Category » Vitality

Fat and Bones
February 3, 2016

Fat and Bones

Gene therapy shows promise for saving bone during weight loss

“Yo-yo” dieting isn’t just a problem for your clothing budget as you try to keep up with your fluctuating jean size. It’s also bad for your bones. As unwanted pounds melt away, a dieter’s skeleton typically loses mass and strength. When the pounds come back, the lost bone doesn’t. That conundrum is the focus of […]


More Microbiome Studies at Oregon State
October 15, 2015

More Microbiome Studies at Oregon State

Researchers explore impacts on cognition, disease and immune function

Your Brain on Microbes Chemicals produced by microbes in our intestines may affect the brain. In a study with laboratory mice, Kathy Magnusson and her colleagues have demonstrated that adaptability, short-term memory and learning for long-term memory are related to the microbiome and what we eat. “This suggests that it’s not just about the food […]


Five Facts About the Microbiome
October 15, 2015

Five Facts About the Microbiome

UNKNOWN PROTEINS As scientists sequence DNA in microbiome samples, they are discovering new building blocks of life. About 30 percent of the genes in genomes sequenced in large-scale studies code for proteins that are new to science. MICROBES IN HUMANS Estimates of the number of nonhuman cells in our bodies range from 30 trillion to […]


Gut Check
October 15, 2015

Gut Check

Intestinal microbes affect our health

We’ve all gone through it and wished we hadn’t: growing discomfort, a stomachache and nausea, maybe vomiting and diarrhea. For most of us, symptoms pass in a day or two. We call it “stomach flu” or “food poisoning.” But for Pat (not her real name), the symptoms did not improve, so she went to her […]


A Poison in Small Doses
October 13, 2015

A Poison in Small Doses

Public health scientists investigate arsenic

Thousands of wells in Bangladesh are contaminated with arsenic from groundwater aquifers. Oregon State University researchers are studying the health consequences of low-dose exposure in rural communities.


Julie Greenwood
May 13, 2015

Julie Greenwood

Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, College of Science

A video in Julie Greenwood’s lab catches cancer cells in the act of invading the brain. They are glioblastoma cells, agents of the same disease that killed Senator Ted Kennedy. “Glioblastoma cells are very effective at invading the neighboring tissue of the brain,” says Greenwood. “In many cases, these cells sprint.” Although surgery is often […]


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 […]


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 […]


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. […]


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.


End-of-Life Dilemma
October 10, 2013

End-of-Life Dilemma

Hospice workers struggle with assisted death

When dying people choose to hasten death with a doctor’s help, their caregivers often face a troubling dilemma. In particular, hospice — the final stop for many terminal patients — poses an overlooked problem, OSU researchers report. That’s because hospice objects to physician-assisted death, yet most patients who choose assisted death are in hospice care. […]


Biological Origami and Naked Mole Rats
October 10, 2013

Biological Origami and Naked Mole Rats

Seeking the secrets of longevity in misfolded proteins

A half-ounce flying mammal, a tiny marsupial that glides from tree limb to tree limb, and a hairless, burrowing rodent with supersize front teeth all share a trait that makes them intriguing to researcher Viviana Perez: exceptional longevity. The little brown bat (Myotis lucifungus), common across North America, has been known to live more than […]


New Flu Clues
October 10, 2013

New Flu Clues

Vaccine strategies need rethinking

When flu season rolls around, hundreds of thousands of Americans will get sick. Nearly a quarter-million will be hospitalized. Tens of thousands will die. Despite the risks, only about a third of Americans will get vaccinated. Researchers now say the nation’s vaccination priorities need to shift. That’s because the groups least likely to get the […]


da Vinci Days 2013: Stories from the Edge of Science
July 25, 2013

da Vinci Days 2013: Stories from the Edge of Science

Oregon State scientists take audiences on a planetary journey

Leonardo da Vinci combined the practical and the beautiful, the mechanical and artistic. At the 2013 da Vinci Days festival in Corvallis, Oregon State University scientists, engineers and mathematicians shared their journeys under Antarctic sea ice, to an African village, to Mars and through a mathematical landscape.


