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Author: Cherie Winner

63 article(s) found by this author.

Talking turkey
Winter 2009
As you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, you might like to know that turkey farming in North America has been around a lot longer than you thought. New genetic tools applied to a common turkey byproduct have given turkey afficionados a lot more to think about.
Categories: Archaeology, Anthropology
Tags: Turkeys, Coprolites, Basketmaker culture, Southwest United States, Pueblo culture, DNA

Safer skies
Fall 2009
When Alaska’s Mount Redoubt volcano rumbled to life this past spring, images of the plume of ash rising from it probably revived terrifying memories among 240 people who survived its last eruption in 1989. They’d been passengers on KLM flight ...
Categories: Earth sciences
Tags: Geology, Volcanoes

Poised for playing
Fall 2009
Anyone who has taken music lessons has probably absorbed enough instructions about posture to feel like a raw recruit at basic training: Stand straight! Head up! Toes forward! Leah Jordan, who is starting her senior year at Washington State Unive...
Categories: Music
Tags: Posture, Musical instruments, Trumpet, Music education

The Shape of Things to Come
Fall 2009
"Life is a process of self-assembly," says biochemist Alex Li. Proteins make up our hair and muscle, our brains and lungs, our enzymes and antibodies, and each one must attain a particular shape in order to do its work. Which they do with no outside help, following specific assembly codes built into their structure.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Molecular biology, Proteins, Protein folding

Picture this
Summer 2009
Doerte Blume is good at explaining difficult concepts. She draws as she talks, putting into pictures what she knows about the tiniest fragments of matter. Her desk is swimming in paper, with notes and graphs and sketches of atoms lapping at the si...
Categories: Physics
Tags: Superconductivity, Subatomic particles

Web Extra :: Pasteur’s Quadrant
Summer 2009
Reporters, college administrators, and even scientists themselves often talk about basic and applied research as if they are the two ends of a spectrum, and that most research can be described as being either “purely basic,” with no practical ...
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Innovation, Research

Straight shot to a breakthrough? Don't count on it
Summer 2009
There are two sides to everything, says entomologist William Snyder of his biocontrol research. Along the way to developing a “practical” approach for crop defense, he answered a fundamental evolutionary question: Why are there so many species?
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Research, Innovation

Bring on the boron
Summer 2009
by Cherie Winner :: Lai-Sheng Wang has an impish smile, an infectious laugh, and a high-powered research program that studies matter a few atoms at a time. He uses massive machines to create tiny clusters of atoms. Wang’s clusters aren...
Categories: Chemistry
Tags: Chemical engineering, Boron

Review :: Sudoku for Lunch
Spring 2009
How does one review a book of Sudoku puzzles? There's no plot, no metaphor, no elegant or awkward use of language. There are just the puzzles, which themselves are pure pattern. But the puzzle-making process clearly involves skill and attention...
Categories: Puzzles
Tags: Sudoku

The webs we weave
Spring 2009
Every time you board a plane, turn on a light, or chat with a neighbor, you become part of a network: the air traffic system, the power grid, the pool of possible victims of a virus. To Sandip Roy, an assistant professor of electrical engineering a...
Categories: Engineering
Tags: Systems engineering, Networks

You Must Remember This
Spring 2009
Having reached a certain age, our correspondent sets out to learn the latest from Washington State University researchers about memory. She learns that memory comes in different forms, that the human brain is made for problem-solving, and that the key to much of brain health is the "dendritic arbor." And then she sets out to create an action plan.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Memory, Alzheimer's Disease

Web Extra :: Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe's work to help people with memory loss
Spring 2009
Whether the problems stem from normal aging, diseases like Alzheimer’s, or traumatic brain injury, impaired memory can turn even routine tasks into major challenges. The main focus of Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe’s work is finding ways to help ...
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, Memory

Web Extra :: Videos of the James Entomology Collection
Winter 2008
A series of videos introducing WSU's James Entomology Collection and its work in research, collection, education and service....
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Museums, Entomology, Video

Web Extra :: Videos of the Conner Museum
Winter 2008
A series of videos introducing WSU's Conner Museum and its work in research, education, and public service. The Charles R. Conner Museum features the largest public collection of birds and mammals in the Pacific Northwest, and the scientific collecti...
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Research, Genetics, Zoology, Museums, Video

Web Extra :: Stable isotope work at WSU
Winter 2008
Several WSU scientists are gearing up to use stable isotope analysis to ask new questions of the Conner's specimens. Physiologists Ray Lee and Hubert Schwabl joined Dick Johnson and visiting scientist Elizabeth Yohannes of Germany's M...
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Zoology, Museums

