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WSU News Biological Sciences

Plant inner workings point way to more nutritious crops

By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer

PULLMAN, Wash. – Almost every calorie that we eat at one time went through the veins of a plant. If a plant’s circulatory system could be rejiggered to make more nutrients available – through bigger seeds or sweeter tomatoes – the world’s farmers could feed more people. » More …

Two earn awards for non-tenure track teaching

Carloye-and-Olsen
Carloye, left, and Olsen

PULLMAN, Wash. – Clinical assistant professors Lisa Carloye and Karl Olsen will receive the annual President’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Non-tenure Track Faculty at the Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet on March 25. » More …

Cooperation in nature harbors surprisingly few cheaters

fish-cooperate-smallVANCOUVER, Wash. – There are very few cheaters among species that cooperate, according to a recently published paper co-authored by researchers at Washington State University. But information on this type of cheating is scarce, they found, and science would benefit from more thorough studies. » More …

WSU ecologist encouraging nat’l war on invading species

PULLMAN — Didemnum sea squirts don’t look scary. But the yellow blobs that are showing up on rocks and lobster traps in Puget Sound and the Hood Canal have biologists plenty worried.Native to Europe, the colonial creatures lack natural predators in North America. Unnoticed and unopposed, they can spread unchecked, eventually smothering shellfish beds and emitting toxins that harm other residents of the intertidal zone.And they’re not alone. Non-native species such as apple maggots, knapweed and cheatgrass threaten orchards, rangelands and forests across Washington. Nationwide, invasive species do an estimated $137 billion of environmental and economic damage each year.Richard Mack of Washington State University’s School … » More …