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Latest University of Wisconsin Stories

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2011-04-28 06:05:00

A new study suggests that parts of the brain can actually fall asleep for a fraction of a second when tired, despite the fact that the organ as a whole is awake at the time. The implications of the study, which was conducted on rats, are far-reaching, particularly for people performing tasks where sleep deprivation could be dangerous, the scientists said. "Even before you feel fatigued, there are signs in the brain that you should stop certain activities that may require alertness," said...

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2011-04-23 10:50:00

Research in the worm is shedding light on a protein associated with a number of different human cancers, and may point to a highly targeted way to treat them.University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists were studying a worm protein called TFG-1, which is present in many cell types but whose exact role had never been understood. The scientists discovered that the protein controls key aspects of the movement, or secretion, of growth factors out of cells."TFG-1 has never been implicated in the...

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2011-04-19 10:30:09

Precipitation and predators key in ecological regulation of infectious disease A little information can go a long way when it comes to understanding rodent-borne infectious disease, as shown by a new study led by scientist John Orrock of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and colleagues. The researchers studied wild deer mouse populations on the Channel Islands off the southern coast of California.  The mice carry a variant of hantavirus--a disease spread by rodents--called Sin Nombre...

2011-04-11 15:42:05

Using sinus tissue removed during surgery at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have managed to grow a recently discovered species of human rhinovirus (HRV), the most frequent cause of the common cold, in culture. The researchers found that the virus, which is associated with up to half of all HRV infections in children, has reproductive properties that differ from those of other members of the HRV family. The accomplishments,...

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2011-03-17 05:45:00

The annual Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research award has been given to three stem cell researchers for their work in human stem cells. The winners are Elaine Fuchs of Rockefeller University in New York City, James A. Thomson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan. The researchers will share $500,000, which is the largest award in medicine and science in the U.S. Morris "Marty"...

2011-03-02 13:27:25

Animals' capacity to adapt is a factor in how they are likely to respond to changing climate conditions. This conclusion of a new study published March 2 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B is not especially surprising, says author Brandon Barton, but confirms the importance of accounting for local adaptation when determining the likely ecological effects of climate change. The work shows that the ability of the top predator in a well-studied food web to adapt to local temperatures can...

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2011-02-22 11:40:00

Hearing tests in more than 2,800 adults between the ages of 21 to 84 concluded that one in seven had lost some degree of hearing, and as expected, the rate of hearing loss increased with age. Among people aged 45 to 54, one in nine showed signs of hearing impairment. Of those older than 80 years - about 90 percent - had some hearing impairment, but the rate had already reached one in nine among adults 45 to 54 years old, the largest age group in the population, Reuters Health is reporting....

2011-02-18 17:00:38

Introductory college science classes need to improve their coverage of issues related to sustainability, a noted chemistry educator told the American Association for the Advancement of Science today. "Across the nation, we have a problem," said Catherine Middlecamp, a distinguished faculty associate in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "We are using a 20th-century curriculum, and this is the 21st century." Students, Middlecamp says, want a curriculum that will prepare them for...

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2011-02-16 05:50:00

Archaeologists uncovered a 3,000-year-old Mesoamerican stone monument in southern Mexico of an unknown man. "It's beautiful and was obviously very important," says University of Wisconsin-Madison archaeologist John Hodgson of the newly discovered stone monument. "But we will probably never know who he was or what the sculpture means in its entirety." The man is the central figure of a stone monument discovered in 2009 at a site known as Ojo de Agua in Chiapas, Mexico. Hodgson describes the...

2011-02-15 15:08:56

Recalculating the global use of phosphorous, a fertilizer linchpin of modern agriculture, a team of researchers warns that the world's stocks may soon be in short supply and that overuse in the industrialized world has become a leading cause of the pollution of lakes, rivers and streams. Writing in the Feb. 14 edition of the journal Environmental Research Letters, Stephen Carpenter of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Elena Bennett of McGill University report that the human use of...