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WSU News microbiology

John Peters named an American Academy of Microbiology Fellow

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

American Academy of Microbiology and American Association for the Advancement of Science logosPULLMAN, Wash. – John Peters, director of Washington State University’s Institute of Biological Chemistry, has been named a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology. » More …

A mother’s microbial gift

PULLMAN, Wash. – It happened again, most recently at a conference in Prague. After she gave her talk, a scientist came up to Shelley McGuire, a pioneer exploring the microbial communities found in human breast milk, and told her, “You don’t know how to take a sample. Your samples must have been contaminated. Human milk is sterile.” » More …

Researchers discover new role for protein in cell division

By Lori Maricle, College of Pharmacy

David-Liu-webSPOKANE, Wash. – Pharmaceutical sciences researchers at Washington State University have discovered a protein’s previously unknown role in cell division. » More …

Brucellosis microbe infects, performs like giant

Jean Celli, WSU microbiologist
WSU microbiologist Jean Celli probes the secrets of how brucella bacteria spread inside the body. (Photo by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services)
PULLMAN – Brucellosis, Malta fever, Bang’s disease, undulant fever – all names for one infectious disease that stalks animals and humans worldwide, and yet it’s been understudied.

But that may be about to change. » More …

Microbes generate electricity in Dana Hall outreach

MFC lights



microbes generate electricityPULLMAN, Wash. – In a hallway in a building at the engineering end of campus, a string of small, red LED lights blink unobtrusively, powered by a bucket of muddy water.


Dedicated crews of microscopic bacteria in the mud generate electricity by doing what bacteria do best: eating.
“The microbes eat organic material and transfer electrons to an anode buried in the sediment,” said Timothy Ewing, the Ph.D. student who helped put together the microbial fuel cell powering the lights. “The … » More …

Texas professor named assoc. vp for research

PULLMAN – John F. Alderete (Al-de-re-te), who has served as a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) since 1991, will assume the responsibilities of associate vice provost for research at Washington State University on Jan. 1, 2008.

Alderete “brings a wealth of experience in research and technology commercialization that greatly adds to our programs,” said Jim Petersen, vice provost for research. “As a renowned scholar, he is a superb example to others. He also will vastly increase our administrative capabilities in the Office of Research and enhance WSU’s reputation as a national and international … » More …

Researcher implicates cattle drug in vulture deaths

Three years of work by Washington State University researcher Lindsay Oaks have led to a major discovery linking the decline of three Asian vulture species to a drug commonly used to treat livestock there. Oaks, a microbiologist with the College of Veterinary Medicine, worked with an international team of scientists. The findings of their work will be published in the journal Nature, see Oaks is with a team of experts speaking at an international summit meeting Feb. 5-6 in Katmandu, Nepal. The team will reveal additional details of their findings and propose possible solutions to help mitigate the long-term decline of these rare … » More …