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Accidentally Blue
October 15, 2014

Accidentally Blue

Patented OSU pigment draws interest from artists, industry

Mas Subramanian didn’t expect to find a brilliant blue pigment when he was looking for new semiconductors. But the Milton Harris Chair Professor of Materials Science in the Oregon State University Department of Chemistry was shocked in 2009 when he saw a graduate student take a powder with a vibrant blue hue out of a […]


New labs focus on stormwater, floods
October 15, 2014

New labs focus on stormwater, floods

Facilities supported by Oregon BEST

When floods arrive, hydrologists scramble. They run computer models to evaluate the need for evacuation. They gather data to understand impacts on fish, soils and water quality. Now, Oregon State researchers will have access to two new labs that enable them to test theories before the downpour. A Multipurpose River Hydraulics Research Facility will be […]


Green Neighborhoods Lead to Better Birth Outcomes
October 15, 2014

Green Neighborhoods Lead to Better Birth Outcomes

Researchers gathered data on more than 64,000 births

Where the grass is greener, pregnancies tend to be fullterm, and babies tend to have higher birth weights. The findings hold up even when results are adjusted for factors such as neighborhood income, exposure to air pollution, noise and neighborhood walkability, according to researchers at Oregon State University and the University of British Columbia. “This […]


Oregon birders and citizen scientists join eBird project
October 13, 2014

Oregon birders and citizen scientists join eBird project

A team of ornithologists, birders and citizen scientists is collecting data on Oregon birds through a project called Oregon 2020. “Oregon has a few species of birds we know very well — like the spotted owl, the sage grouse and the meadowlark,” says W. Douglas Robinson, the Mace Professor of Watchable Wildlife at OSU and […]


Of Spots and Stripes
October 13, 2014

Of Spots and Stripes

Two related owl species compete for the last stands of old-growth forest

To hear Katie Dugger tell it, you’d think catching a baby northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) for scientific banding was as easy as taking a Tootsie Roll from a toddler. “They’re so mellow and laid-back,” the ornithologist says. “If the owl is sitting low enough in a tree, as is often the case, you […]


Innovation: Smart Bike Helmet
October 10, 2014

Innovation: Smart Bike Helmet

Alert is sent after an accident

Bike helmets have long proven their worth by helping to prevent head injuries. Now a team of OSU student interns who worked at Intel last summer has turned the durable plastic shells into an emergency beacon, communicator and diagnostic tool in the event of an accident. Equipped with electronics that can detect and analyze a […]


Technical Assistance
October 10, 2014

Technical Assistance

Students develop robots to empower people

Last summer, Ben Arvey took an electric wheelchair for a test drive. He blinked his eyes, and as the Google Glass on his head relayed those small movements through the Internet, the chair moved forward. With no assistance from Arvey, it swerved to avoid a table and then straightened out as though traveling down a […]


Success in STEM fields
October 10, 2014

Success in STEM fields

NSF grants aim to diversify the workforce

Two five-year grants from the National Science Foundation aim to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, or STEM, at Oregon State University. Through a program known as ADVANCE, OSU will recruit and promote women in STEM fields and implement policies to address needs across race, sexual […]


The GMO Conundrum
October 10, 2014

The GMO Conundrum

We could lose an important crop-improvement tool to politics and fear

Oregonians will go to the polls on November 4 to decide whether or not to require prominent labels on food containing ingredients made from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The issue of labeling has been around for years, and — déjà vu! — Oregonians have even voted on it before. But the rhetoric has heated […]


Arrested Development
October 10, 2014

Arrested Development

Intellectual property and regulations hinder research

Genetic engineering has become a valuable scientific tool. It has enabled us to gain tremendous insight into the mechanisms of plant reproduction, disease resistance and other useful traits. However, commercial use of this technology has not lived up to expectations and has created serious hurdles for plant breeders. That in turn hampers genetic progress and […]


University of Alaska Joins Wave Energy Partnership
October 7, 2014

University of Alaska Joins Wave Energy Partnership

Wave energy researchers will focus on the tidal inlets and coastal waves of Alaska as a result of a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Until now, the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center has been a partnership of Oregon State University and the University of Washington. “Alaska has an enormous energy […]


Small Stressors May Reduce Longevity for Men
October 6, 2014

Small Stressors May Reduce Longevity for Men

Older men who lead high-stress lives, either from chronic everyday hassles or because of a series of significant life events, are likely to die earlier than the average for their peers. “We’re looking at long-term patterns of stress — if your stress level is chronically high, it could impact your mortality, or if you have […]


Aspen Recovery in Yellowstone Spurred by Wildlife Shifts
October 6, 2014

Aspen Recovery in Yellowstone Spurred by Wildlife Shifts

Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park is undergoing dramatic shifts with consequences that are beginning to return the landscape to conditions not seen in nearly a century. In the park’s northeast section, elk have decreased in number in their historic winter range in the Lamar Valley and are now more numerous outside the park. Aspen recovery […]


Partnership Advances the Cutting Edge
October 3, 2014

Partnership Advances the Cutting Edge

Blount International and OSU collaborate on saw technologies

You might expect that the state that produces the country’s largest amount of softwood timber would also host leaders in the chainsaw industry. One of those firms, Blount International in Portland, has increased its focus on new approaches to power systems, production efficiency and consumer safety. As partners in Oregon State’s Advantage program, the company […]


