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WSU News Molecular Biology

Epigenetics study helps focus search for autism risk factors

By Judith Van Dongen, WSU Spokane Office of Research

Peixoto-Lucia_L asst professor biomedical sciences WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Peixoto

SPOKANE, Wash. – Scientists have long tried to pin down the causes of autism spectrum disorder. Recent studies have expanded the search for genetic links from identifying genes toward epigenetics, the study of factors that control gene expression and looks at chemical modifications of DNA and the proteins associated with it. » More …

Dramatic decline in genetic diversity of Northwest salmon charted

By Eric Sorensen, WSU News

chinook salmon wa dept fish wildlife

PULLMAN, Wash. – Columbia River Chinook salmon have lost as much as two-thirds of their genetic diversity, Washington State University researchers have found. » More …

A mother’s microbial gift

PULLMAN, Wash. – It happened again, most recently at a conference in Prague. After she gave her talk, a scientist came up to Shelley McGuire, a pioneer exploring the microbial communities found in human breast milk, and told her, “You don’t know how to take a sample. Your samples must have been contaminated. Human milk is sterile.” » More …

Molecular scientist named AAAS Fellow for advancing science

By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Natural and Human Resources

John Peters WSU Institute of Biological Chemistry AAS Fellow
Peters

PULLMAN, Wash. – John Peters, director of Washington State University’s Institute of Biological Chemistry, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. » More …

WSU, PNNL convert biofuel waste into commodity, now targeting sewage sludge

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

Fernandez Sebastian in lab
Sebastian

RICHLAND, Wash. – A method of converting a biofuel waste product into a usable and valuable commodity has been discovered by researchers at Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. » More …

WSU researchers see popular herbicide affecting health across generations

By Eric Sorensen, WSU News

Skinner Michael in WSU lab
Skinner

PULLMAN, Wash. – First, the good news. Washington State University researchers have found that a rat exposed to a popular herbicide while in the womb developed no diseases and showed no apparent health effects aside from lower weight. » More …

WSU receives NIH grant to study heart problems at molecular level

Tolkatchev
Tolkatchev

By Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have received a $1.57 million National Institutes of Health grant to understand the molecular-scale mechanisms that cause cardiomyopathy, or heart muscle disease. » More …

WSU researchers deliver first “nanotherapeutics” to tumor

By Eric Sorensen, WSU News

SPOKANE, Wash. – For the first time, WSU researchers have demonstrated a way to deliver a drug to a tumor by attaching it to a blood cell. The innovation could let doctors target tumors with anticancer drugs that might otherwise damage healthy tissues. » More …

WSU researchers find plague bacterium endures in soil

By Laura Lockard, WSU College of Veterinary Medicine

PULLMAN, Wash. – The bacterium that causes bubonic plague has been found to survive in the common amoeba, the microorganism most children often see first in a grade school microscope. » More …