engineers use heat-free tech for flexible electronics

ISU researchers are using liquid-metal particles to print electronic lines and traces on rose petals, leaves, paper, gelatin -- on all kinds of materials. The technology creates flexible electronics that could have many applications such as monitoring crops, tracking a building's structural integrity or collecting biological data.
Judicial Building design image

Students design proposals for Iowa Judicial Building educational center

As the Iowa Judicial Branch Building shifts from physical to digital files, Iowa State University students have designed proposals to turn the soon-to-be-vacant space into an experiential learning center for the public. Student designs range from low-tech tactile interactions to high-tech explorations, including a virtual reality courtroom, touch-screen learning opportunities, trivia, interactive exhibits and other digital experiences.


Sweating hand model fire glove

Improving protective gloves for firefighters, first responders

The heat-protective gloves firefighters and first responders wear are thick, bulky and limit dexterity. That's why a team of Iowa State University researchers is working to improve the safety and function of the gloves as part of the personal protective equipment system.


Researcher working with I-Corps

Helping researchers turn ideas into companies

Iowa State University's Innovation Corps site is helping scientists and engineers prepare to move their discoveries toward commercialization. A key part of the preparation: talking to prospective customers about their actual needs.


Mosquitoes from a trap

15 years of data implicates mosquitoes most likely to transmit West Nile

A study analyzing 15 years of mosquito surveillance data shows Iowa’s western counties experience a higher abundance of the species thought to most commonly carry West Nile virus. Culex tarsalis, the mosquito species most often implicated in West Nile transmission, usually becomes most active in early September. The data support similar findings in Nebraska and South Dakota.
Aerial view of farm field

Agronomists detail benefits of updating agricultural drainage infrastructure

The massive underground infrastructure that allows farmers to cultivate crops on much of the world’s most productive land has outlived its design life and should be updated, according to a new study. Installing higher-capacity pipes and conservation practices would yield a wide range of production and environmental benefits.


Home for sale sign

Evidence of discrimination for same-sex borrowers

Applying for a mortgage is one of the first steps couples take when buying a home, but a new study suggests lenders are less likely to approve same-sex couples. Researchers in Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business analyzed national mortgage data from 1990 to 2015 and found the approval rate for same-sex couples was 3 to 8 percent lower.


Engineers install heated pavement

ISU engineers work with DOT to scale up tests of heated pavement

Heated pavement test slabs at the Iowa DOT are smarter and more complex than the ISU research group's previous tests at the Des Moines International Airport. So far, preliminary tests indicate the system works well -- even in winter's subzero temperatures.