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WSU scientific research gets in gear with Accelerator partnership

The minting of Washington State University research took a huge step forward Tuesday with the announcement of a new partnership with Seattle-based Accelerator Corp.

The agreement puts the university in the company of the prestigious Institute for Systems Biology and four other Seattle research centers and, also as of Tuesday, New York City-based institutions like Columbia and Rockefeller universities and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

That’s fast company, but a long time coming for WSU, which has struggled to bring its efforts to commercialize research up to the level of the research itself. And the timing could not be better for Spokane, where new laboratories and new … » More …

Making plants faster and better!

WSU plant scientist Dr. Amit Dhingra, associate professor and scientist, and members of his research team in the Department of Horticulture founded Phytelligence  in 2012, the first plant based biotechnology startup at WSU. They developed a tree growing method that is 3 times faster, conserves water and reduces the need for plant pesticides or herbicides – hailed “smarter plants”.

Recently, Phytelligence received media attention with their first large sale delivery of 1000 raspberry plants to a company in the Northwest, with a plan to deliver another 50,000 this August.

All of the ideas for the “smarter plants” came from the research work conducted in Dinghra’s … » More …

Biodegradable gel stores 250 times its weight in water


Washington State University professor  Dr. Jinwen Zhang and his research team have developed an absorbent gel made of biodegradable material that has several distinct advantages and uses over similar products currently made of petroleum derived materials. The gel is biodegradable, made from soy proteins, and  can absorb more than 250 times its weight in water. It is very similar in texture to material now used in disposable diapers. However, it does not carry the petroleum product environmental contamination concerns. Currently available biologically derived gels in foods and medical products are more expensive and less durable than … » More …

Into the future – driving with no noise or pollution


Dr. Su Ha(r) with graduate student Byeong Wan Kwon (WSU news)

A research team at WSU with Drs. M. Grant Norton and Su Ha and 12 graduate students in the Voilland College of Engineering and Architecture have been collaborating with the Boeing Corporation and Korea’s Kyung Hee University to develop the first fuel cell that converts chemical energy to electrical energy.

This project has been underway almost nine years after Boeing requested research proposals to develop new environmentally friendly and energy efficient technologies for use in their aircraft. Boeing has funded this research since then … » More …

Little chip – big data

Energy use at huge data farms could decrease by as much as 20 percent if WSU’s new computer chip with a wireless network on it becomes a commercial reality. Dr. Partha Pande, a professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, with Professors Deukhyoun Heo and Benjamin Belzer, published a paper on their research in the May issue of an emerging technologies publication and have filed two patents on  their chip design.

The innovation would also speed up data processing and replace the conventional metal wires on current computer chips that are wasteful in long range data exchanges. Sustainable computing is growing as … » More …