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College of Arts and Sciences Biological Sciences

Unlocking secrets of the ice worm

A close up shot of a human finger with mud and sand covering the tip. In the mud is a tiny black worm.The ice worm is one of the largest organisms that spends its entire life in ice and Washington State University scientist Scott Hotaling is one of the only people on the planet studying it.

He is the author of a new paper that shows ice worms in the interior of British Columbia have evolved into what may be a genetically distinct species from Alaskan ice worms. » More …

A point of reference

A waterway at Meyer's Point“There are oysters out there,” says Ed Bassett, “and they are good.”

Out there are the mudflats of Henderson Inlet where a thriving community shellfish garden supplies delicacies for neighborhood parties and celebrations. Bassett (’89 Ed.) is standing in the eelgrass on the shoreline of WSU’s Meyer’s Point Environmental Field Station. He’s a science teacher at nearby Olympia High School (OHS), and he, his students in the OHS Earth Corps, and Meyer’s Point facilities manager Chuck Cody (’84 MS Hort.) have been planting native trees here since » More …

CAS student-athletes earn PAC-12 academic honors in rowing

multiple rowing oars on the grassEleven CAS student-athletes on the WSU women’s rowing team earned Pac-12 academic honors for 2018-2019. The WSU team led the league with a total of 23 honorees, followed by Stanford and the University of Washington.

To be eligible for selection to the PAC-12 academic teams, a student-athlete must have a minimum » More …

A better sense of health monitoring

Illustration from scientific paper

With at least 30 million Americans currently diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated 84 million more at risk of developing the disease, the need for simpler treatments is urgent. WSU researchers are working to take the sting out of daily management with sophisticated new technologies and personalized medicine.

“One of the difficulties of diabetes is that it can feel overwhelming to have to take pills, check blood sugar, and poke your finger several times a day” says Joshua Neumiller (’03 Phys. Sci., ’05 DPH Pharm.), WSU’s Allen I. White Distinguished » More …

Senior’s antibiotic resistance review earns Library Research Award

Miles RobertsHeadlines warning of the dangers of antibiotic resistance appear in the news almost every day. The United Nations predicts that by 2050, 10 million people could die each year from diseases that have become resistant to drugs.

Biology major Miles Roberts wanted to know how science is working to counter this trend. So, for his “Microbes in Nature and Society” class (Biology 402), he reviewed 65 scientific articles and turned his research into a paper called “Maximizing Costs to Prevent Antibiotic Resistance Evolution.” His thorough investigation resulted in » More …

Dr. Universe: What can I do to help stop ocean pollution?

Dr. UniverseOne of the most important things we can do to prevent more pollution is to keep our garbage, especially plastic, out of the ocean. That’s what I found out from my friend Richelle Tanner, a marine biologist and researcher at WSU.

Tanner said it’s a lot easier to keep plastic out of the ocean than to get it out of the water. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates the amount of garbage humans put into the ocean every year is equal to about 90 aircraft carriers, those big ships » More …

Top Ten Senior Awards include five from CAS

For more than 80 years, WSU has recognized ten seniors in each graduating class. These women and men represent the highest standards in specific aspects of the college experience, including academics, athletics, campus involvement, community service, and visual and performing arts.

Meet the five CAS seniors selected for Top Ten recognition: » More …

A look at research in two SBS laboratories

Five people standing in front of shelvingVice President for Research Chris Keane, along with Mike Kluzik, director of the Office of Research Assurances, recently toured the Kelley and Cornejo laboratories in the School of Biological Sciences.

Research in the Kelley Laboratory focuses on evolutionary genomics and adaptation to extreme environments. The lab is interested in understanding how populations diverge and adapt to the environments they encounter. To identify and characterize specific genes » More …

Study shows generational toxicology of popular weed killer

molecular structureIn the first study of its kind, WSU researchers found a variety of diseases and other health problems in the second- and third-generation offspring of rats exposed to glyphosate, the world’s most popular weed killer. The researchers saw descendants of exposed rats developing prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, obesity and birth abnormalities.

Michael Skinner, professor of biological sciences, and his colleagues call this phenomenon “generational toxicology” and they’ve seen it over the years in fungicides, pesticides, jet fuel, the plastics compound bisphenol A, the insect repellant DEET and » More …

Annual awards honor faculty, staff, student achievement

group photo on the stageSixteen faculty, six staff, and six graduate students were honored for outstanding achievement at the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Appreciation and Recognition Social earlier this month.

Professor Mechthild Tegedar, an international leader in plant biology, and Gary Collins, a pioneer in the study of material defects, received the top two faculty awards. Chuck Cody and Paul Wheeler, both in » More …