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College of Arts and Sciences Grants

Powerful new microscope adds versatility to research

Daniel Mullendore and Valerie Lynch‑Holm work with the Apreo VolumeScope.The WSU Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center has acquired a microscope so powerful and versatile that Michael Knoblauch, the center director, compares it to a pig capable of making wool, milk and eggs. Or, to quote his native German, an eierlegende Wollmilchsau.

Technically, it’s an Apreo VolumeScope, and it brings a suite of imaging techniques, including the piecing together of detailed three‑dimensional images with a resolution of 10 nanometers, or about 1/10,000th of the width of a human hair. » More …

WSU undergraduate receives Sigma Xi research grant

Sigma XI logoAnnMarie McCracken, a student at WSU Pullman, has been awarded one of only 17 undergraduate research grants from the international scientific research honor society Sigma Xi  and its Grants‑in‑Aid of Research program.

McCracken is pursuing a double degree and plans to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and French. She will receive financial support from the program’s ecology category for » More …

New federal grants support energy research

Kevin Lynn.Kelvin Lynn, Regents Professor with a dual appointment in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, has received a $200,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office to advance solar research and development.

Lynn, who is also the Boeing Chair for Advanced Materials, and his group are working to improve cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar technology. Silicon solar cells represent 90 percent of the solar cell market, but CdTe solar cells offer a low‑cost alternative. They have the lowest carbon footprint in solar technology and » More …

Japanese anime characters help teach language, culture skills

Still from Macross: Do You Remember Love?Courageous, conflicted, cantankerous or just plain cute, the colorful characters brought to life in Japanese anime film and television can teach a great deal about the country’s culture, says Michael Arnold, incoming Japanese studies instructor at Washington State University.

Featuring vibrant, hand-drawn and computer-animated graphics, anime productions provide glimpses of Japanese life, values, and social norms as well as everyday language and idiomatic expressions used in context, Arnold said. » More …

$3M interdisciplinary grant to pursue epigenetic biomarkers

Michael Skinner in his laboratoryWashington State University researchers have received nearly $3 million from the John Templeton Foundation, the second such grant in four years, to see if they can anticipate and prevent diseases by developing epigenetic biomarkers that could provide early stage diagnostics for disease susceptibility. Their approach would be a departure from traditional “reactionary medicine,” which treats diseases after they develop, as well as from diagnoses based on an individual’s genetic profile. » More …

‘Apple to Glass’ grant supports improving cider industry

Apples and a glass of ciderHard apple cider is growing in popularity around the country, and craft ciders from small cideries are the fastest growing segment of that market.

Equipped with a grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a new group, led by Washington State University researchers, will work with orchardists and cider makers to develop the best apples to make the tasty libation. » More …

WSU startup receives NSF research grant

Klar logo imageA startup company launched by WSU physicist Matthew McCluskey received a $740,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase-II grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue the research and development of a new affordable and easy-to-use microscope.

Klar Scientific designs and manufactures an innovative spectroscopic confocal optical profile (COP) microscope, which collects » More …

Mathematics prof wins NSF grant to help stabilize power grid

Bala KrishnamoorthyThe rapid adoption of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, poses new threats to the stability of modern power systems across the United States and worldwide.

To address these risks and help ensure a steady supply of energy to homes and businesses, a Washington State University mathematics professor has received a $200,000, three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to examine worst-case impacts of increasing uncertainties in power flow—such as from renewable energy sources. » More …

Revealing how bacteria and grasses fix nitrogen

SwitchgrassReducing synthetic fertilizer use, pollution, farming costs, while freeing up nitrogen, mark possible benefits of a research project by Sarah Roley, assistant professor with the School of the Environment, Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Roley, and her two colleagues, recently landed a $483,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation, to pursue a more detailed understanding of how bacteria work with perennial grasses to fix nitrogen. » More …

$1 million Keck Foundation grant to develop self-replicating materials

Hipps Brozikfull in the labChemistry researchers at WSU have been awarded $1 million from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop molecular machines that self-replicate, producing pounds of 100-percent pure material.

Their research is the first step towards a new paradigm in manufacturing where everything from smartphones to life-saving cancer drugs could be designed one atom at a time to exact specifications and then grown out of a vat.

“In the end, the product of this research is going to be a new field of science where we can make literally almost anything in a way only seen » More …

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