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Child Obesity
February 13, 2015

Child Obesity

Solving the weighty matter of kids’ health

“Exercisers outperform couch potatoes in long-term memory, reasoning, attention, and problem-solving tasks.” — John Medina, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving  and Thriving at Work,  Home, and School Back in the 1950s, stay-at-home moms cooked meals from scratch while kids ran and played outdoors till dinnertime. Fast-forward to the dual-income or single-parent families of the […]


Public Exposure
February 13, 2015

Public Exposure

Tracking the Wind

“Except for the original blueprint of our chromosomes, all the material that is us — from bone to blood to breast tissue — has come to us from the environment.” — Sandra Steingraber,  Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment In 2010, the President’s Panel on Cancer reported that, in the course […]


Inside Job
February 13, 2015

Inside Job

New drugs turn the tables on pathogens

Carnivores eat their prey from the outside, author David Quammen writes in his 2012 book Spillover. Pathogens attack from within and are no less deadly. They enter our bodies unseen when we breathe, have sex, take a drink of water or just walk in the woods.


Cancer
February 13, 2015

Cancer

Unraveling the tangled threads of a stealthy disease

Last fall, the nation was riveted to the story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old California woman afflicted with inoperable brain cancer. She captured the media spotlight when she moved to Oregon to access lethal drugs under Oregon’s death-with-dignity law. Maynard had chosen to die before the tumor took her autonomy.


The Silver Tsunami
February 13, 2015

The Silver Tsunami

Growing older and staying healthy

“At 80 the marks of decay are all too visible. … Perhaps, with luck, I will make it, more or less intact, for another few years and be granted the liberty to continue to love and work, the two most important things, Freud insisted, in life.” — Oliver Sacks, “The Joy of Old Age. (No […]


Poison in the Blood
May 28, 2014

Poison in the Blood

New treatment could reduce deaths from a hidden killer

A group of researchers in the College of Engineering, however, are working with teams of undergraduate and graduate students on a project that may soon have the whole world talking about sepsis. Finally there may be a way to combat this syndrome with something other than antibiotics — which often don’t work.


Finding Your Inner Einstein
May 28, 2014

Finding Your Inner Einstein

In the lab, the field and the library archive, today’s undergrads are “active scholars”

Tapping into each student’s inner Einstein — that quester of cosmic secrets, that seeker of deeper insights, that finder of new truths — is what happens when undergrads do original research or scholarship under the wing of a professor or a post-doctoral researcher.


Private Eyes
May 28, 2014

Private Eyes

Americans’ personal data are under scrutiny by government spy agencies, commercial search engines and a vast rabble of phishers, sniffers and black-hat hackers

“In human history, there’s never been more surveillance of individuals by the state and by private corporations than there is today,” said Oregon State University historian Christopher McKnight Nichols in April when he appeared on National Public Radio’s Philosophy Talk.


Total Immersion
May 28, 2014

Total Immersion

Diving the world’s waters in search of deeper knowledge

For an elite handful of Oregon State researchers and students in pharmacy, biology, oceanography, zoology, fisheries, marine resources management — even maritime engineering — their other lab is underwater.


Raising Spores
May 28, 2014

Raising Spores

Scientists find fungal treasure and start the hunt for new antibiotics

While known mostly as a pathogen of wheat, corn, barley and other cereal grains, a species of fungus called Fusarium Graminearum turns out to be a treasure trove of potential new antibiotics and other natural compounds.


No Stone Unturned
May 28, 2014

No Stone Unturned

Archaeologists on the trail of earliest Americans at Cooper’s Ferry

In the lower Salmon River canyon of Idaho, Loren Davis and his students are uncovering clues to the human story of North America. “The world was so dramatically different at that time,” Davis says. “There were ice sheets and giant lakes, and sea level was much lower. You have to have a geological outlook to make sense of a lot of it.”


Cows Show Stress
May 24, 2014

Cows Show Stress

Simulated wolf attacks produce trauma

Livestock that have encountered wolves experience stress that may affect their health and productivity.


