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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Biological Sciences

Undergraduates tackle important questions in sciences, humanities

Bala Krishnamoorthy and Josiah Cowin.Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, relieving chronic pain, understanding protest behavior, and conserving wildlife are among the goals of eight undergraduate research projects funded this spring by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students from across the college—in mathematics, chemistry, foreign languages, and political, psychological, environmental, and biological sciences—are working with faculty mentors to solve questions as diverse as » More …

Helping students succeed

A chemists hands holding liquid chemistry experiment.Senior zoology major Cassandra McElroen became a Chemistry 105 teaching assistant because she enjoys helping people and wants to provide students with a better understanding of the material.

Her role as a TA includes holding office hours once a week, where students can ask questions about anything chemistry-related. She also runs a lab section, where she helps her students run experiments and then » More …

PhD research program leads to national laboratory

Electric car charging it's batter.Batteries developed by Shuo Feng could someday revolutionize the nation’s power grid and help electric vehicles go further on one charge than ever before.

Feng is one of five doctoral students who completed their doctorate program through the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Washington State University Distinguished Graduate Research Program (DGRP) in 2021. » More …

Big gaps in quest to sequence genomes of all animals

Microscopic view of DNA strands and silhouettes of various insects and mammals.In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from WSU and Brigham Young University warn that current efforts to sequence the genomes of the world’s animals are overlooking huge swathes of diversity and opportunity.

“With genome assemblies accumulating rapidly, we want to think about where we are putting our efforts. It’s not being spread evenly across the animal tree of life,” said lead author Scott » More …

New biomarkers could predict rheumatoid arthritis

Close up of a woman's hands, one holding the other in pain.Cells from a cheek swab revealed biomarkers for rheumatoid arthritis that could lead to a way to diagnose and begin treatment before the disease develops, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

In the study, researchers from Washington State University and Arthritis Northwest in Spokane, Washington, identified a set of epimutations in cells from » More …

Cougar Cage funding advances CAS projects

Research into cancer in Tasmanian devils and a design internship program were two of the six WSU projects that received a combined $125,000 in funding in the second round of the Cougar Cage competition.

Launched last January, Cougar Cage matches private donors with projects pitched by WSU faculty, staff, and students. This fall, a mix of students and professors » More …

CAS staff, student honored with safety awards

WSU Spirit Mark.The annual system-wide WSU President’s Awards for Safety, Health, and Security recognize community members who contribute significantly to the well-being of the University. In 2021, three CAS staff members and one CAS undergraduate student were honored for their exceptional work. » More …

A new wave of aquatic biology technology

Students in a lab view frogs in a plastic tub.Bolstered by a $1 million upgrade in equipment and facilities, WSU researchers in biology, neuroscience, agriculture, veterinary medicine, and related fields anticipate significant breakthroughs in aquatic phenomics research with wide-ranging applications for human and animal health and ecology.

“The new aquatic phenomics system (APS) technology will enable rigorous » More …

Dr. Universe: Why can’t we breathe in space?

Dr. UniverseOn Earth, humans have oxygen to breathe. But there’s very little oxygen to breathe in space.

Space is actually a kind of vacuum, which means there isn’t a whole lot of matter, or stuff, out there between the planets and the stars.

For Earthlings like you and me, oxygen is an essential part of life. While 21% of Earth’s atmosphere is oxygen, my friend Yimo Liu reminded me it wasn’t always that way. » More …

$3M grant supports transformative graduate student research

Dylan Bugden, Erica Crespi, and Alexander Fremier.Washington State University will soon be preparing graduate students to tackle a difficult, interdisciplinary problem that is more than 1,200 miles long: the Columbia River.

With the support of a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, WSU will develop a research training program focused on the relationships among rivers, watersheds, and communities. The program is intended to » More …