WSU News

Category: WSU in the Media

WSU in the Media – April 15, 2015

The New York Times – Scientists agree that human beings can be composted. Already countless farms across the country, including at least a third of Washington State’s dairy farms, compost the bodies of dead livestock. In some states, transportation departments compost roadkill. “I’m absolutely sure that it can work,” said Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, a soil scientist at Washington State University who serves on the advisory board of the Urban Death Project, a nonprofit that Ms. Spade founded.

The Puget Sound Business Journal – Against tough state budget odds, Washington State University might soon be opening the state’s second publicly funded medical school on its Spokane campus. If WSU does that, and the University of Washington also expands its rural medical education program in Spokane, there could be two huge new drivers of economic growth on the other side of the Cascade curtain.Continue reading

WSU in the Media – April 8, 2015

The Washington Post – The DNA technology used by PooPrints is the same as the kind popularized by television shows such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” professor Michael Court told the Seattle Times. “It’s like a crime scene for poop,” said Court, who specializes is pharmacogenomics at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “When you already have DNA from a dog, you’ve created a reference bank library.”

Fox News – Fears of a serious natural-rubber shortage should have surgical glove, condom, and especially tire manufacturers shaking in their rubber boots. But Washington State University researchers have pinpointed a creative way to potentially create more natural rubber while also making use of what’s usually just a pesky weed. The study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry outlines the possibility of using the sap of prickly lettuce—an often bitter-tasting, wild relative of the more palatable cultivated lettuce—to manufacture rubber, Phys.org reports.

WSU in the Media – March 24, 2015

Mother Jones – The rise of so-called Roundup Ready crops has led to a spike in glyphosate use, a 2012 paper by Washington State University researcher Charles Benbrook showed. Benbrook told me the WHO’s assessment is “the most surprising thing I’ve heard in 30 years” of studying agriculture. Though a critic of the agrichemical industry, Benbrook has long seen glyphosate as a “relatively benign” herbicide. The WHO report challenges that widely held view, he said. “I had thought WHO might find it to be a ‘possible’ carcinogen,” Benbrook said. “‘Probable,’ I did not expect.”

Science World Report – Researchers found that when calves were infected by two parasite species at the same time, one parasite rendered the other far less deadly. “We now know that certain parasite co-infections can have strong protective effects–as strong as those offered by vaccines–against certain deadly diseases,” said infectious disease epidemiologist Thumbi Mwangi of Washington State University’s Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health.

WSU in the Media – March 19, 2015

YAHOO! Finance – “This study reveals that when people watch local news broadcasts prior to an election, they are being exposed to far more political advertising during the commercial breaks than political journalism during the news programs themselves,” Travis N. Ridout, a professor of government and public policy at Washington State University, said in a press release. “And little of the news about political campaigns is focused on policy issues.  These findings should make us rethink the role of local news in today’s campaigns.”

The Village Voice – Chefs like Ferran Adrià, Michel Bras, and David Bouley were there; however, Vetri’s attention was captivated by a university professor, Dr. Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder from Washington State University. Jones discussed the breadth of wheat varieties in existence, most of which can’t be sold on the commodity market, due to the constraints industrial food system (mostly shelf life and consistency).Continue reading

WSU in the Media – March 18, 2015

The Daily Mail – The authors, from Washington State University, conducted a study of 33 university students and staff who use regularly used tablets. Users were tested in a variety of positions and while reading and typing for 2-5 minutes. Radiographs and other tests were used to assess the gravitational demand on the neck and how the head and neck were affected during tablet use.

United Press International – Researchers at Washington State University built an algorithm to analyze the new cycle from the perspective of consumer demand. The results showed news consumers, newspaper readers in particular, favor bad news over good. Media companies feed consumer habits to maximize profits; they’re not delivering anything their customers don’t want, and researchers set out to understand that demand.

The Hindustan Times – Washington State University researchers have found a mechanism by which omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells. The findings, which are at odds with a 2013 study asserting that omega-3s increase the risk of prostate cancer, point the way to more effective anti-cancer drugs.

WSU in the Media – March 5, 2015

Newsweek – But the established methods for testing the toxicity of substances—the degree to which they can harm the human body—assume that the toxic impact is more or less proportional to the amount ingested. Endocrine disruptors like BPA, which act like hormones, don’t “play by the rules,” says Patricia Hunt, a geneticist at Washington State University. Hormones can have very different effects at low and high levels. An estrogenic chemical can induce cell growth at low levels but inhibit it at high concentrations, for example. Regulatory agencies have begun to recognize this but still “keep relying on standard toxicology tests,” Hunt says.

Scientific American – Meanwhile, when pregnant rats were exposed to pollutants including common plastics, agricultural chemicals and jet fuel, their great-grandchildren were more likely to be obese or have other disorders, according to research from Washington State University biologist Michael Skinner. As Skinner noted in the August Scientific American, “Some part of the increases in obesity, diabetes and other fast-rising diseases among baby boomers and more recent generations might have originated with their parents’ and grandparents’ exposure to pollutants such as DDT and dioxin.Continue reading

WSU in the Media – March 4, 2015

The Wall Street Journal – “We’re starting to realize its potential,” said Caren Goldberg, an assistant professor at Washington State University who is managing editor of a special issue on environmental DNA in the journal Biological Conservation. Her lab in Pullman, Washington, will analyze samples that Paulsen and her team collects.

CBS News – Washington State University’s Xianming Shi called the approach “new and innovative.” But he also said it could be improved upon, including finding a way to continuously replenish the antifreeze reservoir. He also warned the cost would likely be higher than conventional methods and additional work needed to be done to ensure the system wouldn’t cause problems for the plane itself.Continue reading

WSU in the Media – March 2, 2015

The Wall Street Journal – In financial punditry, points are awarded for confidence and consistency. People love a pundit who pounds the table, foretelling the future without wavering an inch. Indeed, in 2013 two economics graduate students from Washington State University showed that confidence trumped accuracy when measuring the popularity of pundit predictions.

The New York Times – Working as a technical photographer at Washington State University, where he studied as an undergraduate, Mr. Barker was selected by an ad hoc committee at the university to travel to Selma, Ala., to support marchers and document their activities. In March 1965, activists would make three attempts to complete a five-day, 54-mile march to Montgomery.Continue reading

WSU in the Media – February 24, 2015

The TODAY Show – Such research is underway at Washington State University Spokane, where officers are trained to handle potentially deadly encounters in a state-of-the-art simulator. TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen observed on monitors as one officer walked through a realistic scenario, during which a simulated suspect fired on him and the officer returned fire. Within 1.1 seconds, the suspect fired twice and the officer fired four times.

The Atlantic – On the biology side, some researchers are trying to identify structures and systems in the brain where emotions come from. One scientist, Jaak Panksepp, a professor of neuroscience at Washington State University, has identified seven circuits of neurons that he says correspond with seven basic emotions. Panksepp’s work is congruous with Ekman’s on the universality issue, but he actually takes it even further—he works with animals, and says there’s something about emotions that’s biologically basic not just to humans but to all mammals.Continue reading