Science & Technology
Allison Shanks Engaged in Research at Butler University PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Courtney Tuell   
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 14:12

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (07/23/2013)(readMedia)-- Allison Shanks of Bettendorf, IA, was one of 29 Butler University students who collaborated with a faculty mentor on original research during Butler Summer Institute (BSI) 2013. Working on campus from mid-May to mid-July, BSI Scholars examined issues in chemistry, biology, social sciences, music, and more, with the goal of producing work worthy of acceptance at a professional conference or in a professional publication.

Assistant Professor of Biology Nat Hauck mentored Shanks in research on "Chemicals in the jasmonic Acid Pathway's Affect on Systemic Acquired Resistance and Pathogen Related Genes in Moss."

Shanks received a $,2500 stipend, a housing allowance for campus accommodations, and free admission to Indianapolis cultural events from the Butler Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, which oversees BSI and other honors academic programs. BSI Scholars are selected in a competitive process; some 70 students applied for this year's program.

About Butler University

Challenging and enabling students to meet their personal and professional goals has guided Butler University since 1855. Today, Butler is a nationally recognized comprehensive university that blends the liberal arts with first-rate pre-professional programs. It seeks to prepare each graduate not simply to make a living but to make a life of purpose, in which personal flourishing is intertwined with the welfare of others. Butler is known for its vibrant campus, superior academics and dedicated faculty. The University enrolls more than 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students in six academic colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Located just six miles from downtown Indianapolis, Butler's urban setting affords students internship opportunities that provide excellent graduate school and career preparation.

Petra Hahn of Bettendorf featured in St. Olaf College news story PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Marie Frederickson   
Thursday, 18 July 2013 15:08

Researchers look for clues in mutant bacteria

NORTHFIELD, MN (07/18/2013)(readMedia)-- Petra Hahn of Bettendorf was recently featured in the St. Olaf news article, Researchers look for clues in mutant bacteria.

She is a graduate of Central High School and the daughter of Diane Rasmus and Michael Hahn.

Please click on the link above to view the entire story. A photo is attached.

St. Olaf students Heena Joo (seated) and Petra Hahn(right) are working with Assistant Professor of Biology Lisa Bowers (left) this summer to discover the purpose of a gene they deleted from a common type of bacteria. Using this simple bacteria as a stepping stone could be key in future application to other fields such as embryology and stem cell research.

News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Jared Starkweather   
Friday, 12 July 2013 13:49

July 11, 2013


Iowa Flag Officer advocated for energy policies that will strengthen national security

MASON CITY, IOWA – Retired Army Major General Gary Wattnem today returned to Iowa after meeting with Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin about important energy policies that have stalled in Washington, DC.

Wattnam, a Mason City resident, was sent to DC by an organization called Vets4Energy, which is a group of distinguished retired veterans who push lawmakers to enact policies that would reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil and increase national security.

Armed with decades of experience in national defense, Wattnam engaged both Senators in conversations related to the Keystone XL pipeline and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Vets4Energy strongly supports the Keystone XL pipeline because it would contribute to U.S. energy independence by transporting desperately needed domestic and Canadian oil to American refineries.

The State Department has conducted four separate environmental impact assessments that repeatedly conclude that the pipeline would not have significant impacts on the environment. Despite the overwhelming public support for the pipeline, its final approval has been put on hold.

Wattnem’s visit to Capitol Hill was the second year in a row that Vets4Energy flew in veterans from across the country to meet with members of Congress. Volunteers with Vets4Energy will continue to engage veterans in the 26 states it represents and ask that they too send the message to lawmakers that energy independence is key to national security.

About Ret. Major General Gary Wattnem

Wattnem served a tour of duty at the Eastern Area Military Traffic Management and Terminal Service in Brooklyn, N.Y. During 1970 and 1971 he served in Vietnam with the 71st Transportation Battalion at Long Binh, Republic of Vietnam.


He entered the Active Reserve in November of 1971. His assignments included Company Commander of the 404th Signal Company in Waterloo, Iowa, and Signal Officer of the 394th Ammo Battalion in Ames, Iowa.  He then was assigned to the 103rd COSCOM at Fort Des Moines where he served in a number of assignments including Battalion Commander.  He was then selected as Commander of the 56th Material Management Center at Fort Snelling, Minn.

In September of 1993, he became the Chief of Staff of the 19th Theater Army Area Command in Des Moines, Iowa. In August of 1996, he assumed command of the 3rd Corps Support Command in Des Moines. He was selected as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics at the Pentagon in 1999.  He retired in 2004.

