A new Iowa State University study details the structure of a critical enzyme present in SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This enzyme removes nucleoside antiviral medications from the virus’s RNA, rendering many treatments ineffective. Scientists could use data uncovered in the new study to find ways to inhibit the enzyme, possibly leading to more effective treatments.
A new study led by an Iowa State University scientist sheds light on how organisms have evolved to address imbalances in sex chromosomes. The study looks at a species of softshell turtle, but the results could help to illuminate an important evolutionary process in many species. The research centers on a process known as sex chromosome dosage compensation.
Researchers at Iowa State University aim to use hair samples from pigs to identify genetics related to stress response. The effort could help produce pigs that lead less stressful lives and are more productive. And it all starts with a quick haircut.
A new grant will help Iowa State University researchers figure out how the microbiome, or all the microorganisms that live inside and on human systems, affects immunity and the effectiveness of vaccines. Not everyone responds to vaccines in identical ways, and the researchers will search for ways humans can adjust their microbiomes to optimize vaccine response.
Scientists have invested great time and effort into making connections between a crop’s genotype and its phenotype. But environmental conditions play a role as well. Iowa State University researchers untangle those complex interactions with the help of advanced data analytics in a newly published study.
Insects can help soybean yields by carrying out more effective pollination, according to a recently published study conducted by an international team of scientists. The study suggests introducing pollinator habitat to soybean fields may lead to production benefits, in addition to environmental advantages.
An Iowa State University agronomist is developing new computer models of soil erosion and topography changes, requiring both innovative big-data technology as well as painstaking validation of soil measurements in the real world. The National Science Foundation recently awarded Bradley Miller an early career development grant to support the research.
Chad Hart, professor of economics and grain markets specialist, Iowa State University 515-294-9911, [email protected] Corn and soybean prices have risen 50-60% from where they’ve been over the past few years, and Hart said that will incentivize farmers across the country…
The production of autogenous vaccines to fight individual strains of the virus that causes porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome depends on the ability of scientists to isolate the virus, but sometimes that’s a tricky process. A new study from an Iowa State University researcher shows that a new cell line may offer a better alternative to the cell line most commonly used to isolate the PRRS virus. But the vast majority of vaccine producers use the established cell line, and it remains to be seen how readily they might adopt the use of a new one.
Experiments testing the ability of ultraviolet light to stop the spread of a costly virus for pork producers has shown promise, according to an ISU research team. Ultraviolet light analyzed in experiments irradiates aerosolized droplets of the virus that causes porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome. The researchers hope to scale their experiments up to a size comparable to pork production facilities.
Iowa State University researchers received a $1 million grant to study how manure management systems in livestock production may give rise to antibiotic resistance. Human, animal and environmental health interact in complex ways that influence the pace at which antibiotic resistance spreads, and the researchers hope their work will shed light on these connections.
A new study shows how climate change is having a much greater impact on birds than small mammals in the Mojave Desert in the southwestern United States. The study could inform conservation practices and shed new light on how climate change affects various species differently. The research drew on cutting-edge computer modeling as well as survey data from more than 100 years ago.
Researchers at Iowa State University are developing a portable sensor platform capable of detecting numerous biothreats, such as the coronavirus and other toxic agents. The research team has entered a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security worth as much as $2.5 million over five years to develop the technology, which would be a far more portable and flexible method for detecting biothreats than most current techniques.
A new study details the latest efforts to predict traits in corn based on genomics and data analytics. The data management technique could help to “turbo charge” the seemingly endless amount of genetic stocks contained in the world’s seed banks, leading to faster and more efficient development of new crop varieties.
Diversifying agricultural systems beyond a narrow selection of crops leads to a range of ecosystem improvements while also maintaining or improving yields, according to a new study that analyzed thousands of previously conducted experiments. Diversification practices such as crop rotations and planting prairie strips can lead to “win-win” results that protect the environment without sacrificing yields, according to the analysis.
Thinking of health as an essential part of identity encourages healthier behaviors, including adherence to physical distancing and mask guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to newly published research. The results of the study also highlighted differences in how political views influence response to public health messages.
New research shows a simple skin test can accurately identify Parkinson’s disease, which could lead to earlier detection of the disease and better outcomes for patients. Currently, Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed by clinical signs and symptoms but only definitively diagnosed at autopsy. The researchers conducted a blinded study of 50 skin samples using an assay originally designed to detect mad cow disease.
Extreme rain events that occur on nine days a year drive around a third of all nitrogen yields on farmland in the Mississippi River basin, according to a new study. The research could inform how and when farmers apply nitrogen fertilizer to their fields and has environmental implications for the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
A new study found patterns in how soil organic matter forms across a wide range of climate types. Understanding how soils break down or preserve organic matter is important because organic matter plays a central role in the kind of services soils can provide, such as whether they make good agricultural soils or if they can sequester carbon to slow climate change.
