Cancer-killers from the sea?

Kerry McPhail is on the hunt for the most powerful products in nature.

Foraging the seas of Panama all the way to the Eastern Cape of South Africa, she brings marine organisms back to Oregon State University to unlock the compounds’ hidden power in the hopes of finding targets that shoot down cancer cells.

McPhail, an associate professor of medicinal chemistry in the School of Pharmacy, is trying, with funding  from NOAA via Oregon Sea Grant, to find compounds in natural products that can help fight cancer. …

Learn more

Teachers invited to free wave energy workshop

Youngsters explore wave energy lab at HMSC

NEWPORT – A free workshop at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center will familiarize Oregon coastal teachers with  current research and developments in wave energy, and how they can use the topic to create lessons where students can learn and apply Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills.

The workshop takes place from 9 am to noon Saturday, Nov. 16 and is open to second- through 12th-grade teachers up and down the Oregon coast. Sponsors are the Oregon Coast Regional STEM center, OSU, Oregon Sea Grant and the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center.

Participants will learn about latest developments in the field of wave energy,   create and test model wave energy devices, and receive a wave energy curriculum and supplies to use in the classroom. They will also learn how they can involve their students in the Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge in March 2014.

For more information, and to download a .pdf flyer and registration form, visit the HMSC Visitor Center’s teacher resources page.

Highest-risk town faces up to tsunami threat

Modeling tsunami wavesSEASIDE – Scientists agree that the “big one” — an earthquake reaching  magnitude 9.0 or higher — has a 10 to 15 percent chance of striking somewhere off the U.S. west coast in the Cascadia Subduction Zone within the next 50 years. Fifteen to 20 minutes later, a tsunami will move in and drown many coastal communities.

Geologists consider the town of Seaside – much of which sits at sea level –  “the highest-risk community on the Oregon coast,” said Yumei Wang, a geotechnical engineer at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

Little wonder that earthquake and tsunami preparedness is one of the Seaside School District’s main selling points for bond measure 4-168, which would fund a new $128.8 million K-12 campus to be built in the wooded hills east of Seaside Heights Elementary School. In the event of a natural catastrophe, the building housing the schools would double as an emergency shelter for the community.

These two concerns — a new learning environment for schools above the 80-foot tsunami inundation zone and the need for a refuge from a Japanese-style disaster — are the basis for SAFE (Support a Future for Education), a political action committee formed to generate support for the bond.

Learn more: