The generation of huge data sets in gene-sequencing and computer-modeling labs challenges scientists to develop new approaches to information. “Genomics and biocomputing are important areas for the university, and we have invested in faculty in this area in the past two hiring cycles,” says Provost Sabah Randhawa. Through the Biological Informatics and Genomics (BIG) initiative, […]
Tag » College of Science
October 15, 2015
October 15, 2015
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 […]
May 13, 2015
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 […]
May 13, 2015
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 […]
April 22, 2015
The nose of the Boston Whaler dips into the trough of the wave for a stomach-dropping second. The crew and divers now face a wall of water topped by the frothing curl of a break. They ride up so steeply that the boat seems about to topple backward.
February 13, 2015
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 […]
May 28, 2014
“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.
May 28, 2014
Oregon State chemists have discovered an inexpensive and rapid process for turning cellulose into the components of supercapacitors. These high-power energy devices have a wide range of industrial applications, from electronics to automobiles. Cellulose, the primary ingredient in paper, is one of the most abundant organic polymers. By heating it in the presence of ammonia, […]
November 4, 2013
For Courtney Jackson, everything began when she saw a shark swim across a television screen. She was in second grade, and the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week took her underwater and face-to-face with fearsome predators. At the end of it, she came to one conclusion: She wanted to be the scientist swimming with the sharks. A […]
October 10, 2013
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 […]
October 12, 2012
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.
September 17, 2012
When Annika Swanson arrived as a freshman at Oregon State in 2010, she already had a life purpose: join the ranks of research faculty studying the causes and effects of environmental pollution. “I’ve always had a deep interest in the environment and in environmental toxins and pollution. This began when I was younger and my […]
September 10, 2012
Some of today’s flat-panel TV and computer screens are nearly as big as a living room wall. They bring us unimaginably sharp detail, from the spots on butterfly wings to the grimace on a linebacker’s face. Whether hooked up to your cable feed, DVD player or wi-fi, this technology is becoming integral to daily life. However, our love of flashy high-res has a dark side.
July 25, 2012
The term “God particle” tends to rankle physicists. The flippant reference to the recently discovered particle believed to be the Higgs boson was coined by Leon Lederman, the former director of the Department of Energy’s Fermilab and Nobel Prize winning physicist. But, says Ken Krane, nuclear scientist and emeritus professor of physics at Oregon State […]
May 30, 2012
This story has echoes of heroes tramping the Earth (or the galaxy) on a quest to defeat the forces of darkness. Along the way, the travelers encounter strange creatures with remarkable powers. They endure harrowing tests of mental strength and technological prowess. In the end, they prevail, bringing down the enemy and discovering a truth […]
May 30, 2012
It’s one of life’s little ironies. The proteins in our bodies fight infection, carry messages, ferry oxygen and build tissue. But then, like double agents in a spy novel, they can betray us. They overreact to a virus and attack our own organs. They promote cancer, help clog arteries or set up roadblocks in the […]
May 30, 2012
One sunny spring afternoon, friends sat together in the backyard of a Corvallis home sipping wine, bemoaning the recent hike in gas prices to $3.50 per gallon. Among them were a former product-development specialist for Hewlett-Packard and an Oregon State University chemist. Perhaps inspired by the bioethanol in their glasses, what might happen, they wondered, […]
May 29, 2012
Ancient Blood Brothers Like the “sloth moth,” which lives only in the fur of the ambling two-toed and three-toed mammals, the “bat fly” exists only in the fur of the winged, cave-dwelling mammals. Now scientists know that the flea-like, blood-sucking fly has been hanging around with bats for at least 20 million years. That’s because […]
May 24, 2012
There’s nothing like a new pair of eyeglasses to bring fine details into sharp relief. For scientists who study the large molecules of life from proteins to DNA, the equivalent of new lenses has come in the form of an advanced method for analyzing data from X-ray crystallography experiments. Reported in this week’s issue of […]
December 22, 2011
Fungi are master recyclers, turning waste into nutrients and providing humankind with everything from penicillin to pale ale. Although fungi are members of one of the world’s most diverse kingdoms, we know relatively little about them. That is about to change. A new study headed by Joseph Spatafora, an Oregon State University professor of botany […]
December 8, 2011
When Sam Bartlett, an Oregon State University senior in chemistry, put on his lab coat, goggles and latex gloves in the summer of 2010, he didn’t expect to wind up helping organic chemists around the world. With guidance from Chris Beaudry, assistant professor of chemistry, he developed the most efficient and productive method yet reported […]
November 21, 2011
The first lesson the elephants taught Ursula Bechert was that they had a sense of humor.
October 27, 2011
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 […]
October 12, 2011
The other day, I found myself sharing a room with 3 million dead bugs.
February 21, 2011
Walk into an upper-level college physics classroom almost anywhere in the country, and you’ll see students sitting down, listening to the professor and taking notes. Despite years of education research showing that students learn better by being active, the common curriculum for juniors and seniors in physics still emphasizes passivity. In recent years, a revolution […]
February 1, 2011
Microbes are masters of adaptation. In some of Earth’s most extreme environments — Antarc- tica’s frigid ice fields, Yellowstone’s sulfuric hot springs, Crater Lake’s lightless depths, the oceans’ deep-sea basalts — Stephen Giovannoni has discovered thriving communities of bacteria. As the holder of the Emile F. Pernot Distinguished Professorship in Microbiology, he has discovered some […]
February 1, 2011
Lionfish memo to coral reefs in the Bahamas: There’s a new predator in town. Native to the South Pacific, the invasive lionfish is reducing the abundance of native fishes on coral reefs in the Bahamas (see “Deep Ecology,” in Terra, spring 2008). OSU zoologist Mark Hixon leads a team of graduate students and other collaborators […]
December 22, 2010
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.
May 23, 2008
A love of bugs led Chris Marshall to take a white-knuckle flight into a remote South American rainforest. With an eye on cataloging the diversity of these rich ecosystems before they vanish, he returned with species never seen by scientists.
April 4, 2008
When talk turns to the mud-dwelling creatures of the deep seafloor, Mark Hixon jumps up from his swivel chair, strides to a cabinet in his office and swings open the door. Taking out a long cardboard box, he gently lays it on his desk. “This,” he says, reaching inside, “is a sponge from just off […]