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Latest University of Wisconsin Stories

2013-10-01 15:33:50

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have made a discovery that, if replicated in humans, suggests a shortage of zinc may contribute to diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, which have been linked to defective proteins clumping together in the brain. With proteins, shape is everything. The correct shape allows some proteins to ferry atoms or molecules about a cell, others to provide essential cellular scaffolding or identify invading bacteria for attack. When proteins...

2013-08-15 09:43:09

Children who are exposed to lead are nearly three times more likely to be suspended from school by the 4th grade than children who are not exposed, according to a new University of Wisconsin-Madison study funded jointly by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Wisconsin Partnership Program Education and Research Committee. "Students who are suspended from school are at greater risk of dropping out, twice as likely to use tobacco, and more likely to engage in violent behavior later in...

2013-07-10 19:51:41

The emerging H7N9 avian influenza virus responsible for at least 37 deaths in China has qualities that could potentially spark a global outbreak of flu, according to a new study published today (July 10, 2013) in the journal Nature. An international team led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tokyo conducted a comprehensive analysis of two of the first human isolates of the virus from patients in China. Their efforts revealed the H7N9 virus's...

2013-07-01 19:03:34

In the world, there are a lot of small molecules people would like to get rid of, or at least convert to something useful, according to University of Wisconsin-Madison chemist Robert J. Hamers. Think carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas most responsible for far-reaching effects on global climate. Nitrogen is another ubiquitous small-molecule gas that can be transformed into the valuable agricultural fertilizer ammonia. Plants perform the chemical reduction of atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia...

2013-05-28 21:33:18

Transplantation of human stem cells in an experiment conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison improved survival and muscle function in rats used to model ALS, a nerve disease that destroys nerve control of muscles, causing death by respiratory failure. ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is sometimes called "Lou Gehrig's disease." According to the ALS Association, the condition strikes about 5,600 Americans each year. Only about half of patients are alive three years after...

Thinking 'Big' May Not Be The Best Way To Save Large-river Fish
2013-05-23 13:57:04

University of Wisconsin-Madison Large-river specialist fishes – from giant species like paddlefish and blue catfish, to tiny crystal darters and silver chub – are in danger, but researchers say there is greater hope to save them if major tributaries identified in a University of Wisconsin-Madison study become a focus of conservation efforts. The study says 60 out of 68 U.S. species, or 88 percent of fish species found exclusively in large-river ecosystems like the...

Stem Cell Transplants Help Mice Regain Memory
2013-04-22 05:00:50

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have successfully transformed human embryonic stem cells into nerve cells that helped mice regain their memory and the ability to learn. Senior author Su-Chun Zhang, a professor of neuroscience and neurology at the university, said that he and his colleagues have for the first time demonstrated that human stem cells can implant themselves in the brain and heal neurological...

2013-04-12 13:13:03

When it comes to delivering genes to living human tissue, the odds of success come down the molecule. The entire therapy – including the tools used to bring new genetic material into a cell – must have predictable effects. Now, a new screening process will simplify non-viral transfection, providing a method researchers and clinicians use to find an optimal set of biomaterials to deliver genes to cells. Developed by William Murphy, the Harvey D. Spangler professor of...

2013-03-14 20:03:35

For the first time, scientists have transplanted neural cells derived from a monkey's skin into its brain and watched the cells develop into several types of mature brain cells, according to the authors of a new study in Cell Reports. After six months, the cells looked entirely normal, and were only detectable because they initially were tagged with a fluorescent protein. Because the cells were derived from adult cells in each monkey's skin, the experiment is a proof-of-principle for the...

2013-03-04 23:07:14

A multi-university team of researchers has artificially engineered a unique multilayer material that could lead to breakthroughs in both superconductivity research and in real-world applications. The researchers can tailor the material, which seamlessly alternates between metal and oxide layers, to achieve extraordinary superconducting properties – in particular, the ability to transport much more electrical current than non-engineered materials. The team includes experts from the...


Word of the Day
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.