Issue: 1117

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
August 3, 2020 

Top Stories

Research Seeks to Simplify Coronavirus Detection
Scientists are working on a new testing platform that could detect coronavirus particles in the air without a medical laboratory to process the results. The research team, led by Marit Nilsen-Hamilton, biophysics, biochemistry and molecular biology, have had to take an innovative approach to their work to negotiate the ongoing pandemic. More

Need-to-Know Info for Employees on Campus
Many employees who need to work on campus to support a successful return of in-person instruction and residential student life will be back in their usual workspaces today. Inside Iowa State summarized some of the essentials employees need to know. During the July 30 virtual ISU Town Hall President Wintersteen and a panel of leaders went over plans to support a successful semester while prioritizing health and safety. A recording is available online. Also, a new website has been created that consolidates details associated with the fall semester.


Lubberstedt Receives FFAR Grant to Accelerate Crop Development
Thomas Lubberstedt, agronomy, is principal investigator of a Seeding Solutions grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to develop breeding methods that apply to multiple crop species, to accelerate the plant breeding process. Basil Nikolau, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, and Liang Dong, electrical and computer engineering, are co-PIs. More

Study Suggests Glyphosate Does Not Adversely Affect Reproduction
Aileen Keating, animal science, was lead author on two studies that analyzed how ovarian function in mice responded to various levels of exposure to glyphosate, a chemical extensively used to kill weeds. The results showed exposure changed the level of some ovarian proteins but did not impact ovarian steroid production, an indication glyphosate may not adversely affect reproduction. More

Extension and Outreach

Crop Protection Network Releases New Tool
The Crop Protection Network has developed a new web training tool to help correctly estimate disease severity and insect defoliation on crops. Daren Mueller, plant pathology and microbiology, is co-director of the network – an international collaboration of extension specialists and public and private partners. More

Report Focuses on Transitioning to Pollinator Habitat
Enhancing Monarch Butterfly Conservation in Iowa, a new 10-page report from ISU Extension and Outreach, summarizes four years of field, greenhouse and lab demonstrations and research to provide recommendations for converting grass-dominated sites to pollinator habitat in Iowa and the upper Midwest. Dana Schweitzer, Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, said planning should be done at least a year in advance. More

New Publication Describes Basics of Low Stress Cattle Handling
Benefits of low stress cattle handling include improved performance, animal welfare and handling efficiency. A new publication from the Iowa Beef Center, Low Stress Cattle Handling, provides an overview of the natural behavior of cattle and describes general principles of handling cattle. More

Around the College

Bees to Provide Honey, Learning Opportunities at New Apiary
Twenty beehives were set up earlier this spring at the Horticulture Research Station where they will soon provide learning opportunities for students, faculty and extension and outreach program participants. Randall Cass, bee extension specialist, said the honey apiary is meant to be used as a demonstration and engagement site. It is an expansion of Iowa State’s existing research apiary managed by Amy Toth, ecology, evolution and organismal biology. More

Bouffard on Why Police Officers Should Have College Degrees 
Five reasons why police officers should be encouraged to pursue a college degree are outlined in a recent article in The Conversation by Leana Bouffard, sociology department chair, and Gaylene Armstrong, University of Nebraska-Omaha. More
Post-Packaging Pasteurization Advances
An article in The National Provisioner/Independent Processor includes comments from Rodrigo Tarté, animal science, on the trend toward food processors more widely using thermal post-package pasteurization. More

Young Alum of the Month: Sarah Kendell
Sarah Kendell (’18 forestry), forester with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, is the young alum of the month. Her position includes forest management, assisting landowners and fighting wildfires. More


Aug. 5: Oxbow Wetland Webinar
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at noon on the benefits of restoring oxbow wetlands. Participants will learn more about this edge-of-field conservation practice and its benefits. More

Aug. 6: Virtual Wetland Field Day
A virtual wetland field day will be held Thursday, Aug. 6, at 1 p.m., hosted by Iowa Learning Farms in partnership with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and the Conservation Learning Group. Participants will explore new wetland program opportunities and a wetland under construction. More

Aug. 13: CALS Town Hall Meeting
Dean Robison will lead a CALS town hall meeting for faculty and staff on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m. via Zoom (passcode 280303). Besides Zoom, participants can join the meeting by phone. For higher quality, choose one of the following numbers based on your location: (312) 626-6799, (646) 558-8656, (301) 715-8592, (346) 248-7799, (669) 900-6833 or (253) 215-8782. The webinar ID is 890 1824 9771, with passcode 280303.

Communications Kiosk

AP Style Updates on Race
The Associated Press has made several recent updates to their style regarding racial, ethnic and cultural groups. AP’s style is now to capitalize Black in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense. The lowercase black is a color, not a person. Also now capitalized – Indigenous in reference to original inhabitants of a place. These changes align with long-standing capitalization of other racial and ethnic identifiers such as Latino, Asian American and Native American. The AP will continue to lowercase the term white in racial, ethnic and cultural senses. They explain their decision process in a July 20 blog post. More


Updates to Iowa State’s Travel Policy Effective Aug. 1
Updates to Iowa State’s travel policy will bring ISU in line with its peers and overall industry standards and remedy several issues that have emerged in recent years. The updates affect reimbursement, foreign travel reimbursement, airfare and travel authorization and funding. The policy changes were effective Aug. 1. More

New Opportunity for Agricultural Education
Agricultural education is always a focus at the Iowa State Fair. With no State Fair this year, the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation is offering several opportunities to learn about agriculture and win prizes. More  


Has the Iowa State Fair Been Canceled Before?
The first Iowa State Fair was held Oct. 25-27, 1854. Since then, the fair has been canceled only five times – in 1898 due to the World’s Fair in Omaha and the Spanish-American War, and from 1942 to 1945 due to World War II. More

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online

Julie Stewart, Editor, (515) 294-5616 

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is published by email every Monday. The deadline for submitting content is 12 p.m. on Friday. 


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