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Reading

Butch Cougar in front of a pile of books
Spring 2021

Recommended reading

The persisting pandemic just might be the perfect time for relishing the power of books.

To transport us through time and space. To offer us insight and entertainment. To help us remember and make us forget. To lessen our stress and sense of loss and isolation. To give us courage and hope. To connect us and inspire us.

Books are both refuge and door, providing shelter from the storm as well as ways to escape to different worlds and discover new things. Many of us have turned to them for respite while we’re all largely sequestered in our homes.

Here, Washington State University faculty and … » More …

Fall 2004

As you read this, thank your ion channels

When Mike Varnum, assistant professor, Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Physiology, visits the aquarium, he looks at the sea creatures a bit differently than the rest of us. What interests him most about a creature is not its bright color or odd shape, but whether it makes a toxin that blocks an ion channel. Oddly, many of the creatures do.

Many toxins, in fact, block specific ion channels, though Varnum uses different agents in his work. Ion channels are pores in the membranes of many different types of cells-highly selective, gated pores-that permit the passage of specific charged particles, or ions, into or out … » More …

Winter 2008

Everybody reads

When Mary Roach was researching her book on human cadavers, she attended a seminar where plastic surgeons practiced techniques on severed human heads. She also visited a body farm in Tennessee to see remains in various states of decay. And she stood at an operating table to witness an organ harvest from a brain-dead patient whose heart was still beating.

While doing all these things, Roach simply followed her curiosity as it led her into some extraordinary places.

The author came to Pullman this fall in conjunction with the selection of her bestseller Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers for Washington State University’s Common … » More …