Category » Healthy People

Elusive Equity
May 13, 2015

Elusive Equity

Oregon State tackles the persistent bias inhibiting women in STEM fields

“It is not lack of talent, but unintentional biases and outmoded institutional structures that are hindering the access and advancement of women.”
— Beyond Bias and Barriers, National Academy of Sciences


Kathleen Bogart
May 13, 2015

Kathleen Bogart

Assistant Professor, School of Psychological Sciences

Kathleen Bogart doesn’t take communication for granted. Even as a child, she was aware that people responded to her differently. She was born with Moebius Syndrome, a condition that causes facial paralysis and difficulty in moving eyes from side to side. She had to work to make herself understood. In college, Bogart found that Moebius […]


Margaret Burnett
May 13, 2015

Margaret Burnett

Professor of Computer Science, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

When Margaret Burnett was growing up in the 1960s, being a female with a gift for math led to one likely career: teaching. She didn’t see herself in front of a classroom, but when a neighbor got a job with IBM after majoring in math in college, Burnett saw an opportunity. As an undergraduate at […]


Lisa Gaines
May 13, 2015

Lisa Gaines

Director, Institute for Natural Resources

Lisa Gaines’ grandmother made it a priority to educate her girls. “I will educate my daughters before I educate my sons,” Gaines remembers her saying. Gaines’ grandmother lived her entire life in the black community in St. Louis and saw that young men “always found a way of making it through, but women did not.” […]


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 […]


Catalina Segura
May 13, 2015

Catalina Segura

Assistant Professor, College of Forestry

As the daughter of a physics professor and a lawyer, Catalina Segura set her sites on working in a university. Her father was “truly excited to use science to make a difference,” she recalls. “He was very inspiring.” But growing up in Bogotá, Colombia, which ranks among the world’s 25 largest cities, Segura turned her […]


Holly Swisher
May 13, 2015

Holly Swisher

Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics

In her first year in college (Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma), music almost won out over mathematics for Holly Swisher’s attention. During her high school years in Salem, she had played piano and bassoon in a youth symphony, sang in a choir and even played drums in the marching band. But her love of math wouldn’t […]


The Adams File:  Beyond Appearances
May 13, 2015

The Adams File: Beyond Appearances

Diversity creates opportunities and challenges

“In a multicultural environment, the boundaries of behavior and appearance are wider than they are in a single culture. But they matter less than the content of ideas and the commitment to values.”


Lack of Vitamin E May Threaten Brain Health
May 11, 2015

Lack of Vitamin E May Threaten Brain Health

Micronutrient could be an Alzheimer’s risk factor

New research shows that vitamin E is needed to prevent a dramatic loss of a critically important molecule in the brain and helps explain why vitamin E is needed for brain health.


Of Mice, Astronauts and the Elderly
May 11, 2015

Of Mice, Astronauts and the Elderly

Studying bone loss on the International Space Station

With funding from NASA, scientists from Oregon State are looking at how mice expend energy under weightless conditions. Specifically, they want to know if the manner in which animals regulate body temperature affects bone loss.


The Crossing
May 11, 2015

The Crossing

A scholar resides comfortably astride the sciences-humanities divide

English professor Raymond Malewitz will take you on an intellectual romp that careens from crime-scene forensics to IKEA hackers, from the Sokal hoax to mad-cow disease, from “salvagepunks” to the Adventures of Tintin.


Natural Determination
April 27, 2015

Natural Determination

Documenting women’s fight for equity in wildlife biology

To be a wildlife biologist, it helps to have skills: to climb 30 feet up a tree to reach an eagle’s nest, to monitor a tranquilized wolf before it wakes or to track a wolverine in the high country. And in years past, it would have helped to be a man. For much of the […]


February 13, 2015

Toward Optimal Health

On Our Borderless Orb

On a lonely planet beset by toxic chemicals, animal-to-human infections, cancers of all kinds, rampant obesity and a looming Centenarian Boom, the “One Health” concept just makes sense


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 […]


Mining the Micronutrient Mother Lode
February 13, 2015

Mining the Micronutrient Mother Lode

Millions visit LPI website to learn about vitamins

The nutrition aisle of your local supermarket can make you dizzy. Row upon row, bottle after bottle of tablets and capsules promise health, youth, vigor, longevity, energy, regularity — even better sex. How do you choose one from another? How much should you take? Should children take a daily multivitamin? Do supplements even work? To […]


