Stories indexed under: Science

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  • Calculating the future of solar-fuel refineries Jan. 23, 2015 A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has developed a new tool to help plot the future of solar fuels. In a paper recently published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, a team led by chemical and biological engineering Professors Christos Maravelias and George Huber outlined a tool to help engineers better gauge the overall yield, efficiency and costs associated with scaling solar-fuel production processes up into large-scale refineries.
  • Photo: An island of forest in a sea of soy agriculture in Mato Grosso Study shows Brazil’s Soy Moratorium still needed to preserve Amazon Jan. 22, 2015 Today, fewer chicken nuggets can trace their roots to cleared Amazon rain forest.
  • Photo: Dog brains with and without Pelizaeus Merzbacher disease modeling Rare neurological disease shines light on health of essential nerve cells Jan. 22, 2015 Ian Duncan is a Scotsman with the iron discipline and stamina of a competitive marathoner, triathlete and cross-country skier. As a neuroscientist at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he's applied his tenacity to a rare genetic disorder.
  • UW computer scientists enhance robotic manufacturing Jan. 20, 2015 Some industrial robots are hulking, highly specialized pieces of machinery that are cordoned off by cages from human factory workers.
  • Photo: Professor Tom Reps, graduate students Jason Breck and David Bingham Brown, and Professor Ben Liblit New research project funded by Department of Defense will enable faster, better coding Jan. 16, 2015 Pliny, a new research project for writing more error-free, secure code, is being funded by a four-year, $11 million grant recently announced by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense. UW-Madison computer scientists will collaborate with their counterparts at Rice University in Houston (which will lead the project), the University of Texas at Austin, and the company GrammaTech.
  • Photo: Lake Mendota algae Humanity has exceeded 4 of 9 ‘planetary boundaries,’ according to researchers Jan. 15, 2015 An international team of researchers says climate change, the loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, and altered biogeochemical cycles like phosphorus and nitrogen runoff have all passed beyond levels that put humanity in a “safe operating space.” Civilization has crossed four of nine so-called planetary boundaries as the result of human activity, according to a report published today in Science by the 18-member research team. Among them is Steve Carpenter, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology and the only U.S.-based researcher on the study.
  • Photo: Xiaojun Tan UW-Madison scientists find how many cancers may evade treatment Jan. 15, 2015 Xiaojun Tan, a graduate student in Richard A. Anderson’s lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, made an unexpected observation while studying the locations inside cells where the epidermal growth factor receptor, EGFR, can be found. His subsequent investigation revealed how cancer was evading treatment drugs: by sneaking through the cellular back door.
  • Photo: Sam Gellman Chemical dial controls attraction between water-repelling molecules Jan. 14, 2015 Abbott, Gellman and a group of University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers have provided new insights on hydrophobic interactions within complex systems. In a study published today in the journal Nature, the researchers show how the nearby presence of polar (water-attracted, or hydrophilic) substances can change the way the nonpolar hydrophobic groups want to stick to each other.
  • Carbon nanotube finding could lead to flexible electronics with longer battery life Jan. 14, 2015 University of Wisconsin-Madison materials engineers have made a significant leap toward creating higher-performance electronics with improved battery life — and the ability to flex and stretch. Led by materials science Associate Professor Michael Arnold and Professor Padma Gopalan, the team has reported the highest-performing carbon nanotube transistors ever demonstrated. In addition to paving the way for improved consumer electronics, this technology could also have specific uses in industrial and military applications.
  • Photo: Doug Maynard Infamous study of humanity’s ‘dark side’ may actually show how to keep it at bay Jan. 9, 2015 In 1961, with memories of Holocaust atrocities and the prosecution of Nazi officials at Nuremburg still fresh, psychologist Stanley Milgram undertook a series of now infamous experiments on obedience and reprehensible behavior.
  • Photo: Ph.D. student Sarah Guillot conducts research on new battery materials UW grant program seeds promising ideas, like safer batteries Jan. 8, 2015 State Economic Engagement & Development (SEED) grants are administered by the Office of Industrial Partnerships to support research that interests a researcher and a spinoff he or she founded. During fiscal year 2015, its first year, SEED started disbursing $700,000 to five laboratories. The next round of grants is budgeted at $625,000, and applications are due Feb. 15.
  • Photo: BioHouse students In its first year, BioHouse brings opportunity for students in science Jan. 6, 2015 BioHouse is the newest of 10 UW–Madison residential learning communities — clusters of students in residence halls who choose to live with others active in a common interest area — three of which are designed for students interested in science. Focused on biological sciences, BioHouse — in partnership with WISCIENCE and University Housing — opened in fall 2014 with 66 residents.
  • Deer account for almost half of long-term forest change, study finds Jan. 2, 2015 A study released this week has linked at least 40 percent of species changes in the forests of northern Wisconsin and Michigan over the past 60 years to the eating habits of white-tailed deer.
  • Pecatonica without the ‘P’: Project cuts phosphorus levels in river Dec. 23, 2014 Conservation experts and farmers alike are rather pleased with the news out of southwestern Wisconsin. A seven-year pilot project in the 12,000-acre Pleasant Valley subwatershed of the Pecatonica River has helped to reduce the amount of phosphorus and sediment entering the river after major storms by more than a third.
  • Muddy forests, shorter winters present challenges for loggers Dec. 22, 2014 Stable, frozen ground has long been recognized a logger’s friend, capable of supporting equipment and trucks in marshy or soggy forests. Now, a comprehensive look at weather from 1948 onward shows that the logger’s friend is melting. The study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Environmental Management, finds that the period of frozen ground has declined by an average of two or three weeks since 1948.
  • Photo: DNA extraction Neal First, whose work led to cattle cloning, dies at 84 Dec. 18, 2014 Emeritus Professor Neal First, a pioneer in cattle reproduction and cloning who studied animal physiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 45 years, died Nov. 20 from complications of cancer.
  • Image: Portion of eukaryotic cell illustration New theory suggests alternate path led to rise of the eukaryotic cell Dec. 12, 2014 As a fundamental unit of life, the cell is central to all of biology. Better understanding how complex cells evolved and work promises new revelations in areas as diverse as cancer research and developing new crop plants.
  • Photo: Classic and modern biochemical approaches New studies power legacy of UW-Madison mitochondrial research Dec. 11, 2014 Dave Pagliarini recently published two studies shedding more light on coenzyme Q and how it’s made, one in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) in October and another today in Molecular Cell.
  • Photo: Hand holding small device Internet of Things Lab focuses on tech-savvy inventions Dec. 8, 2014 If six young technologists at University of Wisconsin-Madison have their way, bike thieves around campus will face a new obstacle: bikes capable of “talking” to Internet-connected bike racks.
  • Collaboration yields new organic sweet corn variety Dec. 4, 2014 When the time comes for Wisconsin’s organic farmers to decide which crops to plant next year, they’ll have a tasty new variety of sweet corn — with a particularly sweet name — among their choices. The new variety, called “Who Gets Kissed?,” is the first in a series of organic, open-pollinated sweet corns being developed through a plant-breeding project led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA). Farmers and professional breeders are also involved.