Tag » Science

A New Lens on Wildlife
April 1, 2008

A New Lens on Wildlife

What do the following Oregon animals have in common: the northern red-legged frog, the chestnut-backed chickadee, the western pond turtle and the river otter? All fall into the traditional wildlife designation “non-game.” “It’s a catch-all category for those species that aren’t being managed for hunting or fishing,” says OSU wildlife ecologist Bruce Dugger. That once-undifferentiated […]


Building the Pauling Legacy
January 23, 2008

Building the Pauling Legacy

Oregon native Linus Pauling had already won two Nobel prizes when he turned his genius to the chemical complexities of diet and health. Not content to rest on his laurels as a world-renowned chemist and international peace activist, Pauling plunged with characteristic ardor into the study of micronutrients, particularly vitamin C, in the late 1960s. […]


Scientists to Bark Beetle: “No Vacancy”
January 23, 2008

Scientists to Bark Beetle: “No Vacancy”

You think it’s difficult to master a complex foreign language like Chinese or Greek? Try learning how to speak “bark beetle.” After about 30 years of study, researchers at OSU have done exactly that. Along with U.S. Forest Service colleagues, they’ve figured out what a particular pheromone is communicating to Douglas–fir bark beetles and now […]


Invaders in the Dunes
January 23, 2008

Invaders in the Dunes

Unnoticed by most beach–goers, a showdown is under way in Oregon’s coastal dunes, and the winner could pack increased risks for coastal property, especially during winter storms. OSU scientists have documented a slow but steady takeover by American beach grass (Ammophila breviligulata), an invasive species from the East Coast and Great Lakes. They have found […]


More Than Machines
July 23, 2007

More Than Machines

TekBots bring students together

Educating tomorrow’s electrical engineers has come to this: Teamwork, creativity and ownership are as important as the principles of theory and design. All get rolled into a box that first-year Oregon State University students receive in their introduction to the field. Inside are circuit and charger boards, wheels, a steel roller ball and assorted electrical […]


April 1, 2007

Grinding Out Lessons From the Earth

When Jeremiah Oxford, a master’s student from Coos Bay, Oregon, isn’t in class or writing a paper, he puts his mind to that most unacademic of tasks: grinding rocks. Tedious as it might sound, his work in Robert Duncan’s lab in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences isn’t a punishment. Instead, he is preparing […]


April 1, 2007

A Student’s View

To become a research scientist and a teacher — that’s Sam VanLaningham’s goal. The OSU Ph.D. student from Ellensburg, Washington, received his master’s degree working with Andrew Meigs in the Department of Geosciences. For his Ph.D., VanLaningham walked next door to study with Bob Duncan and Nick Pisias in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric […]


April 1, 2007

Lessons From the Zumwalt Prairie

Grazing for nature

When Marcy Cottrell Houle headed to the Zumwalt Prairie in the 1980s with her topo maps, tree-climbing gear and raptor leg bands to study hawks, she assumed wildlife and cows were incompatible. After all, that was the prevailing view — and there were millions of overgrazed acres across the West to prove it. So when […]


April 1, 2007

Minding the Dairy

Scientists reveal a killer’s M.O.

Little matters more to dairy farmers than the purity of their product and the health of their animals. So when Warren “Buzz” Gibson, co-owner and herd manager at the Lochmead Dairy in Junction City, Oregon, heard six years ago that an incurable cattle disease called Johne’s (pronounced “yo-knees”) could threaten his reputation for quality, he […]


High Alert
April 1, 2007

High Alert

Large carnivores promote healthy ecosystems by keeping browsers on edge

In a remote corner of Zion National Park, a small herd of mule deer browse quietly. Through the sun-dappled canyon burbles North Creek, its waters cool and clear, its banks green and reedy, alive with frogs, butterflies and bird-song. But this pastoral scene in southern Utah has a dark subtext, subtle yet unmistakable in the […]


February 1, 2007

Communication Breakdown

Cell signaling key to healthy arteries

Hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure may result from a breakdown in cell communications, researchers in OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute have discovered. The finding could pave the way for new dietary measures and pharmaceuticals to reduce cardiovascular diseases. “It’s also a key to understanding the biological effects of inflammation, which increasingly seems to […]


February 1, 2007

Pressure’s On

High-strength building products

It was a great idea, just ahead of its time. More than 50 years ago, engineers came up with a way to increase the strength and stiffness of wood. By applying steam, heat and pressure, they increased strength by about 250 percent. Problem was, strong wood was in plentiful supply. So, except for some minor […]


February 1, 2007

Genes of Autumn

“Its leaves have been asking it from time to time, in a whisper, ‘When shall we redden?’” Henry David Thoreau Autumnal Tints, 1862 The magical transformation of autumn leaves inspires poets and awes observers. But the genetic triggers that produce those stunning colors have long baffled scientists. Until now. OSU researchers, studying aspens with scientists […]


February 1, 2007

Across the Divide

Parting the Waters.

In the summer of 1997, Aaron Wolf and a Berber guide trekked up narrow mountain paths to a village high in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Despite the steep terrain, they walked lightly. A donkey carried their gear. As they moved toward snowcapped peaks, they crossed one dry, rocky ridge after another. It took four […]


February 1, 2007

Small Miracles

Harnessing nanotechnology

Nanotechnology has arrived. No longer do we just have to imagine the benefits. Advertisers tout them in cosmetics, clothing, batteries, dental adhesives, paint and golf clubs. In 2004, nanotech consultant Lux Research, Inc., estimated the worldwide sale of products containing nanomaterials at $158 billion. And new products are on the horizon: medicines, sensors, filters and […]


July 23, 2006

Genome Explorer

Larry Wilhelm knows computers, but they weren’t his first love.