Research @ Iowa State

Everyday Innovations

From the Lab to Everyday Life

Look around your home, your office, or your neighborhood, and you’ll see Iowa State discoveries that have improved our lives. Here are just a few examples of Iowa State research all around you.

Leaner, Tastier Pork

Iowa State University developments in using gene discovery and genetic testing to guide swine breeding has led to leaner, tastier pork, balanced with improvements in animal health, efficiency, and sustainability.

Digital Computers & Big Data

The world’s first electronic digital computer was created at Iowa State University. The Atanasoff-Berry Computer pioneered important elements of modern computing, including binary arithmetic and electronic switching. Today, Iowa State researchers are harnessing the potential of Big Data to improve crops, develop new disease treatments, and create sustainable cities.

Buck Roses

Iowa State University horticulture researchers developed beautiful and easy-to-care-for Buck roses for cold climates like Iowa. Some popular varieties are Prairie Harvest, Carefree Beauty, and Summer Wind.

Round Hay Bales

Farmers bale hay faster, cheaper, and easier with round hay balers thanks to Iowa State University agricultural engineers. The baler is now the predominant forage-handling machine in the United States. Iowa State researchers continue to lead the world in agricultural innovations.

Chieftain Apples

Iowa State University researchers created the acclaimed Chieftain apple, a cold-hardy cross of Jonathan and Red Delicious apples. Chieftain apples have a balanced sweet and tart flavor, good for both baking and snacking. Iowa State researchers are currently working on high-tech, data-driven methods to improve food crops.


Animal vaccines developed at Iowa State University, including a vaccine for kennel cough, keeping your pets safe, healthy, and ready to play. Iowa State researchers are now developing nanovaccine technology to fight human diseases in the United States and in developing countries.