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Note from the Editor

Thoughts from editor Andy Duncan.

Apparently, livestock nibbling in the pastures of western Oregon have something in common with gigantic denizens of the deep grazing in the ocean off the north slope of Alaska.

It has to do with evolution, and with pollution. You’ll find out more when you read Bob Rost’s article, Northern Exposure. It’s about the reseach of OSU veterinarian Morrie Craig.

Craig’s work may seem kind of “out there.” But questioning conventional wisdom, following leads and hunches, and trying to make connections are all part of science.

I’m struck by some connections elsewhere in this issue.

An article by Carol Savonen examines how Oregon’s broiler and grass seed industries are connecting.

Another article, by John Schmitz, focuses on a gene that promotes leanest and muscle growth in sheep. In the long run, the work could be connected to human health.

In Yolanda Calvillo’s piece on wine research you’ll hear about scientists developing a new technique wine makers can use to contend with bacteria that cause problems. The key is a substance in a food you see on breakfast menus, not wine lists.

There’s also an article about Oregonians trying to work together on natural resource issues, forming organizations with that in mind. I don’t think I’m off base saying there are quite a few people in the state who think this kind of connecting is critically important. Montana writer William Kittredge may have expressed the viewpoint most eloquently in his 1996 book Who Owns the West?

“We need to recognize that adversarial, winner-take-all, showdown political decision-making is a way to defeat ourselves,” writes Kittredge. “Our future starts when we begin honoring the dreams of our enemies while staying true to our own.”