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Polymer-like Nanowires

Unique properties (e.g., rubber elasticity, viscoelasticity, folding, reptation) determine the utility of polymer molecules and derive from their morphology (i.e., one-dimensional connectivity and large aspect ratios) and flexibility. Crystals do not display similar properties because they have smaller aspect ratios, they are rigid, and they are often too large and heavy to be colloidally stable. These limitations are not fundamental and they can be overcome by growth processes that mimic polymerization.

Nanomaterials by Design

Materials are the backbone of technology. Whenever a materials displays a new function, it transforms society: biodegradable scaffolds will enable the regeneration of tissues, shape memory alloys enabled stents that repair clogged vessels, superhydrophobic surfaces will prevent ice deposition on surfaces, ultrahard coatings will enable plastic electronics and reduce waste of materials and energy by abating friction and wear.

Biomineralization; Bacteria that build magnets

For a number of animals, including birds, fish and mammals, there is evidence that magnets are used for orientation.  However, little is known about how these organisms build these magnets.  For magnetotactic bacteria we have isolated a protein that will drive the formation of magnetic particles.  We are using this protein to discover how these bacteria produce magnets by the process called biomineralization.  

Interpreting wind tower and turbine data

This project will investigate the relationship between real wind speed data (and potentially power data) collected at wind turbines, and the power estimates provided by models that use estimated wind resource, wake models and turbine power curves to predict power output. Different wake models will be investigated to see if some are more effective at predicting results than others. Any variance from real data in the predictions will be traced to the three factors modeled, to see if one plays a larger role than the others.

2014 Middle School Science Bowl Participating Teams

The following schools will be participating in the 2014 Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University Middle School Regional Science Bowl to be held Feb. 22:

Adel DeSoto Minburn


Benton (Van Horne)


Central Lee (Donnellson)


Fort Dodge

Home Schools (Walker)




Nishnabotna (Hamburg)


Pella Christian

Sacred Heart (West Des Moines)

South Hamilton (Jewell)

2014 High School Science Bowl Participating Teams

The following schools will be participating in the 2014 Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University Regional High School Science Bowl on Jan. 25:





Boyer Valley - Team #1

Boyer Valley - Team #2

Cedar Falls

Centennial (Ankeny)

Central Academy (Des Moines)

Central Clinton (DeWitt)


Clear Creek Amana

Davenport North

Dubuque Senior

Fort Dodge

Greene County (Jefferson)


Hempstead (Dubuque)


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