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UW In The News

  • UW-Madison announces initiatives to address racial inequities on campus

    WKOW-TV 27 | July 9, 2020

    UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank addressed racial inequities on campus in a blog post Wednesday.She shared a number of additional commitments the university is making to ensure success of all students. She also said these commitments will require financial support, which may mean cutting other programs.

  • Which mask is best? UW engineering professor studies how droplets escape from face coverings

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | July 8, 2020

    University of Wisconsin-Madison engineer Scott Sanders usually spends his time figuring out how gases and particles behave in combustion engines.

    But Sanders has turned his expertise to determining how a different type of particle, one that has sickened millions around the world, moves from human mouths covered with masks.

  • ‘Desperation Science’ Slows the Hunt for Coronavirus Drugs

    AP | July 8, 2020

    Alta Charo, a University of Wisconsin lawyer and bioethicist, recalled the clamor in the 1990s to get insurers to cover bone marrow transplants for breast cancer until a solid study showed they “simply made people more miserable and sicker” without improving survival.

  • Coronavirus forces scientists to change while searching for vaccine

    USA Today | July 8, 2020

    Pilar Ossorio, a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, worries there is so much pressure to produce positive results that conditions are ripe for cutting corners. She noted that in an emergency when people are suffering, there can be resistance to having control groups that don’t get an experimental treatment in a study.

  • UW professor’s research shows which masks best contain COVID droplets

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | July 7, 2020

    In a cool video posted online this week, UW–Madison mechanical engineering professor Scott Sanders uses a mannequin to illustrate how droplets escape or stay contained inside a variety of masks now being worn.

  • How can I get my child to wear a mask? If I’m sick with COVID, how long do I need to quarantine? Experts answer your questions

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | July 7, 2020

    Quoted: “A mask that is not covering the nose will not stop a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 from contaminating the air in front of them when they exhale. Similarly, a mask covering only the mouth will fail to prevent an uninfected person from inhaling contaminated air. Since it does not take a lot of virus particles to cause infection, a partially worn mask may not be effective enough. This reminds me of when I see people wearing a bicycle helmet without buckling the strap or wearing it so loosely that it doesn’t cover the front of their head. The intention might be there, but there is a higher risk of head injury following an accident if the helmet is unable to do what it is designed to do.”

    — Ajay Sethi, PhD, MHS, associate professor, Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Some masks better than others in preventing COVID-19, UW video shows

    Wisconsin State Journal | July 7, 2020

    The homemade face covering that best contains respiratory droplets like those from COVID-19 is a neck-gaiter-style mask combining a nose piece with an elastic cord wearers can toggle to snug the mask to their face, according to a UW-Madison engineer.

  • Six months of coronavirus: the mysteries scientists are still racing to solve

    Nature | July 6, 2020

    With government and industry pumping billions into vaccine development, testing and manufacturing, a vaccine could be available in record time, say scientists — it just might not be completely effective. “We might have vaccines in the clinic that are useful in people within 12 or 18 months,” Dave O’Connor, a virologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, told Nature in May. “But we’re going to need to improve on them.”

  • Hospital ratings often depend more on nice rooms than on health care

    The Washington Post | July 6, 2020

    In a 2014 study of 155 physicians by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health, close to half said that pressure to please patients led to inappropriate care including unnecessary tests and procedures, hospital admissions, and opioid or antibiotic prescriptions.

  • Are High Water Levels a Result of Climate Change?

    Door County Pulse | July 6, 2020

    While many people are scrambling to combat flooding and damage to infrastructure, climate scientists are working to find out what has been causing the latest rise in lake levels. According to Jack Williams, a UW-Madison geography professor and climate-change expert, it’s the billion-dollar question.“We can’t yet definitively say,” Williams said. “What we know is that we are seeing increasing temperatures and variability of rainfall, which are both known to be caused by climate change.”

  • 21 Lessons From America’s Worst Moments

    TIME | July 6, 2020

    TIME asked 21 historians, including Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology Nan Estad, to weigh in with their picks for “worst moments” that hold a lesson—and what they think those experiences can teach us.

  • Laura Albert: Coronavirus reopening risks – Here’s a plan to make us safer

    Fox News | July 3, 2020

    “Opening the economy is not the problem,” writes Laura Albert, Industrial and Systems Engineering professor. “Opening the economy without a plan to control the risk is the problem.”

  • Cloud of confusion – Conflicting covid-19 messages add to struggle to contain virus

    Kaiser Health News | July 2, 2020

    Health scares always spawn scurrilous stories. But with covid-19, “there’s lots of opportunity for misinformation,” said Dhavan Shah, a professor of mass communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Court reinstates Wisconsin voting restrictions in victory for Republicans

    The Guardian | July 1, 2020

    The decision could lead to severe efforts to change electoral rules for political gain, said Barry Burden, director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Anger Management for an Angry Time

    Wall Street Journal | July 1, 2020

    If you decide to use your anger, choose something you can control. “Anger is a very energizing emotion—think of it as the opposite of procrastination,” says Evan Polman, an associate professor in the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Remember that anger can give you courage. Use it to ask for a raise, get involved in a cause you care about or get up the nerve to have that difficult conversation you’ve been putting off.

