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Advertisements invoke nostalgia among consumers
November 30, 2005

Whether by positioning their message over the familiar tracks of 20-year-old pop tunes or invoking by-gone eras in images that mimic old black and white films, advertisers are increasingly urging America’s consumers to “remember how good things used to be.”It’s a wistful trend in advertising that seems to be most evident during the holiday season. It employs a wide range of nostalgia-based messages and creative techniques to evoke an emotional response from consumers.And while scant data exists to explain what makes such ads effective, the very fact that the trend continues suggests it’s a useful weapon in the battle for market share.”If nostalgic cues in … » More …

Book records brave stories of WSU vets
November 11, 2005

After 10 years of research and writing, C. James Quann, WSU registrar emeritus and coordinator of veterans research, is finally telling the heroic stories of WSU veterans. Quann’s new book, titled “WSU Military Veterans: Heroes and Legends,” recounts stories of WWII, Vietnam, Korean and Persian Gulf war soldiers with strong ties to WSU. His research took him all over the country as he tracked down veterans with stories to tell. “There were numerous accounts of heroism on the part of WSU Cougars,” Quann said during his book reading on Oct. 14 at the New Holland Library. Quann has been interested in veteran recognition for years. … » More …

WSU crop scientist seeks celiac-safe wheat
November 11, 2005

Washington State University researcher Diter von Wettstein has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to begin developing strains of wheat that will be safe for people with celiac disease to eat.Celiac disease can appear at any time in life, often triggered by surgery, viral infection or severe stress. Nearly 1 percent of Americans — about 2 million people — have the autoimmune disease, in which gluten proteins from wheat, barley or rye cause the immune system to attack hair-like structures called villi that line the small intestine.When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten, the villi are “erased away like with … » More …

Sleep scientist expands WSU’s sleep research
November 1, 2005

Hans Van Dongen, an internationally recognized scientist who focuses on the areas of sleep and cognitive performance, recently joined WSU Spokane as associate research professor and assistant director of the university’s new Sleep and Performance Research Center.The Sleep and Performance Research Center includes a state-of-the-art sleep research laboratory that is currently under construction at the Riverpoint campus in Spokane. Housed in the South Campus Facility, the lab is slated for completion by the end of this year. In addition to serving as a base for staging field studies related to sleep and performance, the lab will be one of only a handful in the world … » More …

More Research

Battle of the bee mites
October 28, 2005

Varroa desturctor. The name evokes evil entities and comic book mayhem. But there is nothing funny about the Varroa honey bee mite. The tiny beast — an inadvertent stowaway on bees smuggled into the U.S. sometime before 1987 — now infests honey bee colonies across most of North America and is responsible for widespread destruction of hives. The mites, which feast on the blood of immature bees as they develop in their wax-capped brood cells, cause weight loss in the adult bee together with deformities, disease and reduced lifespan. Untreated, an entire honey bee colony can be wiped out within two years or less. Steve … » More …

Research answers questions about questions and answers
October 28, 2005

In Don Dillman’s world, there is no such thing as a simple question. Context matters. Context always matters. How else do you explain why 70.2 percent of WSU students in one Web survey said they typically study 2.5 hours or less per day, while in answer to exactly the same question, only 28.9 percent of students in a separate Web survey conducted simultaneously said they study that much or less? A third Web survey of students, answering the identical question, revealed that 42.2 percent of respondents studied 2.5 hours or less. The answer, says Dillman, an expert in survey methodology, is in the answer. Or … » More …

WSU Diabetes Initiative Forum promotes research
October 25, 2005

It’s the fifth-leading cause of death by disease in the nation; more than 18 million people in this country have it (nearly one-third of whom don’t even know it yet); and those who have it are at higher risk for heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, extremity amputations, and other chronic conditions. Diabetes is one of the most common and serious diseases affecting the nation, as evidenced by these statistics from the American Diabetes Association. And the incidence of diabetes likely has not reached its peak yet—a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately one in three Americans born in … » More …