Chapman University scientist discovers evidence in animal habitat selection that counters current convention PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Sheri Ledbetter   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 08:39
ORANGE, Calif. – Chapman University’s Walter Piper, Ph.D., has just published research in a leading science journal that shows animals choose habitat similar to where they were raised rather than that likely to maximize reproductive success. This finding runs counter to current tenets of habitat selection theory.

The paper is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B on June 26 and includes co-authors Michael Palmer, Nathan Banfield and Michael Meyer. Dr. Piper’s research focuses on his long-term study of loons.

“The basic finding is that young loons chose to settle on territories that are very similar to their natal territories,” noted Dr. Piper, professor in Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology. “This behavioral pattern seems to indicate that loons choose habitat so as to promote their survival, not their breeding success. This is exciting because it flies in the face of current dogma in the field of habitat selection.”

Here is the abstract from the research: Scientists have long presumed that animals settle on breeding territories according to the ideal free model, which presumes that animals select habitat that maximizes the number of offspring they can produce. But settlement data often show that, in fact, animals do not select high quality habitat. Indeed, here we report that young common loons have a striking tendency to settle on breeding lakes that resemble their natal lake in terms of both size and pH. Preference for natal like rather than high quality habitat, might allow a young animal to feed on familiar prey and, hence, increase its likelihood of surviving its early breeding years.

To see the paper, titled Can settlement in natal-like habitat explain maladaptive habitat selection?, click here:
More information on Dr. Piper’s research on loons can be found at The Loon Project website:

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What Happened to My Data? Midland Communications Explains the Dangers of Insufficient Backup Procedures PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Janet Dufour   
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 13:44

DAVENPORT, IA - June 27, 2013 - Today's businesses are operating at a blistering pace and IT infrastructure has become the backbone of small to mid-sized businesses across the nation. The complexity and strain placed on networks has exposed SMBs to greater security threats than ever before. Natural disasters, power outages, employee errors and failed system upgrades all pose significant threats to the network and failing to address these risks can cause severe network damage and immobilize a company for hours, days or weeks. The best way to combat this dynamic is to understand the risks, address the problem, and make sure the proper precautions have been taken.

One of the risks most easily mitigated is when data simply hasn't been backed up. Oftentimes organizations fail to have a regular backup procedure in place, whether partially or completely, and having a data backup program can help get around this issue. According to Symantec's 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey, "only half [of SMBs] back up at least 60% of their data, meaning they would lose 40% of their data in the event of a disaster. In addition, organizations often fail to back up corporate PCs, or take an "all or nothing" approach if it can't be all-inclusive. For example, of those surveyed, 31% don't back up email, 21% don't back up application data, and 17% don't back up customer data." The biggest benefit in having a process in place is that employees never have to redo work. If data is ever lost, it can be recovered rather quickly and with minimal effort.

Another risk to address is failing to protect branch offices or telecommuters. "Out of sight, out of mind," doesn't exactly fare too well in the corporate arena. When businesses are subject to compliance or regulatory standards, they must ensure that all company endpoints are protected in an appropriate fashion. When there is a centralized IT support staff, they can often overlook users that are not primarily in the office, as in the case of salespeople for example.

Failure to consistently backup company data is another common oversight. The benefit of having an automated or regularly scheduled backup is paramount. According to Enterprise Security Group, even with all the advancements in storage technology, only about 20% of backup jobs are successful. This is exactly why consistency and frequency are such key metrics in evaluating any backup solution.

Utilizing outdated equipment such as tape or disk media poses a threat as well in that these solutions are hardware, meaning that they can be lost, stolen or improperly stored. Any of those situations usually results in irretrievable data, therefore rendering that equipment useless when a recovery is most needed.

Today's business continuity and disaster recovery solutions address these risks and provide a software-based solution that virtualizes all data to the cloud. This enhances overall performance by providing greater accuracy, efficiency, security and archiving functionality to a business's disaster recovery plan. Simply put, technology has come too far for SMBs to have to deal with the notion of losing important data and risking going out of business. With today's powerful solutions and the assistance of a trusted IT advisor, SMBs can protect themselves, their employees and their customers' data from these threats.


Midland Communications began more than 60 years ago in 1946 as the Worldwide Marketing Arm of Victor-Animagraph Projectors. In 1977 a communications division was formed due to a partnership with NEC America. Today, As a distributor of NEC America, for 33 years, Midland Communications has a customer base of more than 3,000 satisfied customers that include general businesses, government agencies, Universities, colleges, hospitals, and hotels.
Midland provides a wide range of communication services including VOIP, PBX and key systems, Wide Area and Local Area networking, computers, Computer integration, voice mail, CCIS, and video conferencing and paging systems. Our philosophy is simple, provide quality products at a fair price, backed by an average emergency response time of twenty minutes, and the best service in the industry. For more information on Midland Communications, call (563) 326-1237 or visit


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