A Nuclear Bond
May 23, 2014

A Nuclear Bond

A Polish university partners with Oregon State to build clean-energy capacity

In January, Poland revived its nuclear-energy ambitions when the government pledged to build two nuclear reactors, bringing the first one online as soon as 2024. Oregon State University is a partner in realizing Poland’s new nuclear energy initiative.


Survivors from the Depths of Time
January 24, 2014

Survivors from the Depths of Time

Scientists and tribes work urgently to save the ancient Pacific lamprey

As one of the “first foods” of Northwest Indians (along with salmon, elk, huckleberries and camas bulbs) lamprey hold a place of high honor in tribal culture. But outside Indian culture, Pacific lamprey have a PR problem.


The Warsaw Discourses
January 24, 2014

The Warsaw Discourses

When the world convened in Poland for climate talks, Gregg Walker was there

Gregg Walker is making his way toward the University of Warsaw where the Global Landscapes Forum is being held as part of the United Nations climate change negotiations for 2013. The Oregon State University professor has been attending these international climate conferences for half a decade.


A Place of Belonging
February 2, 2013

A Place of Belonging

Once a child immigrant, Susana Rivera-Mills’ past became her future

It was tragic enough that Susana Rivera-Mills’ girlhood was visited by war. It was frightening enough to flee her hometown of San Salvador on a dark night bundled in the backseat of the family Fiat with her little brother Fabio. And yet, as improbable as it seems, the hardest part was still ahead.


Words to Live By
February 2, 2013

Words to Live By

Language and culture meet identity

The early findings from Independence reveal a community that is holding onto Spanish for five and six generations.


Corps of Discovery
February 1, 2013

Corps of Discovery

Mastering the natural history of Oregon's storied lands and waters - and passing it on

Just as some babies are born with special gifts for music or math, Harvard’s Howard Gardner argues, others come into the world with an exceptional sensitivity to nature. The Oregon Master Naturalist program was designed to tap into this devotion to the land and build a statewide corps of expert volunteers.


Concord Elementary School
January 31, 2013

Concord Elementary School

Where vegetables sprout (and kids, too)

Amid the chaos, the kids are learning about the art of gardening.


Lake of the Woods
January 31, 2013

Lake of the Woods

Where the wild things are

“The three key words in the mission of Oregon Master Naturalists are explore, connect, contribute.”


South Slough
January 31, 2013

South Slough

Where the waters mix

Anne and Philip Matthews have explored every twist and tangle of the South Slough, which became the nation’s first national estuarine research reserve in the 1970s.


Rimrock Ranch
January 31, 2013

Rimrock Ranch

Where steelhead will swim again

Guiding tours for the Deschutes Land Trust has been, for years, an outgrowth of Mary Crow’s passion for the land.


Caring for Cows
January 30, 2013

Caring for Cows

Humane treatment of livestock benefits industry as well as animals

Studies show that a stressed animal is more likely to be a sick, scrawny, infertile animal — hardly the formula for business success if you’re a rancher or dairyman.


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.”


Legacy of a Whale
July 11, 2012

Legacy of a Whale

Renee Albertson’s childhood encounter led her, decades later, to French Polynesia

Rain was pouring hard the day Renee Albertson first connected, face-to-face, with a marine mammal. She was a 7-year-old visiting British Columbia’s Sealand aquarium (Canada’s now-defunct answer to California’s SeaWorld) with her mom and dad. The daily show had been cancelled because of the downpour. The usual crowds were absent. As the soggy trio from […]


Surf’s Up!
January 19, 2012

Surf’s Up!

Scientists help coastal communities plan for an uncertain future

If you love big surf, go to Depoe Bay on the Oregon coast during a winter storm. As swells rise and break offshore, winds whip ocean spray high into the air, but the waves move inexorably toward the harbor (the “world’s smallest navigable harbor,” reads a road sign), channel through rocks and, with a resounding […]


Contraceptive vaccine under study for elephants and horses
November 21, 2011

Contraceptive vaccine under study for elephants and horses

For Ursula Bechert, reducing conflicts between wild animals and people comes down to good birth control.

The first lesson the elephants taught Ursula Bechert was that they had a sense of humor.


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 […]


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 […]