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College of Arts and Sciences Published research/scholarship/creative work

New books get to roots of contemporary issues

Book covers for Ruptured Lives, Power Politics, and Chronic Disparities.Tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues —from energy supply to mass migration and public health—is at the heart of an acclaimed new book series based on WSU’s innovative Roots of Contemporary Issues program (RCI).

Written and edited by WSU history faculty, the series reflects the RCI thematic structure and introduces the University’s pioneering teaching approach to educators and students at other institutions.

“We designed the books after years of learning how to engage with WSU students who are eager to learn about how the world » More …

‘Fear of Missing Out’ impacts people of all ages

A young man holding a cell phone and looking out a window.Social media addicted teenagers are not the only people who experience the Fear of Missing Out also known as FoMO.

“FoMO is really about individual differences, irrespective of age,” said Chris Barry, a WSU psychology professor and the lead author on a recent study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. “We expected FoMO to be higher in younger age groups, particularly because of the tremendous amount of social development happening at those times, but that’s not what we found.” » More …

Styrofoam-eating mealworms could be safe for dinner

Mealworms in a wooden bowl.Brenden Campbell, a master’s student in the School of the Environment, won recognition from the Comparative Nutrition Society for virtually presenting research on a recently discovered ability in mealworms. In his WSU undergraduate honors research project, Campbell found that the larvae can safely eat polystyrene waste, discarded polymers better known by their trade name of Styrofoam.

At the society’s virtual conference in summer 2020, Campbell received the Best Poster Oral and Q&A Award for » More …

Small towns have highest risk of intimate partner violence

Ariel shot of a small town.“In criminology, we often have this urban bias. We assume big cities are the worst and paint other places as idyllic,” said Kathryn DuBois, associate professor at WSU Vancouver. “We tend to think in a continuum from urban to suburban to rural, but for intimate partner violence, it’s actually the suburban areas that are the safest, and small towns that have the highest risk.”

In a recent study, DuBois, analyzed the responses of more than 570,000 women from the National Crime Victimization Survey from 1994 to 2015. She found that women from small towns were 42% more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence than women from the suburbs and » More …

Tasmanian devil gene mutation offers insight on human cancer

Tasmanian DevilA rare, transmissible tumor has brought the iconic Tasmanian devil to the brink of extinction, but new research indicates hope for the animals’ survival and possibly new treatment for human cancers.

A team of international scientists led by Andrew Storfer, WSU professor of biological sciences, and Mark Margres, a former WSU postdoctoral fellow now at Harvard University, studied the genomes of cases of devil facial tumor disease, or DFTD, that regressed » More …

Climate change and glacial stream insects

Stonefly.An endangered aquatic insect that lives in icy streams fed by glaciers might not mind if the water grows warmer due to climate change.

A study co-authored by WSU post-doctoral researcher Scott Hotaling found that mountain stoneflies can tolerate warmer water temperatures, at least temporarily.

While the study goes against the prevailing theory that rising water temperatures will be devastating for the glacial stream insects, Hotaling said this does not mean that global warming will be » More …

Understanding cybercrime marketplaces

As instances of online identity theft continue to rise over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, WSU criminologist Alex Kigerl is helping to shed light on the shady world of cybercriminals and how it operates.

A backstabbing crime boss and thousands of people looking for free tutorials on hacking and identity theft were among the more interesting findings in his study examining user activity on two online “carding forums,” illegal sites that specialize in stolen credit card information.

“The cybercrime marketplace, like most e-commerce, has continued to expand and » More …

Several fish adapt in same way to toxic water

Toxic fish.At least 10 different lineages of fish have adapted to live in an extreme environment using the same mechanism, according to a study led by WSU evolutionary biologists.

The fish, which were found living in streams with highly toxic levels of hydrogen sulfide in different locations in the United States, Mexico and the island of Hispaniola, all had adapted to their harsh environments by modifying an enzyme in their mitochondria, so the toxicant could not bind to it.

The study, recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceschallenges the idea that » More …

The art and craft of historical narrative

Buddy Levy in the field.Buddy Levy, a longtime clinical professor in English, likes to make the trip.

He specializes in historical narrative, paying meticulous attention to detail, writing cinematically, and traveling to the sites of the stories he’s researching—sometimes several hundred years after they’ve occurred. Travel, he says, is necessary for scene-setting and description, and can be more meaningful than archival research.

His seventh book, Labyrinth of Ice, started with a visit to Greenland in 2003. But he was there to write about something else. Levy was covering a race in which » More …

Examining how autism research can improve juvenile justice policies

Book cover: Law and Neurodiversity.A new book co-authored by Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Laurie A. Drapela offers guidance on how autism research can inform and improve juvenile justice policies in Canada and the United States. Both countries rely on decentralized systems of governance to craft and implement law and policy, but their treatment of » More …