Plant Biosciences stark contrast to building it replaces
October 14, 2005

Friday’s grand opening of the Plant Biosciences Building on the Pullman campus marks the end of an era and the ushering in of a new style of research at Washington State University. From architectural design, to air circulation, lighting, space and interdisciplinary collaboration, it’s a whole new ball game in scientific research. The difference between WSU’s new $39 million Plant Biosciences Building and Johnson Hall next door is night and day, according to WSU adjunct faculty and research geneticist Linda Thomashow.“The laboratories in Johnson Hall don’t have windows,” she said. “The natural light in Plant Biosciences is just a wonderful thing.” Thomashow, who works for … » More …

WSU funding programs emphasize university research
October 6, 2005

The WSU Office of Research is providing research-related funding in response to the WSU Strategic Plan’s emphasis on enhancing university research. Three funding programs will allow researchers to branch out in their research ventures, including:*The WSU Technology Gap Fund Program focuses on furthering the development of WSU innovations with commercial potential, but may need additional research or prototype development before acquiring licensing or a company start. The Office of Research, through the Office of Intellectual Property Administration, will be soliciting proposals for qualified projects. The pre-proposal deadline is Monday, Oct. 31. Solicitations may be accessed at http://www.wsu.edu/~oipa/Technology%20Gap%20Fund%20Program%20Announcement%202005.pdf*The WSU Office of Research is also soliciting … » More …

Growth research highlighted in Nature
September 30, 2005

Waist-high corn stalks laden with full-size ears; squash plants that don’t sprawl over half your yard; a miniature tomato plant offering hefty red fruits to astronauts weary of freeze-dried food: these are just a few of the possibilities raised by new research at Washington State University. Lead investigator B.W. (Joe) Poovaiah and research associate Liqun Du have discovered a way to control the ultimate size of a plant. By altering a specific gene, they were able to change the size of the plant that grew from an experimental seed. Different alterations led to different size plants, showing that plants might be “size-engineered” to fit the … » More …

Seed companies contribute to revitalize research center
September 22, 2005

Hideo Takahashi first came to the Skagit Valley more than a quarter century ago to be an intern at the Alf Christianson Seed Co.As a young employee of Sakata Seed, he spent a year in the Mount Vernon area working on a joint venture breeding project for spinach in the Asian market with Alf Christianson Seed. He improved his English skills and gained a better understanding of the American seed industry.Takahashi moved on to work at Sakata Seed America in California and rose through the ranks to become president of the nearly 100-year-old, international corporation in 2000.In 2002, Alf Christianson Seed Co. became a subsidiary … » More …

WSU air quality research and outreach featured
September 16, 2005

The first program of the new season of Extension Engaged will take place 9:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept 23. Those wishing to be part of the studio audience will meet by 9:15 a.m. in Food Science and Human Nutrition T-101. For information on viewing via satellite or videostream, go to http://caheinfo.wsu.edu/video/satellite.html. The program will look at WSU’s research and outreach in the area of air quality and will focus on work being conducted by the Columbia Plateau PM-10 project and the Northwest Airquest Consortium. Guests will include: • Brian Lamb, Regents Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering and Architecture. • Joe Vaughan, … » More …

Watermelon in western Washington
August 25, 2005

They have names like Baby Doll, Belle, Jubilee, Tiger Baby and Melitopolski.  Their fruit may be the traditional red, or they may be pink, yellow or orange.  They are varieties of icebox watermelon that are being field tested at Washington State University’s Vancouver Research and Extension Unit as a potential crop for Western Washington farmers.Next Wednesday the WSU Vancouver REU will offer not only the results of its latest field trials on more than 100 varieties of icebox watermelon but also the opportunity to taste some of them.The annual icebox watermelon field day will be held from 2 – 4 pm, Wednesday Aug. 31, at … » More …

