Stories indexed under: Science

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  • Kenneth Cameron Project prepares collection for 21st-century challenge of invasive species Sept. 12, 2014 At the Wisconsin State Herbarium, director Kenneth Cameron is spearheading a new, three-year project to “digitize” images and data on aquatic and wetland plants, mollusks and fish from the Great Lakes basin. The $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation will also be disbursed to natural history museums at UW campuses in Stevens Point, Milwaukee and La Crosse, and in every other Great Lakes state. Together, these institutions expect to digitize 1.73 million specimens related to Great Lakes invasives.
  • Photo: Richard Davidson Yogic breathing shows promise in reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder Sept. 11, 2014 One of the greatest casualties of war is its lasting effect on the minds of soldiers. This presents a daunting public health problem: More than 20 percent of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a 2012 report by RAND Corp.
  • Wisconsin Science Festival Wisconsin Science Festival to celebrate scientific discovery, community Sept. 11, 2014 Thousands of visitors, young and old, will have the chance to indulge their “inner scientist” during the 2014 Wisconsin Science Festival, with more than 20 communities statewide joining Madison in the event. Now in its fourth year, the festival will be held from Oct. 16-19.
  • Rat brain cortex Cool Science Image collection debuts at McPherson Eye Research Vision Gallery Sept. 9, 2014 The winning images from the 2014 Cool Science Image (CSI) contest will be on display beginning Sept. 2 at the Mandelbaum & Albert Family Vision Gallery, part of the McPherson Eye Research Institute.
  • Neuron In directing stem cells, study shows context matters Sept. 8, 2014 In a new study, a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has added a new wrinkle to the cell differentiation equation, showing that the stiffness of the surfaces on which stem cells are grown can exert a profound influence on cell fate.
  • Prototype electric motor New motor under development by UW-Madison spinoff Sept. 8, 2014 A tabletop motor using an entirely new driving principle is under development at the headquarters of C-Motive Technologies, a startup business that is commercializing technology from the College of Engineering at UW-Madison.
  • Physical Sciences Lab PSL: Still making amazing instruments after all these years Sept. 4, 2014 A century ago, physicists used a tabletop “cloud chamber” to explore the motion of otherwise invisible particles. Today, they need giant machines to explore the bizarre frontiers of modern physics. And significant components of the most important modern physics experiments in China, Switzerland, the United States and the South Pole can trace their roots to a lab across the road from a cornfield near Stoughton, Wisconsin — the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Physical Sciences Laboratory, or PSL.
  • Soybean plants A touching story: The ancient conversation between plants, fungi and bacteria Aug. 27, 2014 The mechanical force that a single fungal cell or bacterial colony exerts on a plant cell may seem vanishingly small, but it plays a heavy role in setting up some of the most fundamental symbiotic relationships in biology. In fact, it may not be too much of a stretch to say that plants may have never moved onto land without the ability to respond to the touch of beneficial fungi, according to a new study led by Jean-Michel Ané, a professor of agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Photo: Section of asphalt resting on two cylindrical samples in lab UW center teams up with five states to address asphalt issues Aug. 22, 2014 More than 80 percent of major roads in the United States are still surfaced with asphaltic mixtures - and the liquid asphalt, a byproduct of oil refining, remains a bit of a chemical mess, an inconsistent, complex mix of hydrocarbons. So to understand how different kinds of asphalt will hold up under the weight of vehicles and the punishment of the elements, road engineers must use physical methods, from ovens to hydraulic testing devices, to inflict stress and extreme temperatures upon the mixtures.
  • UW-Madison chosen for federally funded cloud computing research Aug. 21, 2014 Cloud computing, which allows users of technology to tap into remote, shared infrastructure and services, is a major facet of today’s world. Whether or not we realize it, countless aspects of our daily lives — from social media to drug discovery — are now enabled by cloud computing. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been chosen to be part of a National Science Foundation-funded project called CloudLab — a joint effort of university and industry teams for the development of cloud infrastructure and fostering the high-level research that it supports.
