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College of Arts and Sciences research

Leveraging the secrets of hibernation to treat diabetes

Grizzly bears.WSU evolutionary biologist Joanna Kelley studies genetic adaptation to extreme environments: tropical fish that thrive in waters thick with hydrogen sulfide; an Antarctic midge which can survive brutally cold temperatures of -50 degrees Celsius; and now, the charismatic grizzly bear, a species that is insulin-resistant—a metabolic state similar to diabetes in humans—during hibernation but insulin-sensitive during its active season. » More …

Secret investigation of radioactive fallout is focus of historian’s research

Nuclear bomb blast.After years of polluting Earth’s atmosphere and ecosystems with nuclear material from atomic bomb tests, the U.S. government in 1953 launched “Project Sunshine,” a secret, international program to study the amount of radioactive fallout in the environment. The cheery-sounding program sought particularly to understand the impact of strontium 90, an unstable, radioactive version of a naturally occurring element which threatened to riddle people and animals with cancer. » More …

A growing international research collaboration

A plant scientist working in a greenhouse.Plant scientists at Washington State University and in Germany are launching a new research collaboration through a series of virtual talks about advances that help feed and sustain our world.

“Direct cooperation between German and U.S. scientists and collaborative education of our scholars helps expand society’s knowledge about beneficial crops,” said Mechthild Tegeder, Herbert L. Eastlick Distinguished Professor in » More …

Too much of a good thing?

Lake Vancouver.On most summer days, Vancouver Lake is a popular place for windsurfing, boating, and birdwatching. More and more, however, this picturesque place is closed to recreation for months at a time due to harmful algae blooms (HABs) that contain toxins which can cause sickness, or even death, in people, pets, fish, birds, and wild animals.

Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens, associate professor in the School of the Environment and co-director of the WSU Aquatic Ecology Lab at WSU Vancouver, has spent more than a decade working to identify contributing factors and » More …

A thesis in three minutes

College of Arts and Sciences, Three Minute Thesis.A doctoral candidate in the School of Biological Sciences, Milica Radanovic took the top prize and People’s Choice awards in a semifinal round of Washington State University’s Three Minute Thesis contest hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) in Pullman.

Radanovic was one of five doctoral students who vied for the CAS Pullman » More …

A quest to improve science communication, funding

Milica Radanovic.In addition to winning first place in her division for a compelling, three-minute overview of her complex, years-long biological research project, Milica Radanovic won a place among 23 graduate students selected nationwide by the Ecological Society of America (ESA) to inform Congress about the importance of funding scientific research.

“We are living during a time of global change and scientists have a social responsibility to » More …

Examining how we perceive, trust new technologies

Dairy cow.New technologies have the potential to improve health and wellbeing for humans and livestock, but only if people trust and accept them.

Philosophy professor Patricia Glazebrook is teaming up with WSU colleagues and scientists at partner institutions to study how interactions with social and traditional media, as well as » More …

Similar values, different views

A face mask with one half blue with white stars, the other side red with white stars.When it comes to wearing masks, partying, or just going to work at the office, Americans react a little differently based on which side of the political aisle they sit on.

In a nationwide survey, WSU sociologists found both liberal and conservatives in the U.S. disapprove of individuals putting the health of their community at risk, but conservatives cared more about why those individuals were taking the risks in the first place. » More …

Eyes in the sky

A drone flies over the landscape.With the support of the Biologically Intensive Agriculture & Organic Farming grant program at WSU, environmental scientists are using satellites and drones to help local conservation districts monitor areas near rivers and streams to help improve agricultural sustainability.

“The state’s program is really a bottom-up approach, where the state encourages local stewardship to improve riparian areas and monitor them,” said Alexander Fremier, associate professor in » More …

Q&A with Troy Bennefield

Troy Bennefield.An advocate for new and diverse music, Troy Bennefield is an associate professor of music, director of athletic bands, and associate director of bands in the School of Music.

He is active as a guest-conductor, adjudicator, clinician, and percussionist, and has commissioned or joined consortia for projects, including a collaboration for wind band and wind quintet made possible through » More …