Research team rewriting book on photosynthesis
July 14, 2005

PULLMAN — Toss out that old biology book you were hanging onto for reference. The chapter on photosynthesis is about to be rewritten, thanks to work by David Kramer and his research team at Washington State University’s Institute of Biological Chemistry.Using instruments they designed and built themselves, Kramer and his group have discovered that plants adjust their light intake to match their metabolic needs by regulating the level of protons within sealed chambers in the chloroplasts.Traditionally, plant physiologists have focused on the role of electrons in photosynthesis. Kramer’s lab has changed the field by looking at what’s happening with the protons inside chloroplasts in intact … » More …

Prof’s research featured in Scientific American magazine
June 22, 2005

PULLMAN — The work of Washington State University anthropology professor Timothy A. Kohler will be highlighted in the July 2005 issue of Scientific American magazine. Utilizing grants from the National Science Foundation, Kohler is principal investigator of a project that is helping to create new understanding about settlement system changes in the U.S. Southwest between A.D. 600 and 1300.“I think what is especially interesting to the scientific community,” Kohler said, “is that our research combines traditional archaeological methods with high-tech tools, including computer modeling and imaging. We are finding that our simulations, using new agent-based modeling tools, help us to put the results of traditional archaeology … » More …

Mount Vernon research groundbreaking slated
May 23, 2005

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — The public is invited to join the festivities at the groundbreaking for the new agricultural research and technologyfacilities at Washington State University’s Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center.The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Wednesday, June 1, at 10:30 am on the grounds of the NWREC, 16656 SR 536 (old MemorialHighway), Mount Vernon.  A reception will follow the ceremony, featuring displays of the center’s history of supporting agriculture.Local supporters who have nurtured and contributed to the project to modernize and expand the aging research facility and broaden its mission will be recognized during the event.Participants in the ceremony will … » More …

WSU physicist Tomsovic awarded Fellowship
April 22, 2005

Steven Tomsovic, professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Washington State University, has been offered the 2006-2007 Martin-Gutzwiller Fellowship by the Max-Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems.  The fellowship provides a stipend that will allow Tomsovic to spend a year conducting research at the institute in Dresden, Germany. It also includes funding for a doctoral or postdoctoral fellow to accompany him.  Tomsovic is noted for his theoretical physics research in the area of quantum chaos, the study of the underlying role of complex particle motions in the wave-like behavior found in the microscopic world. His work has covered quantum … » More …

Undergrad research demand doubles
April 22, 2005

The concept of providing top-level science research experience to Washington State University undergraduate students comes down to one thing — giving them the opportunity to work in a laboratory. That in turn is an issue of time, space and money. Three years ago, WSU adopted its 2002-2007 Strategic Plan, committing itself to building a nationally recognized academic program for undergraduates at a research university — one that offers face-to-face mentoring with recognized researchers (see http://provost.wsu.edu/strategic_plan/documents/OfficeofResearch.pdf). Since then, undergraduate research programs have been expanding to the limits of their funding and resources. Several colleges and units on campus have “made a commitment to provide the … » More …

Psychology Symposium showcases student work
April 14, 2005

The Department of Psychology at Washington State University will host its third annual Undergraduate Research Symposium Thursday, April 21. The symposium is composed of several events. Posters representing undergraduate research projects will be available for viewing in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE) Atrium from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. At 3:00 p.m. in CUE 203, Dr. Gregory Belenky, research professor and director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at WSU Spokane, will give a presentation titled “Sleep and Human Performance.” Immediately follow Belenky’s talk there will be a formal poster session in the CUE Atrium with undergraduate presenters available to discuss their research … » More …

Science students strut their stuff
March 28, 2005

Undergraduate research took center stage Friday, March 25, in the Compton Union Building Ballroom, when 50 Washington State University undergraduate science majors displayed posters explaining the results of their research at the second College of Sciences Undergraduate Research Poster Competition.Faculty members, emeriti faculty, postdoctoral and graduate students served as judges for the event and awards were given to top presentations and research projects.Guest speaker Ralph Yount, professor emeritus of biochemistry and former chair of the Department of Chemistry, discussed the successes of former WSU students who were involved in research as undergraduates in a speech titled “Tales from the Past: Why Undergraduate Research is Important.”» More …