Stories indexed under: Biosciences

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  • Photo: Yoshihiro Kawaoka Influenza researcher Yoshihiro Kawaoka wins Breakthrough Award Oct. 7, 2014 The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Yoshihiro Kawaoka has been recognized as a 2014 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award recipient for his efforts to understand and prevent pandemic influenza.
  • Photo: Lodgepole pine forest Mountain pine beetles get a bad rap for wildfires, study says Sept. 29, 2014 Mountain pine beetles get a bad rap, and understandably so. The grain-of-rice-sized insects are responsible for killing pine trees over tens of millions of acres in the Western U.S. and Canada over the last decade. But contrary to popular belief, these pests may not be to blame for more severe wildfires like those that have recently swept through the region. Instead, according to a new study by UW-Madison zoology professor Monica Turner, weather and topography play a greater role in the ecological severity of fires than these bark-boring beetles.
  • Ray Owen In memoriam: Ray D. Owen discovered immune tolerance, paved the way for organ transplantation Sept. 26, 2014 Ray D. Owen, who died on Sept. 21 in Pasadena, California, at the age of 98, discovered the phenomenon of immune tolerance, fueling a revolution in immunology and laying the foundation for the successful transplantation of human organs. Owen left Madison in 1947 to join the faculty at Caltech, where he remained for the rest of his long, distinguished career. His later work included studies on human antibodies, blood-group antigens, and the evolution of immune systems.
  • Photo: James Thomson UW-Madison team developing ‘tissue chip’ to screen neurological toxins Sept. 23, 2014 A multidisciplinary team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research is creating a faster, more affordable way to screen for neural toxins, helping flag chemicals that may harm human development.
  • Neuron In directing stem cells, study shows context matters Sept. 8, 2014 In a new study, a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has added a new wrinkle to the cell differentiation equation, showing that the stiffness of the surfaces on which stem cells are grown can exert a profound influence on cell fate.
  • Soybean plants A touching story: The ancient conversation between plants, fungi and bacteria Aug. 27, 2014 The mechanical force that a single fungal cell or bacterial colony exerts on a plant cell may seem vanishingly small, but it plays a heavy role in setting up some of the most fundamental symbiotic relationships in biology. In fact, it may not be too much of a stretch to say that plants may have never moved onto land without the ability to respond to the touch of beneficial fungi, according to a new study led by Jean-Michel Ané, a professor of agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Photo: Walter Block University spinoff aims to hit the mark precisely with brain-scanning tool Aug. 20, 2014 As brain surgeons test new procedures and drugs to treat conditions ranging from psychiatric disorders to brain cancer, accuracy is becoming an ever-greater issue.
  • Ken Cameron Herbarium director receives award for telling the story of plants Aug. 19, 2014 Ken Cameron, director of the Wisconsin State Herbarium, received the Peter Raven Award from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists Aug. 5. Cameron, also a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a world expert on the orchid family.
  • Photo: Thomas Givnish New analysis links tree height to climate Aug. 14, 2014 What limits the height of trees? Is it the fraction of their photosynthetic energy they devote to productive new leaves? Or is it their ability to hoist water hundreds of feet into the air, supplying the green, solar-powered sugar factories in those leaves?
  • Tim Donohue Mining bacterial blueprints yields novel process for creation of fuel and chemical compounds Aug. 4, 2014 A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified the genes and enzymes that create a promising compound — the 19 carbon furan-containing fatty acid (19Fu-FA). The compound has a variety of potential uses as a biological alternative for compounds currently derived from fossil fuels.
  • Mature plant phytochromes Tricking plants to see the light may control the most important twitch on Earth July 29, 2014 Copious corn growing in tiny backyard plots? Roses blooming in December? Thanks to technology that the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Richard Vierstra has been developing for years, these things may soon be possible. And now, new findings out of the genetics professor’s lab promise to advance that technology even further.
  • Photo: Asian 'crazy worm' Hungry, invasive ‘crazy worm’ makes first appearance in Wisconsin July 15, 2014 Wisconsin's newest invasive species has done its best to stay underground, but the voracious, numerous and mysterious Asian crazy worm has emerged for the first time in the state on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Photo: Aniruddha A. Upadhye Aviation offers a way forward in biofuels research July 8, 2014 Biofuels researchers are increasingly thinking about how the energy market is changing, which challenges them to balance the basic science of new fuels with a more holistic view of the most commercially viable ways to produce them. So when a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers began looking at how to make jet fuel from biomass, they also strived to create a "techno-economic" framework that would illuminate the entire biofuels field.
  • Brian image Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain June 27, 2014 For children, stress can go a long way. A little bit provides a platform for learning, adapting and coping. But a lot of it - chronic, toxic stress like poverty, neglect and physical abuse - can have lasting negative impacts.
  • Chris Hittinger Yeast researcher, Chris Hittinger, named Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences June 24, 2014 A University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher, well known for his work studying yeast fermentation, has been named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • John Kao Novel collaboration links pharmaceutical expertise in Wisconsin, Taiwan June 19, 2014 In a ceremony in San Diego on Tuesday, June 24, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a world leader in biomedicine, will sign an agreement to collaborate with the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB), a Taiwanese biotech non-profit.
  • Aaron Hoskins Shaw awards go to two UW researchers June 11, 2014 One scientist studying how HIV spreads in the body and another examining cellular machinery and its role in disease have earned funding from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to advance their research.
  • Gordon's wallet Long lost WWII soldier returned to family with help of UW-Madison scientists June 10, 2014 No longer missing, Pfc. Lawrence S. Gordon is finally on his way home.
  • Babbling brooks adding to climate change? May 23, 2014 Studying stream bubbles isn't exactly a walk in the park - what with the mud and ticks, the long days hiking and swimming through mucky streams, the sun exposure and scratching brush.
  • De-extinction: Will dead species live again? April 30, 2014 De-extinction is a recent term that involves bringing back an extinct species using DNA that’s been recovered from preserved material. There are two ways that it can be accomplished: one would be cloning to produce a copy of an extinct individual’s genome. The second way is through genetic engineering to re-create a close approximation of what the extinct species’ genome might have once been. The reality is that it’s no longer science fiction. We’re getting close to being able to revive extinct species from recovered DNA.