  • Helping communities prepare for climate change Aug. 21, 2014 Over the last several decades, Wisconsin has seen an increase in extreme weather and variability, and these conditions are likely to become more common in the years ahead. Scientists in the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research (CCR) project a sharp rise in average annual temperatures in coming decades – somewhere between 4 and 9 degrees Fahrenheit – spawning more frequent and intense storms, droughts and heat waves. These trends will challenge cities throughout the state.
  • Waclaw Szybalski Legend in genetics at forefront of book about heroism during 20th century's darkest hours Aug. 20, 2014 Waclaw Szybalski, 92, a genius of genetics who has been repeatedly mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize, grew up as an aspiring scientist during World War II in the eastern part of Poland. Many of Szybalski's most significant wartime roles concerned a decidedly applied type of science: He cooked TNT so the Polish resistance could sabotage rail lines. He participated in smuggling typhus vaccine to Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. And he fed lice and supervised "louse feeders."
  • Ken Cameron Herbarium director receives award for telling the story of plants Aug. 19, 2014 Ken Cameron, director of the Wisconsin State Herbarium, received the Peter Raven Award from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists Aug. 5. Cameron, also a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a world expert on the orchid family.
  • Photo: Volker Radeloff No one-size-fits-all approach in a changing climate, changing land Aug. 18, 2014 As climate change alters habitats for birds and bees and everything in between, so too does the way humans decide to use land. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Aarhus University in Denmark have, for the first time, found a way to determine the potential combined impacts of both climate and land-use change on plants, animals and ecosystems across the country.
  • Photo: foot on coordination-retraining device Grants fund UW technology projects on the road to commercialization Aug. 15, 2014 An exercise machine that helps stroke victims walk. An advanced technology for assessing the progress of prostate cancer. A faster process for making neural stem cells to investigate new treatments for injury and disease. A cheaper, more beautiful LED light bulb. A game to teach meditation. These projects, and a dozen more, are beneficiaries of the first round of awards by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Discovery to Product, or D2P, program, which began operating in March.
  • Photo: Thomas Givnish New analysis links tree height to climate Aug. 14, 2014 What limits the height of trees? Is it the fraction of their photosynthetic energy they devote to productive new leaves? Or is it their ability to hoist water hundreds of feet into the air, supplying the green, solar-powered sugar factories in those leaves?
  • Antarctic ice sheet Climate conundrum: Conflicting indicators on what preceded human-driven warming Aug. 11, 2014 When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently requested a figure for its annual report, to show global temperature trends over the last 10,000 years, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Zhengyu Liu knew that was going to be a problem. Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science today, Liu and colleagues describe a consistent global warming trend over the course of the Holocene, our current geological epoch, counter to a study published last year that described a period of global cooling before human influence.
  • Photo: Trout Lake Station scientist leading boat tour Science in the Northwoods: Trout Lake Station open house Aug. 8, 2014 The first of August was a gorgeous day in northern Wisconsin: temperatures were in the mid-70s, the waters of Trout Lake were remarkably calm and clear, and the mosquitoes, for the first time this summer, were nowhere to be found. It was the perfect day for Trout Lake Station's 4th annual open house.
  • Manos Mavrikakis Water’s reaction with metal oxides opens doors for researchers Aug. 8, 2014 A multi-institutional team has resolved a long-unanswered question about how two of the world’s most common substances interact. In a paper published recently in the journal Nature Communications, Manos Mavrikakis, professor of chemical and biological engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his collaborators report fundamental discoveries about how water reacts with metal oxides
  • Photo: Hiroshi Maeda Fundamental plant chemicals trace back to bacteria Aug. 7, 2014 A fundamental chemical pathway that all plants use to create an essential amino acid needed by all animals to make proteins has now been traced to two groups of ancient bacteria. The pathway is also known for making hundreds of chemicals, including a compound that makes wood strong and the pigments that make red wine red.