Category » Features

The Secret Life of Honeybees
July 5, 2011

The Secret Life of Honeybees

Ramesh Sagili investigates the causes of honeybee decline

Strapped into a small holding device, the honeybee amiably wiggles its antennae. Like a toddler in a highchair, it seems to reach greedily for the dropper with sugar water that appears over its head. As its mouth opens, its tongue darts out for a taste of the sweet liquid.


Canines to the Rescue
June 1, 2011

Canines to the Rescue

Dogs with cancer point scientists to treatments for people

The similarities are uncanny. Bone tumors, whether from a teenager’s leg or the paw of the teen’s pet dog, look virtually identical. If you biopsy those tumors and examine them under a microscope, you’d be hard pressed to tell one from the other. That’s why oncology research at Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine […]


Saving Orion
June 1, 2011

Saving Orion

OSU's cutting-edge oncology clinic offers hope for one family's dog

Unlike humans, whose hair falls out during chemotherapy, dogs don’t lose their fur. I didn’t learn that when I was training to be an oncologist. I know it now because my dog has cancer. My 9-year-old golden retriever Orion, who is undergoing a pioneering cancer treatment at Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, still […]


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 […]


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, […]


Optimizing Energy
April 26, 2011

Optimizing Energy

Simulations and modeling help to boost a fuel cell's energy output

Imagine a black box with knobs on the outside that you can turn. If you add fuel, the box produces electricity. By adjusting the knobs, you can change the power output, but there’s a catch — you’re not sure how far to turn the knobs to produce the most power. For researchers at Oregon State […]


A Slippery Slope
April 22, 2011

A Slippery Slope

Warm rains and glacial melting trigger dangerous debris flows

Grinding over ancient layers of lava and ash, the glaciers of the Cascade Range act like supersized sheets of shrinkwrap. Stretched taut across tons of pulverized rock, these blankets of frozen snow hold sand, gravel and boulders in place — that is, until they start to melt. Then the sediments, unlocked from the glaciers’ icy […]


Lines in the Water
February 1, 2011

Lines in the Water

Communities and scientists explore proposed marine reserves

As fishermen, scientists and coastal communities spar over Oregon’s system of marine reserves, OSU researchers and their partners are developing the science. One of their first testing grounds is Port Orford’s Redfish Rocks.


Down to the Gulf
February 1, 2011

Down to the Gulf

In the wake of the largest oil spill in U.S. waters, OSU scientists are monitoring whales, chemical pollution and fish.

Bruce Mate didn’t wait long. Within days of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, he was on the phone with officials from the U.S. Minerals Management Service. He and other OSU researchers are analyzing consequences of the largest spill in U.S. waters. Meanwhile, Oregon photographer Justin Bailie was on the scene in Terrebonne Parish.


Plankton Planet
February 1, 2011

Plankton Planet

Ocean microbes hold the key to marine ecosystems.

On a South Pacific research expedition, Angelicque White and Ricardo Letelier encountered a surprise: An intense red tide surrounded the ship. (Photo: Angelicque White)


Tipping Point
February 1, 2011

Tipping Point

West Coast research consortium tackles ocean acidification

In the summer, you may have to go 20 miles out to sea to find it, but close to the seafloor, near the edge of Oregon’s continental shelf, is a preview of the future: water as acidic as what the world’s oceans may be like in 50 to 100 years. “The future of ocean acidification […]


Cascadia Roulette
January 25, 2011

Cascadia Roulette

The odds are good that a major earthquake will strike the Pacific Northwest in the near future. We're overdue, says Robert Yeats.

Bob Yeats has spent his career preparing people for the possible: a catastrophic earthquake


First Oregon ShakeOut
January 25, 2011

First Oregon ShakeOut

On January 26, Oregonians will participate in the state’s first Oregon ShakeOut to raise earthquake awareness. What they learn could save lives when the next Big One hits.


Yellow tang study shows marine reserve benefit
December 22, 2010

Yellow tang study shows marine reserve benefit

The popular aquarium fish are rebounding after being nearly wiped out

Marine ecologists at Oregon State University have shown for the first time that tiny fish larvae can drift with ocean currents and “re-seed” fish stocks significant distances away – more than 100 miles in a new study from Hawaii.


