News stories from the University of Wisconsin-Madison en-us Tiny is beautiful: SonoPlot makes a viable business from the invisible A University of Wisconsin-Madison spinoff that was spawned during an effort to make DNA-based computers has just introduced a low-cost instrument that can print dots and lines just 5 to 10 millionths of a meter across. David Tenenbaum 2015-09-30T14:42:00-00:00 Wed, 30 Sep 2015 14:42:00 GMT ‘Garage Physics’ is a makerspace for undergraduate brainstorms To physics professor Duncan Carlsmith, a student's proposal to make a four-rotor helicopter drone was fine fodder for what he calls "garage physics." But why stop at a quadcopter, he told the University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate. Make one that is mind-controlled, so a person with severe movement impairment could think: "Go open the fridge and show me what's inside," and that would actually happen. David Tenenbaum 2015-09-25T14:23:00-00:00 Fri, 25 Sep 2015 14:23:00 GMT Designed defects in liquid crystals can guide construction of nanomaterials Imperfections running through liquid crystals can be used as miniscule tubing, channeling molecules into specific positions to form new materials and nanoscale structures, according to engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The discovery could have applications in fields as diverse as electronics and medicine. 2015-09-24T19:38:00-00:00 Thu, 24 Sep 2015 19:38:00 GMT Software piggybacks on electronic medical records, saves clinician time Many people assume that electronic medical records would simplify doctoring, helping medical staff retrieve symptoms, diagnoses and prescriptions at computer speed. But Jonathan Baran, a Madison entrepreneur who began developing medical automation software while a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says providers often don't see the promised efficiencies. David Tenenbaum 2015-09-24T16:37:00-00:00 Thu, 24 Sep 2015 16:37:00 GMT UW-Madison to legislators: Don’t ban important fetal tissue research Proposed legislation in Wisconsin will have a devastating impact on the ability of researchers to create lifesaving treatments for patients, Robert Golden, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, told members of a Wisconsin Senate committee in a public hearing Tuesday, Sept. 22. Kelly April Tyrrell 2015-09-24T13:02:00-00:00 Thu, 24 Sep 2015 13:02:00 GMT Heavy-duty neutron accelerators paint promising future for UW-Madison spinoff A Madison manufacturer of the world's most powerful commercial neutron generators is awaiting final regulatory approval for its first sale outside the research market. The device will be used to calibrate safety detectors at nuclear reactors in the United Kingdom. David Tenenbaum 2015-09-23T17:37:00-00:00 Wed, 23 Sep 2015 17:37:00 GMT WARF board speaks out on proposed fetal tissue ban The Board of Trustees of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) today announced unanimous opposition to a state legislative proposal to ban the use of fetal tissue in scientific research. 2015-09-22T18:02:00-00:00 Tue, 22 Sep 2015 18:02:00 GMT Stem cell-derived ‘organoids’ help predict neural toxicity A new system developed by scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research and the University of Wisconsin-Madison may provide a faster, cheaper and more biologically relevant way to screen drugs and chemicals that could harm the developing brain. Brian Mattmiller 2015-09-21T19:00:00-00:00 Mon, 21 Sep 2015 19:00:00 GMT UW–Madison to open Federal Statistical Research Data Center Interdisciplinary research with the potential to inform policymaking will receive a huge boost Sept. 21 with the dedication of a new University of Wisconsin-Madison Federal Statistical Research Data Center, or FSRDC (, on the UW campus. 2015-09-17T14:17:00-00:00 Thu, 17 Sep 2015 14:17:00 GMT Souped-up software reduces guesswork, tedium in computer-aided engineering A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers recently released a new computer-aided engineering software program, and its users are already calling it a "gift from heaven." 2015-09-16T16:11:00-00:00 Wed, 16 Sep 2015 16:11:00 GMT Weather-tech jobs remain in Madison even after company is sold His demo tape as a TV weatherman was adjudged "pretty awful," yet it got University of Wisconsin-Madison grad Terry Kelly started "doing the weather" on WKOW Channel 27 in Madison in 1974. To improve on the paper drawings he was using to show storms and fronts, Kelly started Weather Central and built it into America's premier computer weather graphics and weather modeling business. David Tenenbaum 2015-09-14T18:59:00-00:00 Mon, 14 Sep 2015 18:59:00 GMT UW and City of Madison selected for ultra high bandwidth applications The University of Wisconsin-Madison and City of Madison are among 15 communities to participate in plans by the public-private nonprofit group US Ignite for ultra-high speed broadband networking - part of an effort to foster the creation of next-generation Internet applications that provide transformative public benefits. 2015-09-14T18:33:00-00:00 Mon, 14 Sep 2015 18:33:00 GMT Discovery of a highly efficient catalyst eases way to hydrogen economy Hydrogen could be the ideal fuel: Whether used to make electricity in a fuel cell or burned to make heat, the only byproduct is water; there is no climate-altering carbon dioxide. David Tenenbaum 2015-09-14T15:03:00-00:00 Mon, 14 Sep 2015 15:03:00 GMT UW-Madison responds to Assembly action on fetal tissue research ban 2015-09-09T16:26:00-00:00 Wed, 09 Sep 2015 16:26:00 GMT University responds to amendment to bill restricting fetal tissue research 2015-09-04T20:44:00-00:00 Fri, 04 Sep 2015 20:44:00 GMT Resending to correct bill number RESENDING TO CORRECT BILL NUMBER 2015-09-04T20:13:28-00:00 Fri, 04 Sep 2015 20:13:28 GMT The science of stereotyping: Challenging the validity of ‘gaydar’ "Gaydar" - the purported ability to infer whether people are gay or straight based on their appearance - seemed to get a scientific boost from a 2008 study that concluded people could accurately guess someone's sexual orientation based on photographs of their faces. Devin Lowe 2015-09-03T19:17:00-00:00 Thu, 03 Sep 2015 19:17:00 GMT Josh Medow: Critical care for the brain At Joshua Medow's first job, in the Neurocritical Intensive Care Unit at UW Hospital and Clinics, he saves lives. His patients have endured strokes, car accidents and shootings. David Tenenbaum 2015-09-03T15:40:00-00:00 Thu, 03 Sep 2015 15:40:00 GMT Family tree for orchids explains their astonishing variability Orchids, a fantastically complicated and diverse group of flowering plants, have long blended the exotic with the beautiful. Most species live on trees, often in remote, tropical mountains. Their flowers can be strange - one even flowers underground, and many species deceive their pollinators into thinking they are good to eat. David Tenenbaum 2015-09-03T15:00:00-00:00 Thu, 03 Sep 2015 15:00:00 GMT Ned Kalin wins Anna-Monika Prize for neuroscience research Ned Kalin, chair of psychiatry at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, will receive a major award this week at a conference in Amsterdam for his work in uncovering the signature of anxiety and depression in the brain. Susan Lampert Smith 2015-09-02T19:14:00-00:00 Wed, 02 Sep 2015 19:14:00 GMT