Growing Plants in Space

 

Growing Plants in Space

In 2017, NASA launched a five-year project to make life self-sustaining on Mars. Utah State University Botanist Bruce Bugbee was selected to find a way to grow plants in artificial mediums. “The central challenge is to grow food from recycled wastes in a small, closed system. We started with a recycling, hydroponic system and will gradually expand to include Martian soil,” said Bugbee. Students at USU’s Crop Physiology Lab are able to replicate conditions on Mars. Plants, like radishes and lettuce, are successfully growing, contributing to the main goal: make plant life possible on Mars.

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Helping Children Hear the World Around Them

 

Helping Children Hear the World Around Them

More than 5,000 children are born with hearing loss every year in the United States. Utah State University provides the newest technology and testing to help those of all ages, including newborns. Through infant hearing screenings, hearing loss is detected early on, allowing USU students and researchers to offer fast life-changing solutions. Once hearing loss levels are established, patients go through in-depth, personalized treatment plans. USU even offers cochlear implants for infants who need stronger assistance than hearing aids. Thousands of children, and counting, are now able to hear the world around them.

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Protecting the Nation’s Water Supply

 

Protecting the Nation’s Water Supply

When the spillway of the United States’ tallest dam was compromised, over 180,000 people living downstream in Oroville, California, had to evacuate. The California Department of Water Resources commissioned engineers at Utah State University’s Water Research Lab to find a solution. USU engineers and students constructed a 1:50 scale model, reaching 100 feet long and 60 feet wide, in only 40 days. The model allowed new spillway designs to be tested quickly and accurately. Thanks to the research and model created by USU, the Oroville Dam spillway is repaired and functioning at full capacity.

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Making the World Earthquake Resistant

 

Making the World Earthquake Resistant

USU’s SMASH Lab offers a space for students and engineers to apply thousands of pounds of force to bring construction elements to failure. They can test the structural integrity of construction methods used throughout the world, like ultra-high-performance concrete. The lab features a 60 ft. by 24 ft. strong floor, an L-shaped permanent strong wall, a load frame that can withstand 1,200 pounds of force, and two 20-ton overhead cranes. They push materials past their breaking point, and research and develop methods to strengthen buildings, bridges, roads, and more. USU is working to make the world earthquake resistant.

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Helping Feed the World

 

Helping Feed the World

USU President Noelle Cockett discovered the location of the sheep’s coveted callipyge gene on chromosome 18. Sheep with this gene produce 33% more meat without extra feed. However, sheep are difficult to raise in developing countries. Goats are “foragers” and are more common in these areas. Through genetic engineering, President Cockett successfully added the callipyge mutation to numerous goats at USU’s Animal Sciences Farm. Soon, she hopes to breed the callipyge goat in developing countries to help increase their food supply.

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$240 in annual research million awards #7 highest-ranked public university in the country with the lowest tuition in america's top colleges #5 national public university in the nation

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