A new project will help farmers use innovative technology to share data in an effort to improve production. The effort, recently funded by a federal grant, will start out as a small pilot project and gradually expand to hundreds of farmers.
A recently published study presents evidence that the migration success of monarchs hasn’t declined in recent years and thus cannot explain the steep decline in the monarch population over the last few decades. The study drew on data collected on 1.4 million monarch butterflies that were tagged in the United States Midwest from 1998 to 2015 and emphasizes the need for new monarch habitat.
A new study shows how two responses in separate locations inside plant cells work in concert to help corn plants respond to heat stress. The research was made possible by the Enviratron, an innovative plant sciences facility at Iowa State University that utilizes a robotic rover and highly controlled growth chambers.
A new study upends the widely held belief that a medication used to treat lymphatic filariasis doesn’t directly target the parasites that cause the disease. The research shows the medication, diethylcarbamazine, temporarily paralyzes the parasites.
An Iowa State University scientists contributed to a global effort to assemble the genome of the tuatara, a rare reptile species native to New Zealand. The tuatara genome sheds light on the genomic structure of a huge range of species, including humans.
A $10 million federal grant will power a multi-institutional consortium aiming to create new value chains on U.S. farms. The consortium will innovate methods for farmers to make more efficient use of resources with an emphasis on the generation of renewable natural gas, improved rural economic outcomes and protection of the environment.
Residents in 70 rural Iowa communities soon will receive surveys that will help to inform state and federal officials as they orchestrate the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey, orchestrated by researchers at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa, will cover topics ranging from the availability of health care services to the reliability of high-speed internet to the economic stresses placed on a community by the pandemic.
The Iowa State University Department of Agronomy is the first North American entity to join the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) Initiative. The computer modeling tools predict crop production in light of climate, genotype, soil and management factors.
Dr. Phillip Gauger is an associate professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at Iowa State University. Gauger is available for media interviews regarding the new strain of swine flu with potential to infect humans. Gauger’s areas of expertise…
A newly published study of flies found that protecting liver function also preserves heart health. The research could lead to new therapeutic approaches in human health and illuminate the role of understudied organelles known as peroxisomes.
A new grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow Iowa State University scientists to continue to develop gene editing technologies to model human disease in zebrafish. The research aims to build new tools to determine which genes have therapeutic potential to treat human genetic diseases that affect the cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems.
Iowa State University researchers are developing a portable, inexpensive technology that could allow people to test for the presence of a virus or antibodies without having to go to a medical facility. The technology is still about a year away, but it could come in handy in the event of a resurgence of the coronavirus or for future pandemics.
A newly published study sheds light on how insecticides commonly applied to crops affect monarch caterpillars. Conservation efforts to protect monarch butterfly populations depend on planting milkweed on agricultural land, but doing so may put caterpillars in close proximity to harmful insecticides.
AMES, Iowa – Veterinarian and food safety expert Jim Roth is available for interviews regarding the potential impact of COVID-19 on food safety. Iowa State has a live studio available, though it may require some extra time to arrange an…
A recently published study analyzed a combination of soil tests to gauge corn nitrogen needs more accurately than the standard chemical tests that have been in use for roughly 50 years. The research could result in economic benefits to farmers and improved environmental quality.
Satellite data of 85 U.S. cities shows plants begin turning green earlier in the spring in urban areas than in surrounding rural areas. It’s a symptom of the way cities trap heat, a phenomenon known as the “heat-island effect,” according to a recently published study.
A new $2.5 million grant will help an interdisciplinary team of researchers analyze innovative approaches to improving urban sustainability. The team will study various approaches to bolstering local food production in Des Moines and the surrounding area and how those approaches could affect nutrition, waste and environmental impacts.
Iowa State University scientists restored the function of heart muscles in aging fruit flies, according to a newly published study. The genetic complex identified in the research could lead to new treatments for heart disease in humans.
A new study illustrates the concept of a domestication triangle, in which human genetics interact with sorghum genetics and the environment to influence the traits farmers select in their crops. The concept gives a more complete systemic picture of domestication.
A recently published study shows the United States in the grip of several simultaneously occurring opioid epidemics, rather than just a single crisis. The epidemics came to light after the researchers analyzed county-level data on drug overdose deaths. The study highlights the importance of different policy responses to the epidemics rather than a single set of policies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Iowans may notice combines harvesting corn deep into November due to the late start to planting last spring, according to Iowa State University agronomists. Much of the Iowa corn crop remains weeks behind schedule, and farmers will be paying close attention to temperature as their crop nears maturity and dries down.