Research Spotlights Digest

split screen of giant Miscanthus grass on the left, plots of relative importance values of landscape characteristics Modeling the Interactions Between Characteristics of Landscapes and Plants

The introduction of non-native plants to an ecosystem can cause damage, such as crowding out native species. However, it is sometimes desirable to introduce non-native plants, such as when trying to bring diversity into an agroecosystem or when producing biomass feedstocks for biofuels and other applications. When introducing non-native species, it is important to have a good understanding of...Read more

photo of wind turbines; computer graphics of air flow over turbine nacelle An Improved Model for Simulating Wind Farms

As the use of wind energy increases, engineers are using computer modeling to optimize the design of wind farms. The rotation of the turbines as the wind flows over and through them creates vortices that can interfere with other turbines. Being able to model air flow over the turbine blades and other features allows engineers to place the turbines in a way that will generate the most energy...Read more

images of virulence and colonization patterns of P. coronata f. sp. avenae Genomic Studies of Oat Crown Rust

Oat crown rust is a serious disease that affects oat crops worldwide. Because of the problems inherent in using fungicides, researchers are working to develop oat varieties and other crops that carry genetic resistance to pathogens. The pathogen that causes oat crown rust, the fungus Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae, however, can evolve particularly quickly. This means that an...Read more

diagrams showing pathway-level genetic interaction models Genetic Interactions as Predictors of Breast Cancer Risk

Breast cancer is a leading cause of death for women. Researchers know that genetics play an important part in one’s chance of getting the disease, but there is still much that they don’t know. Genome-wide association studies have identified a large number of genetic variants linked with the disease risk, but those still account for only about one-third of genetic contributions to breast cancer...Read more

schematic of filtration system and map of system locations Modeling an Air-Pollution Filtration System

Despite years of attention, air pollution continues to be a major problem in many large cities throughout the world. One type of pollution is particulate matter, tiny particles that are suspended in the air. These particles can be hazardous, causing severe health effects as they get into the lungs and heart.

While much effort has gone into reducing the amount of particulate matter that...Read more