  • How Slavery Persisted in New England Until the 19th Century

    History.com | June 30, 2020

    “Most of the general public in the U.S. has no understanding of the very long history of slavery in the northern colonies and the northern states,” says Christy Clark-Pujara, a professor of history and Afro-American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island.

  • Why we should explore Venus before Mars

    Mashable | June 30, 2020

    Not so fast. The Pioneer probe sent to Venus in 1978 detected traces of methane in that CO2-filled atmosphere. Methane is a rare chemical to produce without life acting as some kind of intermediary. “People tried to explain it away and they couldn’t,” says Sanjay Limaye, a planetary scientist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a former chair of NASA’s Venus Exploration Analysis Group.

  • Know Your Madisonian: UW-Madison health director leads COVID-19 response behind the scenes

    Wisconsin State Journal | June 29, 2020

    Jake Baggott doesn’t remember precisely where he was or on what day he first heard the term “COVID-19,” but the coronavirus has since consumed most of his waking hours.

  • From 47 Primaries, 4 Warning Signs About the 2020 Vote

    New York Times | June 29, 2020

    “We were fortunate that the pandemic hit during the primaries rather than the general election,” said Barry C. Burden, the director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It provided a sort of training ground for states to turn the corner on voting by mail.”

  • Biden’s low-key strategy vexes Trump, but in-person campaigning beckons

    AFP | June 26, 2020

    “I don’t see how that’s sustainable through the fall election,” professor Barry Burden, director of the Election Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told AFP.”

    There will come a point where Biden will need to be a physical presence on the campaign trail, if only to reassure voters he is a real person, in good health and ready to serve.”

  • Across the U.S., families are having tough talks about racism

    Los Angeles Times | June 25, 2020

    “Absent these kinds of conversations, the status quo wins,” said Patricia Devine, psychology professor and director of the Prejudice Lab at University of Wisconsin-Madison. “And the status quo is being revealed to us to be unacceptable in terms of costing people their lives only because of the color of their skin. That can’t stand.

  • The chicken first crossed the road in Southeast Asia, ‘landmark’ gene study finds

    Science Magazine | June 25, 2020

    But Jonathan Kenoyer, an archaeologist and Indus expert at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, remains skeptical that the chicken arose in Southeast Asia. “They need to get ancient DNA” to back up their claims, he says, because genomes of modern birds may provide limited clues to early events in chicken evolution.

  • Coronavirus Is a Crisis. Might It Also Narrow Inequality?

    The New York Times | June 25, 2020

    Scholars are brimming with ideas to construct a more generous safety net on a permanent basis, bolstering everything from Medicaid to child care support. Timothy Smeeding, a professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, suggests that the federal government pick up the entire tab for Medicaid, which it now shares with the states.

  • UW-Madison Medical School Dean Predicts Ups And Downs With COVID Vaccines, Cures

    Wisconsin Public Radio | June 25, 2020

    UW-Madison announced on Wednesday it was one of 32 sites for a clinical trial testing an existing drug called ruxolitinib as a way to prevent a COVID-19 complication where a patient’s immune system kicks into deadly overdrive. Hospitals in Milwaukee and Madison are also investigating convalescent plasma from recovered patients to treat those with active infections.

  • UW joins drug trial aimed at preventing major COVID-19 killer: Haywire immune response

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | June 24, 2020

    The majority of people who die from COVID-19 are killed by a dangerous immune system overreaction called a cytokine storm, but researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and dozens of other sites around the world are now testing a potential weapon against it.

  • Trump’s strike at Twitter risks collateral damage inside the executive branch

    POLITICO | June 24, 2020

    And this order in particular may have trouble standing up to scrutiny. Kenneth Mayer, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an expert in executive orders, called the language “complete gobbledygook.”

  • The Garlic Will Tell You When It’s Time

    The New York Times | June 24, 2020

    Today, wild garlic is found only in parts of Central Asia, but it may once have grown wild from China to India, Egypt and Ukraine, according to Philipp W. Simon, a research leader at the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service and a professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s department of horticulture. From those ancient beginnings, garlic has traveled the globe to become one of the world’s most important vegetable crops.

  • Black Americans Are At Higher Risk For Alzheimer’s: Here’s Why

    Oprah Mag | June 24, 2020

    Among other things, chronic stress contributes to inflammation and vascular disease, and can even directly damage the brain’s neurons. “This can lead to a slew of health issues, including atrophy in areas of the brain that are key for memory and cognition,” says Megan Zuelsdorff, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing investigating the mechanisms underlying cognitive health and dementia disparities.

  • Living in Poverty May Increase Alzheimer’s Risk

    The New York Times | June 23, 2020

    “Putting tissue samples into socioeconomic context will allow us to better understand the socioeconomic mechanisms that may drive disease,” said the senior author, Dr. Amy J.H. Kind, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Fewer Than Half Of Wisconsin Grocery Shoppers Mask Up

    Wisconsin Public Radio | June 23, 2020

    “We think of masking as this seemingly simple intervention, but it’s rather complex,” said Dr. Nasia Safdar, associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

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