Web Extra :: Tracking a cattle disease
Winter 2008
In addition to consulting botanists at the Ownbey Herbarium, retired veterinarian Clive Gay and range scientist Ernie Motteram have dipped into the specimen drawers and expertise at the James Entomology Collection. They have  been working with c...
Categories: Botany
Tags: Museums, Herbarium

Web Extra :: Dem bones
Winter 2008
The Conner has one of the biggest collections of bird skeletons in the nation. Kelly Cassidy opens a drawer and pulls out a box the size of a small microwave oven. It rattles. It contains a disarticulated golden eagle skeleton, each piece labeled ...
Categories: Anthropology, Biological sciences
Tags: Museums, Zoology

Web Extra :: Coping with Climate Change
Winter 2008
Several years ago, scientists noticed that recent herbarium specimens had been collected earlier in the season than specimens from decades past. Since most plants are collected when they are in flower, that meant they were flowering earlier. The ...
Categories: Biological sciences, Botany
Tags: Museums, Herbarium

Web Extra :: Where the Conner specimens come from
Winter 2008
"We get a lot of things that people might not think we'd get a lot of," says Kelly Cassidy. She opens a drawer to reveal one cedar waxwing and five Bohemian waxwings that were brought in by a Pullman resident on a single day. They'd flown into he...
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Museums, Zoology

Special delivery
Winter 2008
Cliff Berkman is taking aim at prostate cancer.The Washington State University chemist is using part of the cancer cells themselves as a bull's eye, targeting a protein that occurs on prostate cancer cells and nowhere else.The protein, called PSMA ...
Categories: Chemistry
Tags: Prostate cancer

Gateway to Rodinia
Winter 2008
A cantaloupe-sized chunk of granite from the other side of the world has revealed that nearly a billion years ago, the Palouse was "ground zero" when a supercontinent called Rodinia broke up. "This was the edge of the continent," says Washington ...
Categories: Earth sciences
Tags: Geology, Rodinia, Supercontinents

Fine Specimens
Winter 2008
Washington State University is home to three superb research collections, all begun soon after the young agricultural college opened its doors. What makes them research collections, says Ownbey Herbarium director Larry Hufford, is "sheer numbers." The Conner Zoology Museum has about 69,000 specimens, the Herbarium about 375,000, and the James Entomology Collection more than 1.25 million. These numbers make WSU's collections among the best in the nation.
Categories: Botany, Biological sciences
Tags: Herbarium, Zoology, Entomology, Museums

Web Extra :: Value of the collections
Winter 2008
"[The collections] answer to a lot of people," says Rich Zack. "They answer a lot of questions, and at times they can generate funds, but it's not a steady stream of funds. Often you're answering small questions from hundreds of people." Any one ...
Categories: Biological sciences, Botany
Tags: Museums

Seeing red (and far-red)
Fall 2008
Ask crop scientist Michael Neff about plant growth, and he won't talk about rainfall or fertilizer. He'll talk about what the plants see."What I've been interested in forever is how plants use light as a source of information," says Neff. "Plants ...
Categories: Biological sciences, Agriculture
Tags: Plant behavior, Infrared

Let the invasions begin
Fall 2008
As Beijing prepared to welcome athletes and spectators to the Olympic Games, a quieter and much less welcome influx was already under way. According to a new study by Washington State University ecologist Richard Mack and four Chinese colleagues,...
Categories: Environmental studies
Tags: Invasive weeds, China

If you don't ask...
Fall 2008
Tiffany Ludka ‘04 has a piece of advice for students with big bills: It never hurts to ask for help. During her first year of medical school at the University of Washington, the Colfax native hit on the idea of asking the medical community in h...
Categories: Campus life
Tags: College costs, Financial aid

To Err is Human
Fall 2008
The older a woman is when she conceives, the more likely it is her eggs will have abnormal chromosomes. But beyond the fact of the biological clock, we often overlook a bigger story. Even with young mothers, chromosome abnormalities are the single most frequent cause of miscarriage and birth defects. Between 25 and 30 percent of all fertilized human eggs have the wrong number of chromosomes, a rate that seems peculiar to humans.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Genetics, Birth defects, Chromosomes

Web Extra :: Why do good eggs go bad?
Fall 2008
 In 2004, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York produced a line of mice with an intriguing mutation. The mice make a defective form of a protein called SMC1beta that binds to chromosomes during the crossing-over stage. Pat Hun...
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Chromosomes, Birth defects

What a dive
Summer 2008
The Washington State University biologist, who retired in 2001 after decades of studying marine worms, was shorebound when the stubby little submarine called Alvin first carried humans to the bottom of the sea. Schroeder remembers the excitement ...
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Marine biology

"A joyous sight to see"
Summer 2008
The next time you visit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, take a good look around. This is the only Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) facility in the nation that is home to a botanical garden, and the garden is due prima...
Categories: Botany
Tags: Gardens, Seattle