Running with Robots
October 2, 2014

Running with Robots

To understand animal locomotion, engineers look to birds

Hollywood has come a long way since R2-D2 rolled about in Star Wars (1977) with the turn-on-a-dime sophistication of a self-propelled lawn mower. Its companion C-3PO wasn’t much more advanced. It moved with a mechanical grace reminiscent of the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Fast forward to the Isaac Asimov inspired sci-fi thriller […]


Oceanography Boot Camp
August 14, 2014

Oceanography Boot Camp

Students take the science helm in Oregon coast research cruise

If they had come home early, you wouldn’t have been surprised. Half of them got seasick. Equipment failed. And the weather changed unexpectedly. But last April, 11 Oregon college students from three institutions — Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and Clatsop Community College — stuck it out for four days at sea on […]


August 8, 2014

Living Well on an Altered Planet

"Transformation Without Apocalypse" inspires new narratives on climate change

With reports of climate doomsday on the horizon, many people seek a brighter outlook on the future but aren’t sure where to turn. In February 2014, the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature and the Written Word at Oregon State University hosted a two-day symposium to highlight strategies for coping — and even thriving — […]


Across the Cultural Divide
July 8, 2014

Across the Cultural Divide

OSU art student portrays the tools of science

For an artist, science can be confusing, full of numbers, variables and technical terms. Whereas for a scientist, art can seem like a fantasy, a distraction from the real world. Such differences lie behind the classic chasm between art and science, which British scientist and author C. P. Snow immortalized in his famous 1959 speech, […]


Oregon State Nuclear Engineers Solve Looming Medical Isotope Shortage
May 29, 2014

Oregon State Nuclear Engineers Solve Looming Medical Isotope Shortage

OSU partners with Northwest Medical Isotopes and Samaritan Health Services

When John Nuslein began experiencing chest pain, he contacted his doctor and underwent a round of tests. But the standard electrocardiogram and cardiac treadmill were inconclusive. It took a nuclear medicine stress test — a procedure in which a radioactive substance is injected into a vein — to visualize two blocked arteries in his heart. […]


Learning to Dive
May 28, 2014

Learning to Dive

OSU’s scientific diving course opens underwater opportunities

It seemed that Kyle Neumann had a dream job: video broadcasting for the Portland Timbers. But something kept nagging at him. “For me, it just wasn’t fulfilling a higher purpose,” says the Oregon State University senior. He wanted to use his video storytelling skills, he decided, not for professional sports but for Planet Earth. First, […]


Active Ingredients
May 28, 2014

Active Ingredients

Chemists collaborate to form Valliscor

When two Willamette Valley chemists developed methods for producing industrial chemicals with exceptional purity, they saw a business opportunity. The result is a new company: Valliscor.


May 28, 2014

Wanted: A Strong Work Ethic

You might think the No. 1 quality professors seek in an undergraduate researcher is braininess. Yes, brains matter. But there’s another valued trait, perhaps less obvious but at least as important: a strong work ethic. In the labs in Oregon State’s Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics, work ethic is often the deciding […]


Spirituality, Religion and Health
May 28, 2014

Spirituality, Religion and Health

Benefits reflect prayer, meditation, church attendance

Religious practices and spiritual behaviors have distinct but complementary health benefits. That was the conclusion of a study led by Carolyn Aldwin, professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. She and her colleagues (Crystal Park of the University of Connecticut and Yu-Jin Jeong and Ritwik Nath of OSU) reviewed previously published reports […]


May 28, 2014

The Shining

New Industrial Materials Are Activated by Light

New types of materials that change their shape when exposed to light could lead to advances in hydrogen storage, solar energy, carbon dioxide capture and other fields critical to the nation’s economy. The W. M. Keck Foundation has awarded a $1 million research grant to OSU’s School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering and to […]


Trial by Fire
May 28, 2014

Trial by Fire

Cracking molecules in the W. M. Keck Collaboratory

Few places are as hot as 6,000 degrees Centigrade: the surface of the sun, the center of the Earth, the heart of a laboratory device at Oregon State University. In the lab, this is the temperature of a kind of flame produced when argon gas flows through an intense electromagnetic field. Appropriately, the part of […]


May 28, 2014

Bio Boost for Supercapacitors

Cellulose shows promise for energy devices

Oregon State chemists have discovered an inexpensive and rapid process for turning cellulose into the components of supercapacitors. These high-power energy devices have a wide range of industrial applications, from electronics to automobiles. Cellulose, the primary ingredient in paper, is one of the most abundant organic polymers. By heating it in the presence of ammonia, […]


Searching the Past
May 28, 2014

Searching the Past

Doing archaeology takes endurance and patience

Since 2009, students from Oregon State and around the country have come to the lower Salmon River canyon and lived in tents for eight hot summer weeks. When not cooling off in the river, they dig, sift, haul and record as they participate in the search for traces of some of the earliest human activity […]


Bioengineering Students Jump-start Their Careers
May 28, 2014

Bioengineering Students Jump-start Their Careers

A team effort to find a new way to treat sepsis has provided myriad hands-on opportunities for undergraduate and graduate bioengineering students at Oregon State. They’ve made vital contributions to the research and advanced their careers. “This is such a large project that we’ve probably had a couple dozen or more students involved in recent […]


Wristbands for Health
May 23, 2014

Wristbands for Health

Citizen scientists can propose projects

Pollutants can be undetectable to our senses, but an Oregon State researcher has come up with a simple way to monitor chemicals in the environment. A team led by Kim Anderson, professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences, has created a silicone wristband that absorbs chemicals in the air 24/7. “The wristbands show us the […]


Future Doctors
May 23, 2014

Future Doctors

Students studying genetic properties of a fungal species hope to use their knowledge in medical careers.