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Non-invasive prostate cancer diagnosing, monitoring

Technology being developed at Washington State University provides a non-invasive approach for diagnosing prostate cancer and tracking the disease’s progression.

The innovative filter-like device isolates prostate cancer indicators from other cellular information in blood and urine. It could enable doctors to determine how cancer patients are responding to different treatments without needing to perform invasive biopsies. » More …

Tree growth model assists breeding for more wood

Trees at edge of a lakeA meeting in a forest between a biologist and a mathematician could lead to thicker, faster growing trees.

“Mathematicians like translating biological processes into numbers,” said Andrei Smertenko, assistant professor in Washington State University’s Institute of Biological Chemistry. “I’m a biologist, and I want to help grow stronger, better trees.”

Breeding trees is a time-consuming and imprecise field, with breeders relying on a few genetic markers and what they can see. It takes years before they see the traits they’re looking for in a young tree. To help speed things up, » More …

WSU looks for practices to thwart antimicrobial resistance

The death last year of a woman in Reno, Nev., from an infection resistant to every type of antibiotic available in the U.S. highlights how serious the threat of antimicrobial resistance has become.

Washington State University scientists are addressing growing global concern about the spread of antimicrobial resistance in Africa, where the World Health Organization predicts that, by 2050, drug resistant tuberculosis and other bacteria could lead to the deaths of 4.15 million people each year. Their work identifying practices that lead to bacterial transmission could help save African lives and prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria to the U.S. and other parts of the globe. » More …

WSU among top 10 innovative schools for foreign language study

WSU recently was recognized among colleges and universities nationwide for its pioneering approach to teaching foreign languages. TheBestColleges.org, a national reviewer of online education, lists WSU among the 10 Most Innovative Colleges for Foreign Language Study.

Read the full story at WSU News >> 

WSU research highlights deforestation threat to jaguars

PULLMAN, Wash. – Accelerating deforestation of jaguar habitat, especially in corridors connecting conservation areas, threatens the long-term survival of the iconic predator, according to new research by Dan Thornton, an assistant professor in the Washington State University School of the Environment.

He and colleague Peter Olsoy, a WSU environmental sciences doctoral student, suggest conservation groups and scientists focus efforts on working with local communities and elected officials to protect these vital forest corridors. » More …

Sperm changes documented years after chemotherapy

CAS logo on white with borderA Washington State University researcher has documented epigenetic changes in the sperm of men who underwent chemotherapy in their teens.

The changes can influence how genes are turned on an off, potentially affecting the health of tissues in subsequent generations, said Michael Skinner, a professor in the WSU School of Biological Sciences and Center for Reproductive Biology. He is suggesting that teens about to undergo chemotherapy have some of their sperm preserved for when they would like to start a family.

» More …

Chemists make major strides in organic semiconductors

figure from published paperWashington State University chemists have created new materials that pave the way for the development of inexpensive solar cells. Their work has been recognized as one of the most influential studies published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry in 2016.

Professors Ursula Mazur and K.W. Hipps, postdoctoral researcher Bhaskar Chilukuri and graduate students Morteza Adinehnia and Bryan Borders grew chain-like arrangements of organic nanostructures in the laboratory and then used mathematical models to determine which arrangements were the best conductors of light and electricity.

Journal editors recognized the WSU study as an important step in the advancement of organic semiconductors that perform on par with metal- and silicon-based electronics. They included the work in a collection of 2016’s most influential research publications, or “Hot Papers.”  » More …

Trump presidency focus of politics series in February

WSU campus in the snowDonald Trump’s presidency will be discussed by experts in U.S. politics during a series of free, public events at Washington State University Wednesday, Feb. 1, and Monday, Feb. 6. Topics will include America’s changing electoral landscape, conspiracy theories, the media and race politics.

The series is hosted by WSU’s nonpartisan Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, which focuses on bringing world-class speakers to public events, supporting student internships in public service and promoting scholarly research on public policy and political institutions. » More …

Online psychology degree ranks among nation’s best

WSU recently was recognized for excellence in psychology education among colleges and universities nationwide.

Affordable Colleges Online (ACO) ranked WSU’s online degree program in psychology among the 12 “Best Online Psychology Degrees for 2016.” Only one other Pac-12 school made the list of 50 top programs among the thousands of colleges offering online psychology degrees.

Read the full story at WSU News >>

Music Professor Plays to Crowds, Clouds

Hiking up mountain trails with a full-size cello on her back and playing music to the sky has given Ruth Boden, associate professor of music at Washington State University, some unique perspectives on the nature of music and life.

As part of her ongoing research project “Music Outside Four Walls,” Boden, who teaches cello, bass, chamber music and music theory at WSU, has carried her 12-pound instrument to Northwestern mountaintops, along the Appalachian Trail and deep inside other wild spaces. » More …