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Latest University of Wisconsin Stories

Researchers Working On Robots That Can Teach Humans
2012-03-05 12:57:00

[ Watch the Video ] When it comes to communication, sometimes it's our body language that says the most--especially when it comes to our eyes. "It turns out that gaze tells us all sorts of things about attention, about mental states, about roles in conversations," says Bilge Mutlu, a computer scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mutlu knows a thing or two about the psychology of body language. He bills himself as a human-computer interaction specialist. Support from the...

2012-02-07 13:40:49

The future of disease diagnosis may lie in a "breathalyzer"-like technology currently under development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. New research published online in February in the peer-reviewed journal Metabolism demonstrates a simple but sensitive method that can distinguish normal and disease-state glucose metabolism by a quick assay of blood or exhaled air. Many diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and infections, alter the body's metabolism in distinctive ways. The new...

2012-02-06 22:34:18

When William Murphy works with some of the most powerful tools in biology, he thinks about making tools that can fit together. These constructions sound a bit like socket wrenches, which can be assembled to turn a half-inch nut in tight quarters, or to loosen a rusted-tight one-inch bolt using a very persuasive lever. The tools used by Murphy, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and orthopedics and rehabilitation at University of Wisconsin-Madison, however, are proteins, which...

2012-01-20 11:06:41

Fruit flies don't have noses, but a huge part of their brains is dedicated to processing smells. Flies probably rely on the sense of smell more than any other sense for essential activities such as finding mates and avoiding danger.  UW-Madison researchers have discovered that a gene called distal-less is critical to the fly's ability to receive, process and respond to smells. As reported in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists...

Government Silences Researchers' Work On Bird Flu Strains
2011-12-21 13:13:52

The U.S. government paid scientists to find out how the bird flu virus might mutate to become a bigger threat to people, but federal officials decided this information should be kept from the public. Federal officials asked the scientists on Tuesday to keep their findings away from being publicized in fear of the wrong people finding out the formula. The two labs in the study found that it appears easier than scientists believed for the H5N1 bird flu to evolve in a way that allows it to...

Researchers Debunks Myths Surrounding Math Gender Gap
2011-12-13 04:52:12

A major study of recent international data on school mathematics performance casts doubt on some common assumptions about gender and math achievement – in particular, the idea that girls and women have less ability due to a difference in biology. "We tested some recently proposed hypotheses that try to explain a supposed gender gap in math performance and found they were not supported by the data," says Janet Mertz, senior author of the study and a professor of oncology at the...

Image 1 - Ancient Environment Led To Current Marine Biodiversity
2011-11-28 05:49:20

Changes in global carbon, sulfur cycles and to sea-level fueled biological responses Much of our knowledge about past life has come from the fossil record, but how accurately does that record reflect the true history and drivers of biodiversity on Earth? "It's a question that goes back a long way to the time of Darwin, who looked at the fossil record and tried to understand what it tells us about the history of life," says Shanan Peters, a geoscientist at the University of...

2011-11-23 11:45:30

Images of prisoners' brains show important differences between those who are diagnosed as psychopaths and those who aren't, according to a new study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers. The results could help explain the callous and impulsive anti-social behavior exhibited by some psychopaths. The study showed that psychopaths have reduced connections between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), the part of the brain responsible for sentiments such as empathy and...

Researchers Turn Embryonic Stem Cells Into Functioning Neurons
2011-11-22 06:26:29

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin have successfully had implanted neurons, created in laboratory conditions, connect with the brains of mice and both send and receive signals. In research published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), lead author Jason P. Weick and associates Yan Liu and Su-Chun Zhang describe how they were able to take blank slate human embryonic stem cells (hESC), turn them into neurons, implant them into the brains of...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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