From Zebrafish to You
July 2, 2013

From Zebrafish to You

Popular aquarium fish provides a window on environmental chemicals

On average, an individual encounters about 80,000 synthetic chemicals every day. So says Robert Tanguay, a toxicologist at Oregon State University. Many of those chemicals — from fire retardants in fabrics to drying agents in paint — are untested for toxicity to people. Tanguay and his research team are working to change that. Their results […]


June 4, 2013

After the Quake

Saving lives is everybody's business

As an epidemiologist, Jeff Bethel understands the vital role of public health in saving lives after a natural disaster. Most at risk, he says, are vulnerable populations — migrant laborers and people who live alone or have chronic illnesses. “If you’re in your little bubble, you’re at higher risk,” says the assistant professor in the […]


Aquatic Vigil
May 23, 2013

Aquatic Vigil

Labs go to extraordinary lengths for fish and other water dwellers

It boils down to a centuries-old debate among philosophers, scientists, veterinarians, farmers, ranchers, aquarists, and pet owners: What is our obligation to captive animals?


Hmong Health Study Defies Expectations
May 22, 2013

Hmong Health Study Defies Expectations

More cancer screening, less male influence found

The risks are especially high among the Hmong, whose cervical cancer rates are some of the nation’s highest.


A Preventable Disaster
May 15, 2013

A Preventable Disaster

Arsenic exposure could have long-lasting public health consequences

Fighting a war of independence should be turmoil enough for a small country, but in 1970, the people of Bangladesh also had to deal with a deadly cholera outbreak. This water-borne disease threatened the country’s plentiful surface water and put public health at risk. To solve this crisis, the government, together with international aid agencies, […]


Learning to Fly
May 3, 2013

Learning to Fly

More parents provide support for their adult children

For many first-year college students, going to a new school represents “leaving the nest.” They are now responsible for housing, bills and their own education. But according to Heidi Igarashi , a research assistant at Oregon State University, most are still in their parents’ nest and will be for several more years. “Parents used to […]


Sex in Play
January 23, 2013

Sex in Play

From dolls to sports, sexualized culture affects youth

It takes media savvy and strong role models to promote healthy development in the face of what the American Psychological Association calls “the massive exposure to portrayals that sexualize women and girls and teach girls that women are sexual objects.”


Student Researcher Aims to Give Kids a Boost in School
January 18, 2013

Student Researcher Aims to Give Kids a Boost in School

Sara says, "jump!"

Playing games may be fun and exciting for young children, but researchers have found they also can be academically beneficial. Human Development and Family Studies Ph.D. student Sara Schmitt is finding out just how much. “One of the primary studies I’ve been involved in here at Oregon State is trying to develop a screening tool […]


The Ethic of Care
October 12, 2012

The Ethic of Care

Respect for animals guides their treatment in teaching and research

The three rats snoozing in Cage 57 don’t know it, but they could someday help save thousands of human lives. Snuggled in their EcoFresh bedding, the rodents are digesting a meal that may hold clues to preventing colon cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. On their cage, equipped with HEPA […]


Doctor at the Top
October 12, 2012

Doctor at the Top

How lambs, preemies, “death cap” mushrooms and research pigs steered a stellar career

A human life can pivot on the quirkiest of convergences. In the life of Helen Diggs, it was the accidental nexus of five unfortunate hikers, a bagful of poisonous mushrooms and a few heroic pigs that set change in motion. It all started early one morning in 1988 when Diggs, then a young veterinarian, heard […]


A Whole Lot of Seriousness
October 12, 2012

A Whole Lot of Seriousness

With lives on the line, there’s no room for nonchalance

“Nothing is more important in an animal study than the animal itself,” says Steve Durkee. His tone is reminiscent of Moses handing down the stone tablets. Just like Moses, Durkee is not kidding around. The righteous idealism that fed Durkee’s Greenpeace activism in his “younger, wilder days” still beats in his chest as administrator of […]


Ten Discoveries at Oregon State
October 12, 2012

Ten Discoveries at Oregon State

With the help of animals, Oregon State scientists have made important discoveries in human health (see The Ethic of Care). “These findings would not have been possible relying only on cell cultures or experimenting with yeast and bacteria,” says pharmacy researcher Mark Leid. His lab created and used genetically modified mice to discover important roles […]


Drug Test
October 12, 2012

Drug Test

Chemists' prototype fingers fake medicines

By some estimates, a third to half of the artesunate, an anti-malarial drug, in some countries is counterfeit. The World Health Organization has called for faster, more accurate tests, and now a team of Oregon State University chemists has stepped up with an innovative approach.


Staph Attack
October 12, 2012

Staph Attack

Vitamin therapy shows promise in treating "superbug"

Deadly staph infections may have a potent new foe: Vitamin B3. Megadoses of the vitamin can help the immune system fight the superbug MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus), researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute and other institutions have found. The findings could lead to new treatment options for health officials who have […]


August 15, 2012

Proving Ground for Veterinary Practice

Oregon State’s small-animal clinic and hospital is a leading institution not only in minimally invasive surgery but also in therapeutic laser research and treatments for cancer, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.