Software competition advances understanding of genetic function

Sequencing a genome doesn’t necessarily reveal the functions of individual genes. An Iowa State University scientist helps to organize a competition to evaluate the accuracy of software programs that predict gene function. The recently published results of the latest competition included 144 entries from 68 teams.

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Shelter animals receive care at ISU College of Veterinary Medicine on their way to adoption

A surgery, anesthesia and community outreach course for third-year veterinary students at Iowa State University prepares students for clinical practice while helping dogs and cats in animal shelters and rescues get adopted. The program treats all common problems presented in shelter pets, including eye, ear and skin problems and gastrointestinal parasites.

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Ambitious strategies to combat pests and disease in organic agriculture

Iowa State University researchers have received a grant to look at innovative ways that allow organic fruit and vegetable growers to combat pests, weeds and disease. Much of the research centers on mestotunnels, or material used to create a physical barrier to protect plants from certain pests. The practices to be analyzed could help organic growers with management challenges without the use of conventional or organic pesticides.

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Corn and soybean rotation could pose long-term tradeoffs for soil health

A new study examines the mechanisms that drive the decomposition of organic matter in soils that undergo long-term corn and soybean crop rotations. The study shows how corn and soybean rotations can provide important environmental and management benefits for farmers, but the practice also comes with tradeoffs that some farmers may wish to address by adjusting their management practices.

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Machine learning in agriculture: scientists are teaching computers to diagnose soybean stress

Machine learning could lead to automated processes that would allow soybean producers to diagnose crop stresses more efficiently. A multi-disciplinary team at Iowa State University recently received a grant to develop the technology, which could lead to unmanned aerial vehicles surveying fields and automatically analyzing crop images.

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Pitching competition will highlight Iowa State innovation, entrepreneurship at Iowa State Fair

More than 150 Iowa State University entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas to visitors at the ISU exhibit during this month’s Iowa State Fair. The exhibit, “The Great Iowa State Pitch Off: STANDING InnOVATION!,” will be in the Varied Industries building at the Iowa State Fair, held Aug. 8-18.

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