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Latest University of Wisconsin Stories

Authors Sue U.S. Universities for Copyright Infringement
2011-09-14 04:59:18

  Five American universities participating in a program to digitize books are being sued by authors in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia, claiming that they have obtained unauthorized scans of millions of copyright-protected manuscripts, various media outlets reported Tuesday. Telegraph reporter Nick Allen reports that the lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan, claims that the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, the University of California, Indiana...

Critical Similarity Found Between Two Types Of Do-it-all Stem Cells
2011-09-12 07:37:12

  Ever since human induced pluripotent stem cells were first derived in 2007, scientists have wondered whether they were functionally equivalent to embryonic stem cells, which are sourced in early-stage embryos. Both cell types have the ability to differentiate into any cell in the body, but their origins — in embryonic and adult tissue — suggest that they are not identical. Although both cell types have great potential in basic biological research and in cell- and...

2011-08-29 13:04:48

Ever since scientists first began growing human cells in lab dishes in 1952, they have focused on improving the chemical soup that feeds the cells and helps regulate their growth. But surfaces also matter, says Laura Kiessling, a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who observes that living cells are normally in contact with each other and with a structure called the extracellular matrix, not just with the dissolved chemicals in their surroundings. "Soluble...

2011-08-25 21:35:49

Globally, irrigation increases agricultural productivity by an amount roughly equivalent to the entire agricultural output of the U.S., according to a new University of Wisconsin-Madison study. That adds up to a sizeable impact on carbon uptake from the atmosphere. It also means that water shortages – already forecasted to be a big problem as the world warms – could contribute to yet more warming through a positive feedback loop. The new research quantified irrigation's...

techpress-082311-001
2011-08-23 16:37:57

  Human gait could soon power portable electronics If the vision of Tom Krupenkin and J. Ashley Taylor comes to fruition, one day soon your cellphone – or just about any other portable electronic device – could be powered by simply taking a walk. In a paper appearing this week (Aug. 23) in the journal Nature Communications, Krupenkin and Taylor, both engineering researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, describe a new energy-harvesting technology that...

internationalpress-082311-001
2011-08-23 16:11:03

  Decade-long study questions conventional wisdom about the relationship between national parks and poverty If so many poor people live around national parks in developing countries, does that mean that these parks are contributing to their poverty? Yes, according to the conventional wisdom, but no, according to a 10-year study of people living around Kibale National Park in Uganda that was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)....

science-082311-004a
2011-08-23 15:50:24

  Scientists have found a wild species of yeast that is the ancestor of that which is used to make cold-brewing ale, according to a US study published on Monday. The yeast -- called Saccharomyces eubayanus -- was found in the deep forests of South America´s Patagonia region, living on beech trees. Scientists say the yeast was key to the invention of the crisp-tasting German beer 600 years ago. It took five years of searching before scientists discovered, identified and...

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2011-07-29 09:35:00

Bt Jill Sakai, University of Wisconsin-Madison During the last prolonged warm spell on Earth, the oceans were at least four meters "“ and possibly as much as 6.5 meters, or about 20 feet "“ higher than they are now. Where did all that extra water come from? Mainly from melting ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica, and many scientists, including University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscience assistant professor Anders Carlson, have expected that Greenland was the main culprit. But...

2011-07-25 23:35:08

For thousands of years, bakers and brewers have relied on yeast to convert sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yet, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers eager to harness this talent for brewing biofuels have found when it comes to churning through sugars, these budding microbes can be picky eaters. Published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center team identified several new genes that improve yeast's ability...

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2011-07-13 12:08:58

Growth of cropland, loss of natural habitat to blame The continued growth of cropland and loss of natural habitat have increasingly simplified agricultural landscapes in the Midwest. In a study supported in part by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in Michigan--one of 26 such NSF LTER sites around the world--scientists concluded that this simplification is associated with increased crop pest abundance and insecticide...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'