Archive » May, 2011

Good Impressions
May 31, 2011

Good Impressions

How do we size each other up?

Call it gut instinct, intuition, street smarts or sixth sense. Good poker players need it. Success in business, politics and athletics demands it. Psychologists call it emotional intelligence, but unlike the myriad tests available to assess verbal and quantitative intelligence, a well-validated test for emotional intelligence has yet to be established, according to Frank Bernieri, […]


One Less Child
May 31, 2011

One Less Child

Reproductive choices affect long-term carbon emissions

If you’re concerned about sustainable living, you probably pay close attention to your “carbon footprint.” We all have one: the amount of climate changing carbon we emit to the atmosphere through our energy intensive lifestyles. Some of us even calculate our household’s footprint with one of the many carbon calculators available online. It helps to […]


Building a Better Student
May 31, 2011

Building a Better Student

One research project at a time

When undergraduate students do hands-on research with eminent professors on projects that matter, everyone wins. Students become better thinkers and citizens; the professors who mentor them become better teachers and researchers. Employers get access to employees with critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills that are so important in an economy increasingly dependent on innovation […]


How Do You Know That?
May 31, 2011

How Do You Know That?

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known but to question it.” — Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

As an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University in the 1970s, I immersed myself in learning about my field of choice, oceanography. I spent plenty of time in class studying the leading texts of the day. But my real education came from first-hand research experiences.


The Birth-Weight Factor
May 31, 2011

The Birth-Weight Factor

Small babies may face lifelong problems metabolizing meds

Among the questions you may be asked someday by doctors who prescribe your medications is one that few people can probably answer: What was your birth weight? Research by Ganesh Cherala of the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy suggests that when physicians prescribe drugs ranging from Tylenol to cancer chemotherapies, they may need to […]


The Gamma and the Beta
May 31, 2011

The Gamma and the Beta

Nuclear detection improves monitoring

Fast, accurate, affordable detection of radiation — whether it’s from Japan’s damaged Fukushima plant, long-buried waste at Hanford’s WWII weapons site, or secret underground testing by rogue nations — is a pressing need internationally. Now, detection technology has taken a notable leap forward. A newly patented invention from Oregon State University uses “phoswich” technology (short […]


Holding Out Hope
May 28, 2011

Holding Out Hope

A tenacious scientist's quest for the causes of Lou Gehrig's disease

He hit .295 with 29 home runs and 114 RBIs that last year in 1938 — a season most baseball players could only dream about. They called him the “Iron Horse” because he was known for his durability. But even in 1938, he was feeling tired by mid-season. And for him, a season like that was considered mediocre.


Blood Lines
May 28, 2011

Blood Lines

Ishan Patel found his niche in biomedical engineering

It wasn’t the most elegant way to enter a lab. Ishan Patel had just met his mentor for the summer of 2009, Dr. Owen McCarty at Oregon Health & Science University. The OSU bioengineering student wanted to make a good impression, and when McCarty told him to go across the hall and meet his research […]


May 28, 2011

Learn About Clinical Trials

Today, the safety and effectiveness of new medicines, medical devices and vaccinations are on peoples’ minds and in the news media.  Clinical trials enable researchers to study new treatments and to determine whether they work as intended or cause dangerous side effects.  These studies are conducted with an eye to the future, in hopes of […]


Natural Defense
May 27, 2011

Natural Defense

Plant-based diabetes treatment shows promise

“I’m not one that is easily deterred,” Anneke Tucker says with a disarming smile. It’s a good thing. The 23-year-old Oregon State University senior from Lakeview, Oregon, has fixed her sights on nothing less than improving health care in rural communities. And along the way, she might throw in a new treatment for one of the nation’s most serious health threats, Type 2 diabetes.


Growth Factors
May 27, 2011

Growth Factors

High alcohol consumption inhibits bone healing

Feeding the rats was just the beginning. To get to the bottom of questions about the effects of alcohol consumption on bones, Cyndi Trevisiol learned how to remove the living cells from a femur and a tibia (purchased frozen from a biological supply house). She then removed the minerals — calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, silicon […]


Pathfinders
May 24, 2011

Pathfinders

Have you ever shot an electron beam through a molecule? Undergrads in Ken Hedberg's lab take aim and discover how matter is arranged.

Robert Johnson gets a lot of strange looks when he tells his friends what he does in Ken Hedberg’s lab. The senior from Salem and another student, Luke Costello from Corvallis, shoot beams of electrons through clouds of gasses and use the results to analyze molecular structure. “People ask ‘why?’” says Johnson. “I just say, […]


Sea Lions Star in the Center Ring
May 11, 2011

Sea Lions Star in the Center Ring

[Editor's note: Amy Schneider, a junior in zoology from Roseburg, Ore., is an intern with Terra magazine. She wants to write and do science and combines them whenever she can. Her interest in animals started at age three when she told her parents she would die if she didn't get a pet guinea pig.]   […]


Place names link birds and King Island culture
May 9, 2011

Place names link birds and King Island culture

Seabirds figure prominently in the island's history and culture.

In her effort to document the place names of her native King Island, Alaska, Deanna Paniataaq Kingston encountered cultural links to birds. Many of the names and stories referenced them. Kauna vaktuat is “the place where you can reach and get birds from rocks,” Tayaguq is “crested auklet place” and Iizrayaq is “sea gull cliff.” […]