Masters of Disguise
Summer 2008
WSU researchers close in on an elusive pair of pathogens. Their hunt may help small-scale farmers around the world.
Categories: Veterinary medicine
Tags: Animal health, Livestock, Anaplasma

Web Extra :: Sparingly introduced in waste places
Spring 2008
Although scientists have been aware of biological invasions at least since the mid-1800s, when Charles Darwin noted the rampant spread of European species in South America, only recently has the scientific community recognized the broader threat i...
Categories: Botany
Tags: Invasive weeds, Cheatgrass

The orphan flower
Spring 2008
In a Washington State University greenhouse, on the roof of Abelson Hall, dwells an orphan. Sheltered by a translucent plastic tent that diffuses the sunlight, drenched in water that keeps the air heavy with moisture, a semitropical plant called ...
Categories: Botany
Tags: Tropical plants, Gardening

Through the Garden Gate
Spring 2008
Invasive species--plants, animals, and microbes--have been estimated to cost American businesses and taxpayers at least $122 billion every year in damaged property, lost productivity, and control efforts. However, perhaps more costly in the long run is the damage done to natural communities.
Categories: Botany, Biological sciences
Tags: Gardening, Invasive weeds

Creatures from the Dark Lagoons
Winter 2007
Cynthia Haseltine wants everyone to know that the microbes she works with are not bacteria.They look like bacteria; each Sulfolobus is a single cell that has one circular chromosome and lacks a nucleus. But in their genes and the way they read and...
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Microbes, Microbiology

Time will tell
Winter 2007
Climate change is nothing new to our planet. But this time it's different. The carbon dioxide we are putting into the air through industry, vehicle emissions, and deforestation is changing the way our soil works. That in turn affects plant, animal, and eventually human life. Through their research Washington State University scientists are challenging the conventional view that more plants and forests will solve our CO2 problems.
Categories: Biological sciences, Environmental studies
Tags: Ecology, Climate change

Web Extra :: Video: A Buzz about Bees
Fall 2007
Walter (Steve) Sheppard is one busy man, flying his own plane around the Pacific Northwest to meet with beekeepers and deliver queen-breeding stock produced in his honey bee breeding program to beekeeper collaborators. He also travels to countries...
Categories: Biological sciences, Entomology
Tags: Video, Bees, Colony collapse disorder

Contagion! Emerging diseases: Unraveling the mystery
Fall 2007
What makes some strains of pathogenic microbes nastier than others? Why do they emerge when and where they do? Are we more susceptible now than in the past, and if so, why? At least partial answers to these troubling questions may lie with snails and salamanders.
Categories: Biological sciences, Veterinary medicine
Tags: Diseases, Epidemic, Animal health

Student of light: Recent grad transcends boundaries
Fall 2007
"When you come to a fork in the road," said Yogi Berra, "take it."Xavier Perez-Moreno has done just that.Last spring the effusive, pony-tailed Spaniard received a Ph.D. conferred by Washington State University and The Catholic University of Leuven...
Categories: Chemistry, Physics, WSU students
Tags: Theoretical physics

Borrowing nature's designs
Fall 2007
In Michael Knoblauch's lab, the gap between fundamental research and practical applications is a narrow one.Knoblauch studies the inner workings of phloem (FLOAM), the channels that transport water and nutrients throughout a plant. Research doesn'...
Categories: Botany, Biological sciences
Tags: Research

Counting cougs
Summer 2007
Between 1995, the year before Washington banned the hunting of cougars with hounds, and 2000, the number of human-cougar encounters nearly quadrupled. Although encounters have returned to pre-ban levels in some areas, the public perception is that cougars are making a comeback--and must be stopped. But Hillary Cooley and Rob Wielgus insist that much of what we think we know about cougars is wrong. And their argument rests with the young males.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Wildlife, Cougars

Biology by the numbers
Summer 2007
In normal times, Europe's brown bears live in a state of happy equilibrium. But under certain circumstances, things can go seriously awry, leading the males to commit what researcher Robert Wielgus calls sexually selected infanticide. Wielgus's most powerful tool against this eventuality is math.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Europe, Wildlife, Bears

Questioning the questions
Summer 2007
A few years ago, when an academic publisher approached Dirk Schulze-Makuch about writing a book on the search for extraterrestrial life, the astrobiologist couldn't resist."You're not often getting asked to write a book about life in the universe,...
Categories: Space sciences
Tags: Astrobiology, Extraterrestrial life

Happy—and healthy—ever after
Summer 2007
"In sickness or in health. . ."That noble sentiment of the traditional marriage vow says your spouse promises to stick with you if you get sick. What it doesn't say, and what a study by Washington State University psychologist John Ruiz (photo) an...
Categories: Psychology
Tags: Marriage

