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Fall 2008

Why do good eggs go bad?

In 2004, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York produced a line of mice with an intriguing mutation. The mice make a defective form of a protein called SMC1beta that binds to chromosomes during the crossing-over stage. Pat Hunt and Terry Hassold, on the lookout for anything that might be involved in damage to chromosomes in the eggs of older women, recognized a hot prospect.

SMC1beta is part of a complex, or cluster, of four proteins called cohesins. The complex holds the two strands of each chromosome together while they break and recombine with the strands of their partner chromosome. Hunt and … » More …

Video: This is W.S.C. – 1952, featuring Edward R. Murrow

An introduction to Washington State College from 1952, narrated by Edward R. Murrow.

This film shows campus and student activities in 1952, from engineering students to football games to housing. Edward R. Murrow narrates the tour around WSC, which emphasizes research, practical training and extension mission as a land grant college.

Courtesy: WSU Libraries – Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections

Excerpt: 5 minutes, 32 seconds

A Conversation about Art and Biology with Ellen Dissanayake ’57

Ellen Franzen Dissanayake came to Washington State College from Walla Walla in 1953 as a music major. At the time, undergraduates were required to take four science classes. After taking the legendary BioSci 101 from Winfield Hatch and Human Physiology from Donald S. Farner, she found it easy to “think biologically,” which influenced her subsequent interest in the evolutionary origins of the arts.

At graduation, she married fellow student and zoologist John Eisenberg, and they moved to Berkeley, where he would attend graduate school. He was well on his way to becoming a prominent mammalian ethologist and was a rich source of thinking on behavior … » More …

Spring 2009

Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe’s work to help people with memory loss

Whether the problems stem from normal aging, diseases like Alzheimer’s, or traumatic brain injury, impaired memory can turn even routine tasks into major challenges. The main focus of Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe’s work is finding ways to help people with memory loss cope better with everyday tasks, enabling them to live independently as long as possible.

In one recent project, she coached volunteers with memory loss in the use of a notebook that resembled a detailed day planner. They recorded what happened as each day went along, including what they did, when, and with whom. That helped them with content, source, and temporal ordering memory. They also … » More …

Spring 2009

Gallery: Annotated pages from early English editions of Montaigne’s Essays

Selected pages from copies of Montaigne’s Essays, from Will Hamlin.

Return to article: Privacy and the Words of the Dead 

FLASH GOES HERE

From Privacy and the Words of the Dead, by Will Hamlin

…It’s very unlikely that these long-forgotten readers expected anyone to scrutinize their thoughts–anyone, that is, beyond their own immediate audience, which was often an audience of one. Yes, it’s true that the social construction of privacy varies tremendously from one culture to another, and it may be the case that seventeenth-century English readers felt that they were improving Montaigne when they filled his book with … » More …

Fall 2013

Water to the Promised Land

As an aquifer declines, farmers hope for water promised 80 years ago.

LAST SUMMER as we stood in the middle of Brad Bailie’s onion fields just north of Connell, the discussion, as discussions seem to do in the Columbia Basin, turned to water.

Bailie ’95 pumps irrigation water from a well drilled down 800 feet. Neighbors have pushed wells down to 2,000 feet. At such depths, the water is often laden with salts and minerals. After a while of irrigating with this water, a crust can form over the soil surface. Farmers must use a variety of means to break up the crust, including … » More …