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Rodent control target of agriculture research
July 1, 2002

Rod Sayler, WSU wildlife ecologist (right, with hat), and David Huggins, USDA Agricultural Research Service, talk with farmers Thursday, June 27, about understanding and managing rodent populations in direct-seed systems during a field day at the Palouse Conservation Station. (Photo by Dennis Brown, College of Agriculture and Home Economics.)Direct seeding — planting the next crop into the residue of the previous crop — has been a major focus of research conducted by WSU and USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists at the station since 1996. About 120 area farmers attended the event at the station located outside of Pullman.WSU has been holding field days – under … » More …

Feds aim to double science research budget
June 21, 2002

Photo: Grad student Carrie Gillaspie (l) and associate professor Sue Clark (r) research the role microorganisms play in rendering uranium solids less mobile, under a grant from NSF. (Photo by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services.)Congress might increase spending on the National Science Foundation (NSF) by 15 percent annually in 2003, 2004 and 2005, “The Chronicle of Higher Education” reported last month.Some lawmakers feel president Bush’s proposed 2003 increase — 5 percent, for a total of $5.036 billion — didn’t go far enough. College lobbyists and other sponsors want to double NSF’s budget over the next five years, in a funding boost plan similar to what … » More …

Reducing anxiety and pain
June 21, 2002

Photo: Raymond Quock, professor of pharmacology, observes effects of nitrous oxide in easing mouse’s anxiety. (Photo by Bob Hubner, WSU Photo Services.)Deep in your brain are a myriad of lock-and-tumbler type systems that, when activated, trigger the production of substances that can reduce pain or help you to deal with anxiety. Raymond Quock, professor of pharmacology, and his staff are trying to gain a better understanding of these systems by looking for and testing various “keys” that can activate these processes.Quock’s research is opening doors that allow his staff and others to explore how the brain and body work. His successes, and those of his … » More …

‘Gut reaction’ emphasis of mosquito research
May 10, 2002

“Mosquitoes are by far the world’s most medically significant insects.”So says David Moffett, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences, who, with his wife Stacia Moffett, an associate professor, has been studying structure and functions of the mosquito stomach tract for the past four years. The species, Aedes aegypti, a yellow fever carrier, is under particular scrutiny, and David leads the research.World-recognized problemThe abstract from Moffett’s research project proposal states, “They (mosquitoes) are potential vectors for approximately 100 arboviruses that cause human disease, including yellow fever, dengue and a number of forms of encephalitis. They also transmit nematodes that cause elephantiasis, and plasmodia that … » More …

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WSU micro engine research powered by $7 million contract
April 11, 2002

Think small. R-e-a-l s-m-a-l-l !That’s the kind of thinking that has netted the researchers in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and the Center for Materials Research a whopping $7 million in funding. The Army Space and Missile Defense Command together with sponsorship by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are backing WSU researchers to build the tiniest engine possible and to produce a portable micropower generation system for military applications.In response, researchers have built what may indeed be the world’s smallest engine. It would fit inside the hole of a lifesaver and is thinner than paper. One day, it may replace batteries in … » More …