Washington State Magazine

Spring 2007


Spring 2007

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In This Issue...

Features

Bright plumage against green foliage: the grandeur and beauty of evolution :: Some have told me that evolutionary explanation robs nature of beauty. This attitude puzzles me, because all the evolutionary biologists whom I know are driven by a love for nature, and to them nothing is more exciting than to uncover some hidden aspect of a natural system. by Michael Webster

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Story: A Conversation about Art and Biology with Ellen Dissanayake '57 }

Ray Troll: A story of fish, fossils, and funky art :: Ray Troll '81 has a species of ratfish named after him, Hydrolagus trolli. He calls Darwin "Chuckie D" and paints pictures of him driving around in an Evolvo. This is a man who has embraced his past and paints it wildly and beautifully. by Hannelore Sudermann

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: Strollin' and Trollin': A tour of Ray Troll's Ketchikan, with music unlike anything you've ever heard before. :: He draws. He paints. He writes songs and—oh lord—he sings them! Hear him for yourself as you tour the world of Ray Troll '81 via an audio slide show produced especially for Washington State Magazine Online. }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Activity: Flying With the Dragon :: Know anyone with crayons? If so, we have a coloring treat for you: an Evon Zerbetz '82 original, uncolored. }

Darwin was just the beginning: A sampler of evolutionary biology at WSU :: 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? by Cherie Winner

Zoology 61: Teaching eugenics at WSU :: Eugenics was the dark side of our understanding of human evolution. American eugenicists were united by the idea that the human race was degenerating because inferior people were breeding more quickly than those who were "well born." Zoology 61, Genetics and Eugenics, was finally dropped from the course catalog at Washington State College in 1950. by Stephen Jones

Why Doubt? Skepticism as a basis for change and understanding :: Skepticism can forestall a too-willing acquiescence to the-way-things-are; it can distance us from dogmatism and ward us away from zealotry; it can expose our mistakes. by Will Hamlin

Panoramas

Departments

:: SPORTS: Vaulting ambition

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: Forgetting gravity :: WSU student Todd Griffiths performing gymnastics atop a stationary, then a cantering, horse. }

Tracking

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Music: Horace Alexander Young plays "That Kind of Girl" :: Listen to a performance by WSU music faculty member Horace Alexander Young on a track from his CD, Acoustic Contemporary Jazz. }

Cover: One Small Step for a Fish, One Giant Leap for Fishkind, 1995, pastel on paper. "Every mammal, reptile and amphibian alive on the earth today descended from the lobefinned fish that left the water 375 million years ago." —Ray Troll

Panoramas
This section of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field includes galaxies of various ages, sizes, shapes, and colors.

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This section of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field includes galaxies of various ages, sizes, shapes, and colors. The smallest, reddest galaxies (in boxes) may be among the most distant known, existing when the universe was just about 800 million years old. The image required 800 exposures taken over the course of 400 Hubble orbits around Earth.Courtesy NASA

The longest view

by | © Washington State University

Researchers working with images from the Hubble Space Telescope recently extended their view billions of miles into deep space-and billions of years into the past. Using the Advanced Camera Survey that was installed on Hubble in 2002, the researchers peered at an area called the Ultra Deep Field. They found more than 500 galaxies that were actively forming their stars almost 13 billion years ago.

"This represents the Hubble Space Telescope staring at one little patch of sky for about a month," says Washington State University astronomer John Blakeslee. He was a member of the team that processed Hubble's raw images and analyzed the resulting pictures. The most distant galaxies ever observed, they are providing scientists their closest look yet at how galaxies formed early in the history of the universe.

For more information on this and other Hubble-related research, click here (NASA's Hubble Website) or here (the Space Telescope Science Institute's Hubble site).

Categories: Space sciences | Tags: Hubble Space Telescope, Astronomy

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