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WSU News biological chemistry

Understanding energy for more efficient agriculture

By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

PULLMAN, Wash. – When you eat lunch, you might be thinking about work but probably just are enjoying the taste. John Peters is thinking about metabolism in the context of agriculture and energy. » More …

WSU partners to develop new anti-inflammatory drug

By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

David-GangPULLMAN, Wash. – Work on a new anti-inflammatory drug developed from the medicinal/spice plant turmeric recently received funding from a $225,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH-NCCIH). » More …

Center helps scientists measure light to find mutations

By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

False-color-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Plants use light during photosynthesis. But they also give off light, though in amounts so small we can’t see it. The amount of light changes based on the plant’s environment and genetic makeup. » More …

Research on Phytochemicals continues for a second year

A microphoto of a phytochemical, courtesy of WSU

Extension.

PULLMAN – Research on the benefits of phytochemicals in apples and raspberries will expand to include other major Washington crops, continuing a project that a WSU scientist began last year.

 

Bernd M. Lange, assistant professor in WSU’s Institute of Biological Chemistry, spearheaded the research project, beginning in the fall of 2007, with the goal of developing a high-throughput analytical method of measuring levels of health-related phytochemicals in crops.

 

“Phytochemicals, in general, are active chemicals in plants that can be of nutritional value,” Lange said. … » More …

Scientist part of initiative to break oil dependence

PULLMAN — Norman G. Lewis, director of Washington State University’s Institute of Biological Chemistry, will play a role in the multi-million-dollar bioenergy initiative recently announced by the U.S. Department of Energy.DOE last week announced it will invest up to $375 million in three new Bioenergy Research centers as part of President Bush’s initiative to reduce reliance on foreign petroleum by 20 percent in 10 years. Lewis will work with centers organized by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory at Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at Golden, Colo. Each center’s goal is aimed at establishing technologies to ease cellulose-to-ethanol production by overcoming obstacles using … » More …

Research team rewriting book on photosynthesis

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 …