A slight breeze comes from the north, but it’s not enough to stir the sun-faded windsock above the tarmac near Mann Lake in Lewiston, Idaho. The sudden and unexpected gusts of wind, however, do. It’s a brisk 48 degrees, but of more concern is the smeared cloud taking up the southwestern horizon, out of place among its more defined, cumulus neighbors mottling the blue canvas above.
“We have about ten minutes,” says Chris Chaney, who earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from WSU this year. “We’re going to have to time this right. This is probably one of the most dangerous flights we’ve done.”
Back in the ’90s, scientists for two major cancer-research organizations reviewed thousands of studies and saw armies of broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, and citrus fruits turning the tide on various cancers. Then, just a decade later, the same scientists said the evidence had since become “somewhat less impressive.”
It was a classic case of science coming off as, well, fickle. One minute, chocolate and beer are good for you. The next minute, science says “sorry” and snatches them from your hand.
“It goes back and forth,” says Gary Meadows, a Washington State University pharmacy professor with nearly four decades researching nutrition … » More …
Mike Leach walks into the new Cougar Football Complex towering between the west end zone of Martin Stadium and Rogers Practice Field for a final tour in May before the program moves in. Looking up, the head coach says, “Where did you get the four-story football player?”
The tour’s leader, WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos ’73, laughs. A huge image of a Cougar football player stretches from the bottom of the open staircase to the top level of the new building. The figure will be even more visible when it’s lit up at night, he says.
It’s a grand entrance for the newest athletic building, … » More …
Flu season was just a few months away, and in the summer of 2009, outbreaks of the H1N1 virus known as “swine flu” were popping up around the world. It was a novel virus, so rare that humans had yet to start developing immunity to it. A similar scenario was in place for the Spanish flu of 1918, an H1N1 outbreak more deadly than the Black Death bubonic plague.
By late August, as the first wave of students returned to Washington State University’s Pullman campus, the World Health Organization had seen the virus in scores of countries, … » More …
The human tongue is a pink, undulating, fleshy affair covered in thousands of papillae—all the better for sensory perception. If the tongue weren’t so ordinary, it would be strange to think of such an appendage taking up most of the room in your closed mouth, allowing you to discriminate the foul from the toothsome.
But there it is.
And here I am in Room 150 of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Building on the Pullman campus, one of eight panelists who will smell and drink wine after wine after wine over the course of two weeks. Kenny McMahon, a doctoral student, is our overseer, … » More …
Jane Kelley pulls a picture book from a shelf in her office and, flipping through the pages, shows a story of a little girl living in a graffiti- and trash-covered apartment complex. The book, Something Beautiful, tells how the girl takes charge of her own environment and cleans up her home to make it more beautiful.
Such depictions of poverty in realistic children’s fiction are unfortunately rare, says Kelley, an associate professor in the College of Education and a scholar of children’s literature. Despite the historically high prevalence of poverty in the United States, that fact of life for many kids is underrepresented in the … » More …
As small, relatively obscure seeds go, quinoa has a lot riding on it.
It measures about 3 millimeters across, and its worldwide production is about 1/20,000th of wheat, but foodies, researchers, farmers, grocers, and food policy experts can’t get enough of it. Packed with protein, adaptable, and hardy, it’s an emerging option in the quest to improve farm incomes while feeding a growing planet with impoverished soils and warming temperatures. The United Nations General Assembly has even given it its own year: 2013, the “International Year of Quinoa.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last February said it is “truly a food for the Millennium Development Goals,” … » More …
Growing up, Loralyn Young ’62 heard different versions of her Grandma Lucy, her grandmother’s mother. She was a Pennsylvania-born girl from a large family and for some time was apprenticed to a tailor. She married a homesteader more than 30 years her senior, and was widowed in Kansas with a young child at the age of 35. She later married Civil War veteran John Stevenson and started her second life. Then they moved to Washington where, at the age of 60, Lucy opened her own hat and dressmaking business in Issaquah. From some accounts, she was clever and hardworking. From others, precise and demanding.
Capt. James T. Kirk: You left spacedock without a tractor beam?
Capt. John Harriman: It doesn’t arrive until Tuesday.
—from Star Trek: Generations
Phil Marston is not a Trekkie, nor has he given much thought to the Star Trek tractor beam that can use focused beams of energy to attract and repel derelict spacecraft or, in one case, USS Enterprise Capt. James T. Kirk.
He was just intrigued by something, in this case, the way an acoustic beam is scattered by a sphere.
“Basically, it goes into the category of a problem you solve because it would be curious to see what … » More …
Much of Carolyn Ross’s work involves training people to quantify their taste. The sensory evaluation panels that she and her graduate students organize assess taste attributes in fruit and other foods and beverages such as sweetness, acidity, bitterness, and astringency. And “mouth feel,” which contributes enormously to the taste experience.
But for these panels to arrive at a consensus of, say, how sweet a given apple is, or how tart, or how much it crunches in relation to other apples, everyone must agree on the intensity of those attributes.
Before the panel members can evaluate a given food, they will train for a number of … » More …