Skip to main content Skip to navigation
College of Arts and Sciences Michael Skinner

Four CAS faculty elected to state Academy of Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences, Washington State UniversityIn September, four CAS faculty will join the ranks of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, an organization that advances science in the state and informs public policy.

“It’s a great honor that so many WSU scientists have been recognized by the Washington State Academy of Sciences,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “They’ll be contributing their expertise to some of the most important issues we face in Washington. It’s another way » 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 …

Biology professor serves as lead editor for Encyclopedia of Reproduction

Illustration of a sperm connecting with an eggFun fact: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek witnessed the “presence and vigor” of his own spermatozoa, which he called “animalcules,” in one of the first uses of the single-lens microscope.

This observation is among thousands in the second edition of the “Encyclopedia of Reproduction,” a magnum opus involving more than 1,000 authors, nearly 600 cross-referenced chapters, and edited by WSU biologist Michael Skinner and eight associate editors. At 3,868 pages » More …

CAS leads top 20 WSU research stories of 2017

From rising inequality and declining Monarch butterfly populations to a particle with negative mass, news coverage about the College of Arts and Sciences research reached millions of people last year.

News outlets carrying the stories ran the gamut of the nation’s most popular media, including CNN, The Washington Post and National Public Radio, as well as specialty science publications like Science and all the region’s major news vehicles. » More …

Researchers see popular herbicide affecting health across generations

Supp. Fig. 1 partial, map of US usageFirst, the good news. Washington State University researchers have found that a rat exposed to a popular herbicide while in the womb developed no diseases and showed no apparent health effects aside from lower weight.

Now, the weird news. The grand-offspring of that rat did have more disease, as did a great-grand offspring third generation.

“The third generation had multiple diseases and much more frequently than the third generation of unexposed rats,” said Michael Skinner, a Washington State University professor of biological sciences. At work, says Skinner, are epigenetic inheritance changes that turn genes on and off, often because of environmental influences. » More …

Sperm changes documented years after chemotherapy

CAS logo on white with borderA Washington State University researcher has documented epigenetic changes in the sperm of men who underwent chemotherapy in their teens.

The changes can influence how genes are turned on an off, potentially affecting the health of tissues in subsequent generations, said Michael Skinner, a professor in the WSU School of Biological Sciences and Center for Reproductive Biology. He is suggesting that teens about to undergo chemotherapy have some of their sperm preserved for when they would like to start a family.

» More …