Sunday, April 30, 2023
Thursday, April 27, 2023
His drive is fueled by one dream: to impact the lives of people in his home country for the better. And at Oregon State University, Sylvester Omondi is gaining the knowledge, experiences and skills to achieve it.
The dream began when Omondi was in high school, participating in model United Nations conferences that inspired him to lead on a global scale. In January 2021, Omondi arrived at Oregon State University with a plan to achieve this goal — by developing his leadership abilities and public policy knowledge, learning about other cultures and building his portfolio of advocacy work. A sophomore and computer science major in the College of Engineering, Omondi chose Oregon State because of its vision for graduates — that they can be successful no matter what they decide to pursue and receive support throughout their time here. He adds that Oregon State’s location — with the mountains, beach and desert all nearby — allows him to explore the variety of landscapes in the U.S.
See more, here.
Monday, April 24, 2023
Trevor Denning uses a wheelchair and loves the outdoors. But sometimes, those realities aren’t compatible. He wants to change that.
Denning is on a mission to make the outdoors more accessible to those with physical disabilities. Most of the time, he says, the people making decisions about accessibility are not disabled and have no firsthand knowledge on how to make a state, local or national park accessible.
“I believe there need to be more people who are disabled in these positions because they are the ones with the real-world experience and know what needs to change,” he says. “On many occasions, I have visited an area that is deemed ‘accessible,’ when in fact, it is not.”
See more, here.
Friday, April 21, 2023
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Farmers die by suicide at twice the rate of the general population. Poor financial situations, crop failures, equipment breakdowns, weather and injuries are among the contributing factors. But the impacts these stresses have on farmers’ mental health aren’t always seen.
In response, the USDA-NIFA created the Farm and Stress Assistance Network in 2020 —and OSU Extension is spreading the word.
Oregon State is part of four regional Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network entities across the U.S., funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. FRSAN provides multiple resources to those working in agriculture, including a mental health self-assessment. It also includes a training program known as QPR, short for Question, Persuade, Refer. These 90-minute training sessions help families, friends and colleagues of farmers and ranchers understand the signs of depression and suicide, as well as how and when to step in. QPR training is offered via free webinars throughout the year.
Cassie Bouska, an associate professor of practice in the College of Agricultural Sciences and FRSAN project lead, says an easy way to understand QPR training is to compare it to CPR.
“CPR is an emergency intervention for cardiac events, while QPR is an emergency intervention for mental health/suicide events,” she says. “Everybody understands that with CPR, you recognize someone that needs help and use CPR skills to keep them alive until help arrives. QPR is basically the same process, just with different tools.”
Those tools include how to have a conversation with those showing signs of distress and potential suicide, how to find resources that might help them and when to point them toward experts who can provide professional help.
Since the program began, FRSAN has made several updates to reach more people who may be struggling. QPR training is now offered in Spanish, making it more accessible for Latino migrant farmworkers throughout Oregon. And the program has been marketed to reach both men and women, as well as a wide range of age groups.
Read more, here.
Saturday, April 15, 2023
Richard van Breemen, a researcher in Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute has identified two hemp compounds that may prevent the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from infecting human cells.
Using a mass spectrometry-based screening technique that was invented at Oregon State, van Breemen, OSU colleague Ruth Muchiri and five collaborators from Oregon Health & Science University found that a pair of cannabinoids — cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) — bind to the coronavirus spike protein, blocking a critical step in the infection process.
Hemp is a rich source of unique natural products that have therapeutic value. Unlike other cannabinoids that have psychoactive properties, the CBGA and CBDA compounds are not controlled substances and have a good safety profile in humans, van Breemen says, and they also have potential to prevent as well as treat COVID-19 infections.
van Breemen expects preclinical trials will happen within a few months. He says preclinical trials, required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before any clinical testing in humans can begin, involve using cell cultures and/or animal models to test the safety and efficacy of a new drug candidate.
COVID-19 hasn’t been beaten yet. But the discoveries made at Oregon State could be an effective tool in the fight.
Read more, here.
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Sunday, April 9, 2023
Thursday, April 6, 2023
Giulia Wood did not have a typical summer in 2022. For her, it was winter and included polar plunges, cracking glaciers and studying Antarctic krill.
The honors biochemistry and molecular biology major in the College of Science was part of Kim Bernard’s all-women research team studying how juvenile krill behave during the winter.
It’s a world most know only through books and documentaries, “untouchable until you are here,” Wood says.
Upon arriving on a U.S. Antarctic Program research vessel, Bernard’s team spent several days in Wilhelmina Bay and the Gerlache Strait to catch the krill needed for their research. They spent the first night searching for 10 hours to no avail.
The next day was magic. After receiving a one-word text, “krill,” Wood made a hectic dash to the vessel’s acoustics computer to help the crew reach an aggregation of krill. When she stepped back on deck, the crew was crouched over coolers filled with the tiny crustaceans.
“You could feel this energy in the air, this indescribable joy that we had done it,” Wood says. “It was a pretty spectacular moment.”
Originally from Washington’s San Juan Islands, Wood chose Oregon State University for its many undergraduate research opportunities, and she started pursuing them immediately. In her first year, Wood joined the Forest Animal Ecology Lab in the College of Forestry through the URSA Engage program in the Office of Undergraduate Research Scholarship and the Arts. She spent her second year in the United Kingdom, looking at sediment cores in a geography lab. Returning to Corvallis, she started looking for projects that piqued her curiosity.
Read more, here.
Monday, April 3, 2023
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