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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 […]


October 15, 2015

Seventy Years of Peril and Hope

View the sweep of nuclear history at the Valley Library

LINUS PAULING, OREGON STATE’S MOST FAMOUS ALUMNUS, spent the latter years of his life warning the world about the humanitarian and environmental threats posed by nuclear weapons. His international activism earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. (See “Like Looking Over His Shoulder,” Terra, Summer 2008.) Now, Pauling’s alma mater is again raising nuclear […]


Seahorse Inspires Robotics
October 15, 2015

Seahorse Inspires Robotics

Engineers find resilience in square structure

The seahorse has a tail with a grasping mechanism to cling to seaweed or coral reefs, which could be useful for robotics applications that need to be strong, but also energy-efficient.


Small World
October 15, 2015

Small World

Device could disrupt a $3 billion industry

Game-changing technology sometimes comes in small packages. For example, with two magnets and a lightbulb filament — a package thinner than a deck of cards — Joe Beckman and a team of Oregon State University collaborators may revolutionize the mass spectrometry (aka, “mass spec”) industry. Their device amplifies the sensitivity and precision of technology that […]


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 […]


Stormy Waters
October 15, 2015

Stormy Waters

Joe Kemper helps solve a local dispute over flooding and ditches

Maneuvering a tiny boat over thundering ledges in places like Oregon’s Opal Creek Wilderness is no more dodgy than facilitating a series of community meetings in a tiny Coast Range town.


The Language of the Sublime
October 14, 2015

The Language of the Sublime

Henry Sayre’s written and spoken stories about art have opened countless students’ eyes

Art historian Henry Sayre has traveled to Europe dozens of times as a scholar — or, more precisely, as a pilgrim. He has shared his passion for art with millions of students in classrooms, virtual as well as physical, and in the pages of his written works, which include the bestselling textbook, A World of Art.


Sequencing the Beaver
October 14, 2015

Sequencing the Beaver

Researchers will do the first whole-genome analysis

  IT HAS ORANGE TEETH that grow throughout its lifetime. It chews relentlessly on trees and builds dams that shape habitats across the continent. In earlier centuries, its fur was the currency of empires. While a lot is known about the North American beaver (Castor canadensis), the animal’s complete genome has never been sequenced. Until […]


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.


The Mystery of the Disappearing Birds
October 13, 2015

The Mystery of the Disappearing Birds

How a mountaintop became an island and what it teaches us about biogeography and fragmentation

Once upon a time Barro Colorado Island was a mountaintop, rising from the trackless rainforest that carpeted the Isthmus of Panama. Its deep-green slopes hosted pumas and jaguars and more than 200 species of birds.


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.”


Faux Snakeskin and Power Suits
May 13, 2015

Faux Snakeskin and Power Suits

From sweatshops to high-fashion runways, contradictions abound in the apparel industry

In her tailored navy-blue blouse and dark pinstriped trousers, Minjeong Kim looks all business — muted, buttoned-down. But then you notice her shoes. Sitting at her desk in Milam Hall, she lifts her foot to show off the wedged sneaker with its hidden two-and-a-half-inch heel.


Undersea Gliders Think Like a Fish
May 12, 2015

Undersea Gliders Think Like a Fish

Sensors will shed light on ocean ecology

  BY EQUIPPING UNDERWATER GLIDERS with acoustic sensors and computer software, Oregon State oceanographers are teaching the autonomous vehicles to identify biological hot spots in the oceans. “We want to get a better handle on what kind of marine animals are out there, how many there are, where they are distributed and how they respond […]


Computing Resilience
May 11, 2015

Computing Resilience

University consortium targets community infrastructure

Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and other natural disasters strike with little or no warning. By developing new computer tools to evaluate buildings, utility networks and other infrastructure, Oregon State is helping communities to reduce damage and speed recovery.


OSU Advantage: Wood Panel Promise
May 11, 2015

OSU Advantage: Wood Panel Promise

Rapid construction, quake-resistant performance

Not since the development of plywood has a material innovation so thoroughly changed the construction process. “It’s an entirely new technology,” says Lech Muszynski. “It revolutionizes the way we build with wood.”


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.


Student-Built Solar Car to the Middle East
May 11, 2015

Student-Built Solar Car to the Middle East

Oregon State’s Phoenix runs in Abu Dhabi’s first solar race

AT LAST WINTER’S ABU DHABI Solar Challenge, residents of the Persian Gulf emirate would pull alongside competitors on the highway, lean out and take photos of the solar-powered vehicles. Solar cars are as much a novelty there as in the United States, says John Ren, a member of the solar car team at Oregon State […]


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.


Student Research: Electric Earth
May 11, 2015

Student Research: Electric Earth

Honors student looks at how the West was made

Through the science of geomagnetics, an Oregon State University senior from Beaverton is peering into the structure of the Earth’s crust with an eye on how the continent is put together and what that might mean for our future.


Perspectives: Discovering Our “Research-Impact” Identities
May 11, 2015

Perspectives: Discovering Our “Research-Impact” Identities

Transcending the academic rat race and remembering why we do science

“It’s essential to help faculty transcend the rat race, to create something new, to grow research impacts from the set of underlying principles that burn in the heart of each researcher.”


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.


Anatomy of a Climate Tool
May 11, 2015

Anatomy of a Climate Tool

A scientist and a student achieve mind-meld with sagebrush managers

A climate scientist and a student surveyed land managers in sagebrush country to create a blueprint for a practical, nimble, accessible computer tool for helping manage fires, protect wildlife, reseed vegetation and control invasives in a shifting landscape.


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 […]