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Health Sciences

Winter 2019

The genetics of trauma

Medical researchers are beginning to ask a question: Can the effects of a trauma experienced by one generation somehow be passed on to subsequent generations? Could the deeply traumatizing experience of surviving, for example, genocide or severe malnutrition negatively impact the health of subsequent generations of survivors’ children?

Jews, homosexuals, and others experienced brutal persecution during World War Two. Contemporary Native Americans are the offspring of survivors of a concerted effort at genocide, both physical and cultural, through the Indian Wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the boarding school system that stripped Indigenous North Americans of their cultural knowledge, including their languages and … » More …

man with puppy
Summer 2019

Medicine that lands on all fours

Pets can be a vital anchor for people caught in the slow-motion disaster of homelessness. In Spokane and Seattle, Washington State University nursing and veterinary medicine students work together with the University of Washington and nonprofit partners to deliver vital care to both homeless people and their animal companions. » More ...
blue pattern
Spring 2019

Health care innovations from WSU

From 3D-printed bones to portable defibrillators, alumni and faculty of Washington State University have contributed a number of health-care innovations to the world. Check out some of the devices and new techniques below.

Read about health-care smartphone apps developed by two WSU alumni in “What’s app?

Portable heart defibrillator

Clint Cole (’87 B.S. Comp. Sci., ’00 M.S. Elec. Engr.)

Because it required less energy, the defibrillator developed by Clint Cole and his research group could be lighter and smaller by a factor of five, making it portable—and ubiquitous.

A former paramedic, Cole is an inventor, CEO, and college instructor … » More …

Spring 2019

Medical Big Data

Big data is a powerful new tool in the medical bag, and one that can put patients in charge of their own health. Medical students at Washington State University are learning about the potential use of the tool on medical teams, while a new data analytics program at WSU teaches future data analysts. » More ...
DNA autoradiogram in a petri dish (Photo Rafe Swan/Alamy)
Spring 2019

Genomics fills a gap for adoptees

If you have gene variants such as BRCA or Lynch Syndrome, both of which may lead to difficult-to-treat cancers, “you’ve noticed it,” says Thomas May, an endowed professor of bioethics in Washington State University’s College of Medicine. “Noticed” is May’s measured way of saying that “multiple people in your family have died” of breast or colon cancer.

“Unless you don’t have access to family health history,” May adds.

One of the primary diagnostic tools available to doctors is family medical history. Breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions are often genetic. Knowing that a parent had a disease is important information … » More …

fresh thyme in bottle on white background - Photo Vadim Ginzburg
Winter 2018

Centering on supplements’ safety

Dietary supplements. Natural remedies. Botanicals. Energy drinks. Wellness boosts. Health foods. Vitamins.

When choosing whether or not to use dietary supplements or other natural products, there are a lot of questions about the value of these products and their benefits. They often claim to be “all natural,” but that doesn’t necessarily make them safe for you. Natural products are not required to go through the same rigorous research and clinical trials as pharmaceuticals prior to marketing, so many potential health dangers are simply unknown.

Researcher Mary Paine, associate professor at Washington State University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Spokane and a registered … » More …