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> Research, Creativity, & Technology Transfer >Publications >Discovery Spring 2006

Discovery 2006  

Research Roundup

Maggot therapy

Maggots are widely used in Europe to treat wounds, says Karen Zulkowski, associate professor in MSU’s College of Nursing. Good at cleansing dead tissue, maggots were used in more than 300 U.S. hospitals during the 1930s and early 1940s, but the practice started to become obsolete with the introduction of penicillin and modern surgical practices. Some experts revisited maggot therapy in the 1980s, however, when people became resistant to antibiotics and their wounds weren’t healing. Paige Nelson, a senior in nursing, discovered those and other facts while reviewing maggot therapy for a research project through MSU’s Undergraduate Scholars Program. Zulkowski, Nelson’s mentor, researches pressure ulcers and wounds.

Apple boom

Montana has had gold rushes and oil booms, but apples had their day, too. Western Montana once had nearly one million apples trees, most of them in Ravalli County. McIntosh apples were predominant, said Mal Westcott, department head of MSU’s Agricultural Research Centers. The Western Agricultural Research Center was established 100 years ago during the apple boom, and its early research focused on apples, Westcott said. Montana’s apple boom began around 1906 with most of the trees planted in 1911, 1912 and 1913. The number of trees started declining after 1920, however, because of unsuitable varieties, poor soils and economic factors. Western now concentrates on nutrient management systems, culinary and essential oil crops, and knapweed-fighting insects.

Walleye vs. sauger

Walleye and sauger have many things in common, says Brian Bellgraph, a Montana State University graduate student. Both fish species eat stonecats, emerald shiners and western silvery minnows. Both swim downstream to spawn. Both like deep pools with large boulders at the bottom. Non-native walleye, however, seem better adapted than sauger to changes that have occurred in the Missouri River over the past century. Among other things, Montana now has 10 dams on the Missouri, which can be a challenge to sauger who swim as far as 250 miles to spawn, Bellgraph said. Bellgraph and his advisor, Chris Guy, are developing recommendations to help preserve the sauger in Montana.


Streams of Montana

Bob Bramblett started surveying the prairie streams of Montana in 1999. Many of the streams were never sampled before, in part because they didn’t contain game fish and partly because some of them only flow intermittently, said Bramblett, an MSU ecologist. The prairie streams are located in the eastern two-thirds of the state from Shelby to Medicine Lake, Alzada to Billings. The streams are small compared to the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers, but they contain 49 species of fish, Bramblett said. Bramblett will try this spring to send a few fish from each species to the Kansas State Museum of Natural History at the University of Kansas. The fish will be preserved as part of the museum’s large fish collection.


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