Jane Goodall visits Pullman
Summer 2007
Nearly 6,000 people came to Beasley Coliseum the evening of March 8 to hear Jane Goodall speak about chimpanzees, conservation, and her own growth from shy child to scientific celebrity. In the early 1960s, she became the first person to observe c...
Categories: Campus life, Biological sciences
Tags: Chimpanzees, Primates

Darwin was just the beginning: A sampler of evolutionary biology at WSU
Spring 2007
All of modern biology and medicine is based on the theory of evolution, and every life scientist arguably is an evolutionary biologist. So where to start in exploring evolutionary biology at WSU? How about with dung beetles, African violets, and promiscuous wrens?
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Education, Birds, Evolution

The longest view
Spring 2007
The Hubble Space Telescope yields the deepest view yet of deep space.
Categories: Space sciences
Tags: Hubble Space Telescope, Astronomy

Welcome to Mildew Manor (And you think your house needs work.)
Spring 2007
No one would knowingly build a house this way. But this is Mildew Manor. And building it wrong is building it right.
Categories: Architecture and design, Biological sciences
Tags: Pest management, Mildew

Hot stuff: Deep ocean fauna
Winter 2006
When it comes to tolerating extreme environments, deep-sea vent worms are hard to beat.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Marine biology, Aquatic animals, Ocean

Do you hear what I hear?
Winter 2006
A researcher at WSU Vancouver explores how the brain turns sounds into meaningful messages.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Neuroscience, Sound, Physiology

The science shop
Winter 2006
Physicist Peter Engels and a team of skilled craftsmen combine imagination, clever design, and precision handiwork to launch WSU into the ultra-cold, ultra-weird world of superfluids.
Categories: Physics, Engineering
Tags: Scientific equipment

Of dogs, drugs, and medical decisions
Fall 2006
When it comes to drugs, not all dogs are created equal.
Categories: Veterinary medicine
Tags: Dogs, Animal health

Rare bird
Fall 2006
Audubon himself would have trouble keeping up with this dynamo. Artist, author, and photographer Paul Johnsgard '55 gives us a glimpse into his lifelong obsession with birds.
Categories: Alumni, Biological sciences
Tags: Birds, Cranes, Photographers

Taking it to the limit
Summer 2006
The Kuzyk limit, that is. And to think it started with just a few doodles.
Categories: Mathematics, Physics
Tags: Light, Research

Learning what it is to do science
Summer 2006
A few years ago, Tom Dickinson lifted the lid from his grande americano and started wondering about the water droplets that clung to its underside. Why were they that size? Why did some merge into bigger drops surrounded by little drops?Coming fro...
Categories: Physics, Education
Tags: Undergraduate research

No shrinking violet
Summer 2006
Researchers at WSU are finding that plants are surprisingly assertive. Based on their findings, a case could be made that the average potted plant is at least as active as the average human couch potato—and a lot smarter about what it consumes
Categories: Agriculture, Biological sciences, Botany, Alumni
Tags: Photosynthesis, Plant behavior, Pest management

See Shells Far From the Sea Shore
Spring 2006
If the winter grays have you hankering for a glimpse of beach life, head to the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus at Richland. There, more than 200 miles from Washington's coast—or just a few clicks down the Internet road—you'll fi...
Categories: Biological sciences, WSU collections
Tags: Seashells, Washington Coast

See Shells Far From the Sea Shore
Spring 2006
If the winter grays have you hankering for a glimpse of beach life, head to the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus at Richland. There, more than 200 miles from Washington's coast—or just a few clicks down the Internet road—you'll fi...
Categories: WSU collections, Biological sciences
Tags: Washington Coast

The Secrets of Sweet Oblivion
Spring 2006
What happens in our brains when we go to sleep—and what happens to us if we don't sleep enough—are questions that keep this research team up at night.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Sleep, Biochemistry

Hanging on by a whisker
Winter 2005
What geology hath put asunder, biologists are are trying to join back together. So far it's working, although the effort requires a different measure of success than what's usually appled.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Reproductive biology, Pygmy rabbits, Breeding

It's Only a Model
Winter 2005
Modelers don't always expect their models to be "right." But they do expect them to help explain our world.
Categories: Biological sciences, WSU faculty
Tags: Shakespeare, Modeling, Seeds

Molecular Mata Hari
Fall 2005
How to make cancer cells weapons of self-destruction.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Cancer, Gene therapy

The Portals of Discovery
Fall 2005
A WSU study shows that a toxin-induced disease state can be inherited by subsequent generations.
Categories: Biological sciences
Tags: Reproductive biology