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OSU Today is a daily e-mail news briefing provided by OSU News and Communication Services. To subscribe or unsubscribe to the mailing list, visit here.

Questions, comments and ideas for news briefs may be sent to OSU Today editor Mark Peterson at osutoday or Mark Peterson.


Today in the News Media

Edible Films With Superpowers
(New York Times)

In a handful of food science labs around the country, people who talk about food in terms of microbes and polymers have been turning the natural pathogen fighters found in everyday food into edible films and powders. If their work pans out, thin films woven with a thyme derivative that can kill E. coli could line bags of fresh spinach. As shoppers demand safer food, they’re also demanding healthier food made with ingredients they can pronounce. “We’re working on consumer-friendly antimicrobials, so people will read the package label and not freak out,” said Mark Daeschel, a professor of food science at Oregon State University.

New model for higher education spending proposed in Oregon
(The Oregonian)

Oregon already has a blueprint for how much the state would spend on K-12 education every year, if money were no object. Now, the state is preparing to devise a similar model for its higher education system, a local sign of the nascent nationwide movement toward more public accountability for universities and community colleges. The new commission will be co-chaired by Oregon State University President Ed Ray, and Lane County Community College President Mary Spilde.

Amber shows ancient battle
(The Oregonian)

A tiny beetle braces itself as a larger insect approaches. Instantly, the beetle releases an irritating chemical from its body just as the hungry invader -- possibly a cockroach -- investigates its would-be meal with a long antenna. At that moment, a sticky blob of tree resin plops onto the beetle, trapping and preserving it. The predator escapes but loses its antenna to the gooey resin. The tree resin, which slowly fossilizes into amber, freezes the dramatic encounter in time -- for 100 million years. Oregon State University researchers and an amber fossil expert in Kentucky discovered the entombed beetle and its protective secretions, making it the earliest record of chemical defense in any animal.

Research Notebook
(The Oregonian)

Biological engineers at Oregon State University have designed a microbial fuel cell capable of generating about 10 times more electricity than previously possible from a similar fuel cell. The design could allow microbial fuel cells to be used more widely, said Hong Liu, an assistant professor in OSU's biological and ecological engineering department. He said the design could lead to power generation for portable systems that provide reusable water for developing nations.

OSU rep selected to tech education position
(Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Mark Merickel, associate dean for Oregon State University’s Extended Campus, has been elected as the Oregon caucus delegate to the Western Cooperative for Educational Technologies. The cooperative is open to providers and users of educational technologies around the world, with members across the United States and nine other countries.

Wet, cold winter predicted for Oregon

Oregon State University climatologist George Taylor has issued his annual fall and winter forecast, and it says snow might be in Western Oregon's future. "If history repeats itself, then we will more likely than not get some snow at low elevations this winter," said Taylor, who also predicts above-average snowpack in the mountains.

Grass-seed samples prove state's reputation for pure produce
(Salem Statesman-Journal)

As the state's grass seed harvest hits full swing, the Seed Lab at Oregon State University is also running at full tilt. The lab tests 14,000 samples each year, 60 percent of those from mid-July through September. The tests are for seed purity and germination rates, said Adriel Garay, the seed lab manager.

The Dalles loses vast majority of walnut trees
(Eugene Register-Guard)

Progress killed most of the black walnut trees in The Dalles, and now disease appears to be wiping out what's left. But Melody Putnam, director of the diagnostics laboratory at Oregon State University, said the Willamette Valley has seen a high mortality rate of black walnuts in recent years, and those trees have been tested for bunch with results returning negative.

Kudos Corner

OSU featured in IPMA newsletter

OSU’s Printing and Mailing Services is featured in the Aug. 21 issue of InsideEdge, the newsletter for the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association. The story…

Today on Campus

The OSU calendar.

Upcoming Events

The OSU women’s team hosts Montana at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, and UC-Riverside at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at Lorenz Field.

The Student Sustainability Initiative is holding the final work party for the future Student Sustainability Center on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at 738 S.W. 15th St. Volunteers are needed to help plant a demonstration organic garden for the Sept. 18 open house. Tools, gloves and food provided. Volunteers as asked to bring clothes to work in the garden, sunscreen and refillable water bottles. Info: Shayna Rogers at

Another Oak Creek restoration work party will occur on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help pull ivy and blackberry. Participants can meet at 10 a.m. in front of the Oak Creek Building (30th & Western) and are encouraged to wear sunscreen and long pants and bring reusable water bottles. Snacks and tools provided. Latecomers should look for the group west of the 30th Street bridge on the north side of the creek, or call the coordinator at 541-905-0598. Info: Violet DePoe at (737-8638) or Brandon Trelstad at

More upcoming events.

News for Employees

Roger Nielsen, Chair of the Faculty Senate Promotion and Tenure Committee, and Becky Johnson, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and International Programs, invite all faculty to an open forum on Oct. 3, where they will review the changes and implications of the newly revised OSU Promotion and Tenure Guidelines. The forum is from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in MU 208. RSVP to Sara Eklund at

Registration for Faculty/Staff Fitness classes for fall term will take place on Monday, Sept. 10, and Tuesday, Sept. 11. The schedule is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday for aqua, mind/body and weight training classes and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday for aerobic, conditioning and other classes.

The deadline is Friday, Sept. 7, to reserve a spot for the 2007 Beaver Community Fair, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the MU Quad. Registration…

The Research Office is accepting applications for the Faculty Release Time (FRT) for Fall 2007-08 (for Winter Term 2007-08 release). Deadline is Monday, Oct. 8. Info: Debbie Delmore at 737-8390 or

OSU researchers are seeking volunteers for a study to evaluate biomarkers for smoking-related cancer risk. Volunteers for the study should be between the ages of 18 and 65. Samaritan Health Services plans to enroll 20 non-smokers and 20 active smokers for the study. Volunteers who smoke will have their blood drawn on two different occasions and give a urine sample on two different occasions, and will be offered a total of $50 for volunteering. Non-smoking volunteers will give blood and urine samples once and will be offered a total of $25 for volunteering. Free smoking cessation classes also will be offered to participants in the study, along with $20 compensation for smoking cessation supplies. Info: 541-768-6884.

Transit & Parking Services will be selling the Fall Term permits beginning Wednesday, Sept. 5. The new permits will again be validators that attach to the current hangtag. Do not throw away your current hangtag; it will be part of the new permit for Fall Term. Info: 737-2583.

Student parking lots are free from Aug. 20 to Oct. 5.

Transit & Parking Services will be closed today, for an all-day staff meeting. Info: 737-2583.

University Housing & Dining Services is seeking help as students move-in to their new living quarters. Help is needed between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sept. 16-18 to provide assistance with parking lot staging and coordination, as well as assistance helping students move boxes and belongings into their rooms. Volunteers can commit to helping an entire day or for just a few hours – any help is appreciated. Info: or 541-737-4771.


Due to necessary repairs to the storm and sanitary sewer lines on the north side of the Oak Creek Building, the parking lot on the west side of Oak Creek will experience temporary delays through 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5. Info: Robin Hlobeczy, 737-0951; Lance Jones, 737-2274; Mark Zabriskie, 737-5774; Rand Sether, 737-4275.

Hatchery Center newsletter

The Fall 2007 issue of OHRC Progress, the newsletter for the Oregon Hatcher Research Center, is now available online.


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