The Copper Connection
February 13, 2015

The Copper Connection

Experiments show potential for new ALS treatment

If you’re unlucky enough to get Lou Gehrig’s disease (aka, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS), treatment options are few. One drug, Riluzole, has been shown to marginally increase survival. Other drugs can be used to manage ALS symptoms, but there is no cure. For more than a decade, Joe Beckman has been studying the chemistry […]


Opening a Dialog About Food Insecurity
February 13, 2015

Opening a Dialog About Food Insecurity

Pediatric practitioners learn to tackle tough questions

There’s a paradox in Oregon’s hunger picture: Families who are short on food may end up overweight. That’s because dollars stretch farther on “high-energy” foods (noodles, bread and other carbs) than on “high-nutrient” foods (fresh fruit, fish, poultry and other vitamin- and protein-rich items). Trouble is, when people struggle with “food insecurity” (spotty access to […]


OSU ADVANTAGE: Business for Life
February 13, 2015

OSU ADVANTAGE: Business for Life

Accelerator provides a safe space for health-care startups

Got an idea for a new drug to treat antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis? Or maybe a diagnostic test for cancer? A new medical device to treat sepsis (blood poisoning)? How about a nutraceutical (product containing herb- or food-based nutrients) for a dietary supplement? Researchers at Oregon State University are investigating these and other advancements in health care. […]


Climate Change and Health
February 12, 2015

Climate Change and Health

Impacts are likely from heat waves, drought and more

As the world warms, insects and pathogens are on the move. Heat waves are getting hotter and more frequent. Algal blooms are increasing in frequency, intensity and duration, posing risks to drinking water and shellfish consumption. Wildfires are putting more particulates into the air, leading to increases in asthma and hospital admissions for respiratory distress. […]


Microcosms for Nano
February 12, 2015

Microcosms for Nano

Small particles affect the life of cells

Many of the products we buy — sunscreen, stain- and odor-resistant clothing, fuel additives, sports equipment — contain nanoparticles that have been designed for a purpose. These materials (about 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair) can block sunlight, prevent microbial growth, lubricate surfaces and confer tensile strength. However, in some cases, […]


Radioactive Ecology
February 12, 2015

Radioactive Ecology

Sensitivity changes from species to species

With memories of the Fukushima nuclear disaster still fresh, radioactive pollution can generate strong feelings among members of the public. So when questions arise about health impacts on humans and other organisms, Kathryn Higley can find herself in the media spotlight. The head of Oregon State University’s Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics […]


The Adams File: The Future of Health Care
February 12, 2015

The Adams File: The Future of Health Care

Effective strategy demands a holistic approach

As planning for this issue of Terra got underway, the Ebola outbreak was capturing attention in medical journals and news reports and across the Internet. There were fears of a pandemic. Previously known only in Africa, the disease had appeared in the United States and Spain. Public health specialists struggled to cut the rate of […]


Long-Term Care
February 12, 2015

Long-Term Care

Latino families extend caregiving for elders

Aging may be a universal experience, but culture and ethnicity affect how aging relatives fit into the family picture. Latino families, says Carolyn Mendez-Luck, tend to care for their elderly family members at home and delay institutionalization, relative to other racial and cultural groups. The assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Human […]


Transmission Lines
February 12, 2015

Transmission Lines

The Atlas of Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are not equal-opportunity illnesses. Much depends on location, income and access to clean water, medical care and public health services. For example, mosquito control is still a bulwark against malaria and yellow fever. Historically, trade routes were highways for pathogens such as Vibrio cholera and Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that cause cholera and […]


Uncharted Territory
February 12, 2015

Uncharted Territory

Health care adapting to longer lives

As adults live longer, the challenge of maintaining health through their senior years increases. Differences among individuals become more pronounced and older people may not respond to treatments as they would have when they were younger. The field of geriatric health care is moving forward rapidly, says Michelle Odden, an epidemiologist at Oregon State University. […]


February 12, 2015

Squinting at a Diagnosis

  The wind blew unseasonably bitter the day my sister and I took Mom to her first oncology appointment. As Mom leaned into the gale, her jaunty hat flew up suddenly and whirled away. The hairstyle she’d arranged with such care was defeated. “I’m nervous,” she said as we sat waiting for the doctor at […]