Quest for the perfect Christmas tree
December 7, 2010

Quest for the perfect Christmas tree

Christmas trees of the future will soon be growing in research greenhouses. (Photo: Lynn Ketchum)


In Earth’s deep crust, microbes abound
November 30, 2010

In Earth’s deep crust, microbes abound

Near a mid-Atlantic Ocean ridge called Atlantis, scientists have discovered a rich microbial ecosystem in the deepest crustal rocks ever explored.


Light on Leaves
October 20, 2010

Light on Leaves

Lasers reveal forest structure in HD

Not long ago if you wanted to measure the height of a tree, you had to do trigonometry on the ground — or gear up for a climb. But these days you have a more sophisticated option: beaming lasers from the sky. A revolutionary airborne technology called LiDAR (“light detection and ranging”) is making it […]


Countdown on the Columbia
October 2, 2010

Countdown on the Columbia

Deadline looms for the river that turned darkness to dawn

More than 400 dams produce power and control floods in the nation’s fourth largest river basin. The U.S./Canada treaty that established responsibilities for water flow and power sharing is due for renewal.


A World Apart
July 23, 2010

A World Apart

Jennifer Kue was just a little girl when she began assisting Portland’s Hmong community.


Teeny Little Steps
July 17, 2010

Teeny Little Steps

Small changes can pay big dividends for overweight kids

Romping in the backyard at Cozy Corners family childcare home, Avery and Lauryn are boosting their health by doing what kids do naturally – running, jumping and playing.


From Problem to Profit
July 17, 2010

From Problem to Profit

Western juniper could benefit Oregon's "green" economy

Which of Oregon’s abundant tree species can provide not only logs for your vacation cabin but scented oil for your afternoon massage and flavor for your evening cocktail? Juniperus occidentalis, western juniper. This hardy species – which is endemic to the dry, rocky grasslands east of the Cascades – has heartwood that is both beautiful […]


On Track
July 17, 2010

On Track

OSU undergraduate accepted into summer biomedical program in Switzerland

By Nick Houtman and Darryl Lai Marsha Lampi runs for distance – 5,000 or 10,000 meters in track, 5,000 or 6,000 meters in cross-country. The former Lincoln High School student from Portland enjoys pacing herself but is always looking to improve. “I usually think, if only I had done this or that differently, I could […]


Summer of Science
July 17, 2010

Summer of Science

Experience Oregon's beauty and bounty through OSU research

Take a hike! Summer may have arrived a bit late in the Pacific Northwest, but you can make up for lost time by exploring Oregon through OSU’s Summer of Science Google map.


Put a Book in Your Backpack
July 17, 2010

Put a Book in Your Backpack

Summer adventures abound in the Northwest, not only across the region’s magnificent landscape but within the covers of books written by Northwesterners about the people and places that make the region unique.


Stones on Ice
June 23, 2010

Stones on Ice

Greenland streams hold clues to future sea levels

Why should the residents of Seattle, San Francisco, New York City and Boston worry about warming in Greenland, an ice-laden island in the North Atlantic? Because if all the water locked in the massive Greenland Ice Sheet flowed into the oceans, low-lying coastal cities worldwide would be inundated. “The Greenland Ice Sheet could contribute up […]


Gene Stalker
April 23, 2010

Gene Stalker

DNA fingerprints reveal clues to ancestry and illicit hunting of cetaceans

Scott Baker, an Oregon State University conservation geneticist and cetacean specialist whose work was featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary, “The Cove,” has been named one of four 2011 Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation.


April 23, 2010

Secret Slaughter

In the seaside village of Taiji, Japan, there’s a jarring juxtaposition: Jolly-looking tour buses shaped like happy dolphins putter up and down the streets by day, while by night fishermen secretly slaughter hundreds of panic-stricken dolphins in a nearby inlet and sell them as meat. This sinister irony permeates the Academy Award-winning movie, The Cove, […]