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WSU News Research

Math approach may help scientists with predictions

A research team led by a biologist and a mathematical biologist from Washington State University is using special statistical methods to study how traits of biological organisms change. Associate professors Patrick Carter, an evolutionary physiologist, and Richard Gomulkiewicz, a mathematical geneticist, won a $2.1 million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation to fund their research on function-valued traits. A trait that can be described as a mathematical function of some other variable is called a function-valued trait. These traits include such things as the body size of an animal — perhaps a mouse — that varies depending upon its age, or the size of … » More …

Researchers show potential of farm waste as fuel

People have used biomass energy or bioenergy — the energy from organic matter — since the first use of fire for heat. Today, wood is still our largest biomass source. But other sources are becoming increasingly useful and — with the help of researchers like Shulin Chen, a Washington State University professor and associate director of the Northwest Bioproduct Research Institute — dreams of turning undervalued biowaste into valuable products like fuel are becoming reality. “We are doing research to obtain valued commodities from agricultural products and/or waste,” said Craig Frear, a research associate for the WSU Department of Biological Systems Engineering. “Our biomass inventory … » More …

Freshmen seminar presentations April 21

Members of Washington State University’s undergraduate scholarly community will reveal their research findings during the Freshman Seminar Research Symposium from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. April 21 on the 4th floor of the Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE). The researchers, all first-year students enrolled in the university’s Freshman Seminar Program, have worked under the mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students as well as teaching and library faculty. Students from 11 seminars will present their projects. These projects are a culmination of research and analysis and are presented using multimedia technologies. The Freshman Seminar Program’s excellence has received national acclaim. In Fall 2001, Freshman Seminar was … » More …

Spokane sleep research candidates to present

SPOKANE, Wash. — Greg Belenky and Scott Campbell, candidates for a sleep research position with the Spokane Alliance for Medical Research, will visit Spokane this month to deliver public lectures on their sleep research as part of the interview process.The lectures are free and open to the public. The candidates will also meet with area researchers and practitioners who specialize in sleep and tour area sleep clinics. Dr. Belenky, a colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. and director of the Division of Neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, will give his lecture Friday, April 23. The talk, “Managing Sleep to Sustain … » More …

Undergrads display their year of research

Members of Washington State University’s undergraduate scholarly community will reveal their research findings during the Freshman Seminar Research Symposium Wednesday, April 21st from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm on the 4th floor of the Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE).The researchers, all first-year students enrolled in the University’s Freshman Seminar Program, have worked under the mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students as well as teaching and library faculty. 11 seminars will participate in presenting their projects. These projects are a culmination of research and analysis and are presented using multimedia technologies. The Freshman Seminar Program’s excellence has received national acclaim. In Fall 2001, Freshman Seminar was … » More …

Undergraduate research focus of WSU symposium

The second annual Washington State University Psychology Undergraduate Research Symposium will be Thursday, April 15, and involve poster presentations by 11 student researchers.The lecture will begin at 3 p.m. in the Samuel H. Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, Room 203. Posters showcasing psychology undergraduate research projects will be available for viewing from 2-5 p.m. in the atrium of the Smith Center. Presenters will be on hand to answer questions about their research from 4-5 p.m. Research titles range from “Understanding text: Online inferences and memory operations after severe closed-head injury” to “Habituation: An investigation of the role of the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus.” “The … » More …

Provost approves 63 requests for professional leave

Sixty-three requests for professional leave in 2004-05 have been approved by Provost Robert C. Bates. He noted there will be no additional costs to WSU for this program. Here are the recipients divided by college.Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences• Preston K. Andrews, associate professor and associate horticulturist, August 2004-August 2005, to research and write a popular science/gardening book that compares natural and cultural histories of apples and roses. • John H. Bassman, professor and scientist, July 2004-June 2005, to collect field data to assess changes in flora and plant communities along the track of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. • Drew Lenore Betz, extension … » More …

Patents reward research, boost economic growth

There could be gold in that junk mail you threw out — or maybe a royalty check. Just ask Pat Moore, a scientist in the small fruit breeding program at WSU’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center. About to toss out an offer for expensive document framing, Moore realized the company was pitching it to him to frame his new patent. It was the first he’d heard that his raspberry, WSU 1090, had just been issued Washington State University’s most recent patent as of Feb. 10, 2004.WSU Puyallup began its raspberry breeding program in 1928 and has since released nine new varieties. However, WSU 1090, sold … » More …

Researcher receives grant to look at groundwater risks

Frank Loge, a Washington State University assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has received a $1.8 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study the health risks associated with drinking groundwater from aquifers. When bacteria in drinking water sickened thousands and killed more than 100 people in the Milwaukee area in 1994, all the current regulations regarding safe drinking water were being followed. These and other incidents like it have led a WSU research group to investigate. For acute illnesses caused by pathogens, government regulations were developed and based on the success of treatment technologies. For instance, researchers found in a lab that … » More …

Nation’s decision makers learn about WSU strengths

Washington State University research will make the most of its time to shine in the national spotlight next week, as university representatives host a reception in Washington, D.C., and deliver federal requests to the state’s congressional delegation.“The purpose of the Feb. 24 reception is to communicate with those who influence opinions of many in D.C. about the significance that WSU research and scholarship have on the nation,” said Jim Petersen, vice provost for research. Those confirming plans to attend include lawmakers and corporate and federal agency representatives. Those attending will learn more about WSU research programs in which the federal government has significant interest, Petersen … » More …