Archive » October, 2011

October 31, 2011

Bridging the Nuclear Divide

Historian connects scientists and Navajo people

Nothing could have prepared Linda Richards for her visit to the Navajo Nation in 1986. The landscape was littered with piles of uranium debris. Signs warning of radioactive contamination were hung on playgrounds and living areas. The water wasn’t safe to drink. Families were living in homes made of radioactive materials. “Many of the people […]


24/7 Checkup
October 28, 2011

24/7 Checkup

Sensors could transmit vital signs around the clock

A new chapter in high-tech medicine is being written by electrical engineers at Oregon State University. A team led by Patrick Chiang has confirmed that an electronic technology called “ultrawideband” could lead to the development of sophisticated “body-area networks,” systems of wearable sensors and communication devices designed to track an individual’s health. Such networks would […]


Family Matters
October 28, 2011

Family Matters

Patricia Gregg is a pioneer in work-life balance for scientists

When Patricia Gregg received an e-mail invitation from first lady Michelle Obama asking for her social security number, she assumed it was a scam. But on September 26, Gregg found herself at a White House event shaking hands with the First Lady herself. Gregg sat in the second row as one of 14 select scientists […]


Testing Our Metal
October 27, 2011

Testing Our Metal

Research sharpens manufacturing's competitive edge

Chain saws, baseball bats, truck bodies, jet engine parts and bridges. All from America’s industrial heartland, right? Or made in China? Wrong. Companies that produce these and other metal products — from kitchen knives and laboratory incubators to steel fabrication stock — employ thousands of Oregonians. One of the tools in their toolbox is a […]


Chemistry for Life
October 27, 2011

Chemistry for Life

The foundation for OSU's new science center was built a century ago

In 2011, the first Baby Boomer turned 65 — the leading edge of a wave that is going to change the country. By 2030 one in every five Americans will be older than that. People are already living longer, taking time to travel and to enjoy their families. Think gourmet cooking classes, fishing trips and […]


Rice Paddy People
October 27, 2011

Rice Paddy People

In a rural village, farmers fight industrial pollution

The young Chinese laborer was desperate. Like millions of other migrant workers in China’s dash to industrialize, he had left his home and family to work in a factory in the rural interior. Now, environmental officials had closed the zinc smelter in Futian where he worked, and without a job, nearly out of money and […]


Love of Language
October 27, 2011

Love of Language

As a college student, Bryan Tilt spent three years in South Korea and returned with a love for a new culture and its language. “I don’t know that I would have gotten into anthropology without that experience. It just opened up doors for me that I didn’t even know existed, let alone knew how to […]


Polar Plunge
October 26, 2011

Polar Plunge

Fur coats may not be enough for Weddell seals

With ice coverage shrinking in the Arctic and parts of the Antarctic, scientists are scrambling to predict future consequences. But one Oregon State University scientist isn’t as concerned with the ice itself as with the animals that use it to rest. Markus Horning, pinniped ecologist for the Marine Mammal Institute, will venture to the Antarctic […]


What’s in a Name?
October 26, 2011

What’s in a Name?

In a new college of public health, community partnerships are key

In “Romeo and Juliet,” Shakespeare famously penned, “What’s in a name?” I’ve been asked that many times since our college changed its name in July. It may not have meant much to Juliet in the case of her beloved, but for the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, it speaks to the very essence […]


Heading for Health
October 26, 2011

Heading for Health

Research puts exercise and healthy food on the map

A woman hesitates to leave her home for fear of falling and breaking her hip. A child, enjoying fries and a soft drink in the backseat of the car, learns habits that may endanger his long-term health. A man with kidney problems faces a future hooked up to a dialysis machine in a clinic for […]


The Science of Design
October 26, 2011

The Science of Design

On the cutting edge of functional apparel for health, comfort and sustainability

One day last spring, a Nike executive was touring Oregon State University’s apparel design facilities. After being shown the textile lab, the thermal lab and the chemistry lab, he blurted out: “Oh my gosh! This is design with beakers!” He was right — but only partly. Beakers are just the beginning of science-based apparel design […]


The Apparel Industry’s Higher-Ed Partner
October 26, 2011

The Apparel Industry’s Higher-Ed Partner

OSU is tightly linked with the Portland area’s apparel community. Examples include: The OSU Design Network The network brings together professionals across the industry for informal gatherings and annual events in Portland, like last year’s Recycled Fashion Show — the longest-running fashion show of designs made from recycled materials in the country. OSU’s Apparel Research […]


Co-conspirators in Melanoma
October 26, 2011

Co-conspirators in Melanoma

Researchers discover "partners in crime" in deadly skin disease

Americans spend billions to beautify their outermost organ — to make it softer and younger, to erase wrinkles, conceal freckles, fake a tan, flaunt a tattoo. In our obsession with skin’s cosmetic qualities, it’s easy to forget the role it plays as nature’s biohazard suit. It defends our bodies against a barrage of environmental and […]


October 26, 2011

How Tumors Begin


Is There a Pill for That?
October 25, 2011

Is There a Pill for That?

How the Internet is changing the way Americans seek health care

Instead of blindly following “doctor’s orders,” patients can power up their iPad, Google their symptoms and join a chatroom for a different kind of “expert” opinion — that of ordinary people who have “been there, done that.” In this brave new world of “e-health,” there are bounteous benefits, says Kristin Barker, a sociologist at Oregon State University.


High to Moderate Levels of Stress Lead to Higher Mortality Rate
October 21, 2011

High to Moderate Levels of Stress Lead to Higher Mortality Rate

A new study concludes that men who experience persistently moderate or high levels of stressful life events over a number of years have a 50 percent higher mortality rate. In general, the researchers found only a few protective factors against these higher levels of stress – people who self-reported that they had good health tended […]


Willamette Innovators Night Spotlights Creative Economy
October 14, 2011

Willamette Innovators Night Spotlights Creative Economy

WiN is the Willamette Valley's largest gathering of businesses, researchers, inventors and policymakers focused on the creative economy.

“Made in Oregon” means more than lumber, hazelnuts and pears. At the annual Willamette Innovators Night (WiN) on Nov. 10, established manufacturers from Oregon Iron Works to startups such as Trillium FiberFuels and the AirShip Technologies Group will discuss how research and industry partnerships are changing the state’s economic landscape. “WiN provides a seedbed for […]


Bug Zoo
October 12, 2011

Bug Zoo

OSU’s arthropod museum provides a window on the past and clues to our future

The other day, I found myself sharing a room with 3 million dead bugs.


Birth Knowledge
October 4, 2011

Birth Knowledge

Master's student aims to solve devastating maternal health problem in Uganda

As a midwife in Eugene, Ore., Bonnie Ruder has overseen more than 150 successful homebirths. When she leaves for Uganda with her family in November, she will be investigating circumstances when things don’t go so well.