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WSU News wheat

Designing wheat for lucrative Chinese market

If you plan to celebrate the Chinese New Year (on Jan. 29) with dinner at your favorite Asian restaurant, think about this: More research will have gone into the formulation of the noodles on your plate than your old noodle can imagine. Just ask Byung-Kee Baik, WSU’s reigning researcher of ramen — as well as other types of noodles.Baik, an assistant professor of Crop & Soil Sciences, is in the business — and it is big business — of figuring out how to make superior wheat noodles.Since Asian noodles made from wheat typically have just three ingredients — flour, water and salt — it isn’t … » More …

WSU crop scientist seeks celiac-safe wheat

Washington State University researcher Diter von Wettstein has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to begin developing strains of wheat that will be safe for people with celiac disease to eat.Celiac disease can appear at any time in life, often triggered by surgery, viral infection or severe stress. Nearly 1 percent of Americans — about 2 million people — have the autoimmune disease, in which gluten proteins from wheat, barley or rye cause the immune system to attack hair-like structures called villi that line the small intestine.When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten, the villi are “erased away like with … » More …

Faculty, staff collaborate

The importance of staff members to the work of faculty is clear in the partnership between Gary Shelton, research supervisor in WSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, and Kimberlee K. Kidwell, associate professor, spring wheat breeder and geneticist. Both are recent award winners for their efforts to advance the wheat industry in Washington.Shelton received the 2003 O.A. Vogel-Washington State Crop Improvement Association award, having been nominated by Kidwell. He serves as primary field technician, data manager and project coordinator for WSU’s spring wheat variety development program. “I have come to refer to Gary as the heartbeat of the program because without him, the variety … » More …