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Latest University of Wisconsin Stories

2012-08-23 00:50:44

Acinetobacter baumanni, a pathogenic bacterium that is a poster child of deadly hospital acquired infections, is one tough customer. It resists most antibiotics, is seemingly immune to disinfectants, and can survive desiccation with ease. Indeed, the prevalence with which it infects soldiers wounded in Iraq earned it the nickname "Iraqibacter." In the United States, it is the bane of hospitals, opportunistically infecting patients through open wounds, catheters and breathing tubes. Some...

Printed Photonic Crystal Mirrors Shrink Down To Size On-Chip Lasers
2012-07-23 09:18:30

Electrical engineers at The University of Texas at Arlington and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have devised a new laser for on-chip optical connections that could give computers a huge boost in speed and energy efficiency. The team published its findings on July 22, 2012 in Nature Photonics. At just 2 micrometers in height – smaller than the width of a human hair – the surface-emitting laser's vastly lower profile could make it cheaper and easier for manufacturers...

Greenland Ice Not A Reliable Model For Younger Dryas Period
2012-06-27 10:08:54

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com Ice samples that profile Greenland glaciers have long been used to give climate scientists historical temperature data, but those samples could be misleading, according to a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers found that the data gathered from the ice cores around Greenland varies greatly from other records of Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the...

2012-06-25 16:35:59

The blood-brain barrier -- the filter that governs what can and cannot come into contact with the mammalian brain -- is a marvel of nature. It effectively separates circulating blood from the fluid that bathes the brain, and it keeps out bacteria, viruses and other agents that could damage it. But the barrier can be disrupted by disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis, for example, and also is a big challenge for medicine, as it can be difficult or impossible to get therapeutic molecules...

2012-06-15 10:13:25

The first U.S. population prevalence study of mutations in the gene that causes fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability, suggests the mutation in the gene — and its associated health risks — may be more common than previously believed. Writing this month (June 2012) in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, a team of Wisconsin researchers reports that the cascade of genetic amino acid repeats, which accumulate over generations and...

2012-05-31 01:31:03

Breast-cancer researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that two related receptors in a robust signaling pathway must work together as a team to maintain normal activity in mammary stem cells. Mammary stem cells produce various kinds of breast cell types. They may also drive the development and growth of malignant breast tumors. Published recently in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the research also suggests that a new signaling pathway may be involved, a...

2012-05-21 12:37:59

While previous studies have associated SDB with increased risks of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression, and early death, this is the first human study to link apnea with higher rate of cancer mortality. Lead author Dr. F. Javier Nieto, chair of the department of population health sciences at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, says the study showed a nearly five times higher incidence of cancer deaths in patients with severe SDB compared to those without the disorder, a...

2012-05-02 21:01:59

Liquid crystals, the state of matter that makes possible the flat screen technology now commonly used in televisions and computers, may have some new technological tricks in store. Writing today (May 3, 2012) in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers led by University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Juan J. de Pablo reports the results of a computational study that shows liquid crystals, manipulated at the smallest scale, can...

2012-04-18 20:16:36

Practices like physical exercise, certain forms of psychological counseling and meditation can all change brains for the better, and these changes can be measured with the tools of modern neuroscience, according to a review article now online at Nature Neuroscience. The study reflects a major transition in the focus of neuroscience from disease to well being, says first author Richard Davidson, professor of psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. The brain is constantly changing...

2012-04-11 09:25:40

Caltech researchers say habitat loss and tropical cooling were to blame for mass extinction The second-largest mass extinction in Earth's history coincided with a short but intense ice age during which enormous glaciers grew and sea levels dropped. Although it has long been agreed that the so-called Late Ordovician mass extinction–which occurred about 450 million years ago–was related to climate change, exactly how the climate change produced the extinction has not been known....


Word of the Day
maffling
  • To stammer.
  • Present participle of maffle, to stammer.
  • A simpleton.
The word 'maffle' may come from a Dutch word meaning 'to move the jaws' or a French word meaning 'having large cheeks'.