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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Science

The Yahara Watershed is a drainage basin for rain and snowmelt.
SCIENCE

Land arrangement alters water quality

The Yahara Watershed reaches around the city of Madison and its defining lakes. It’s a large stretch of land, spanning farms and forests and dotted by the occasional construction site that slowly reshapes and urbanizes its traditional farms and prairies.  In the center are five lakes, each one fed by the rain that flows down the periphery of the watershed and into the Yahara River, ultimately leading through the rivers and streams that join the Mississippi and drain into the Gulf of Mexico almost a thousand miles away.  In a Birge Hall lab seemingly isolated from that network of water that flows around it, Jiangxiao Qiu studied models of the region, observing data sets created from Department of Natural Resources mapping, UW-Madison’s Center for Limnology and other organizations.


SCIENCE

Bill Gates excitedly awaits death, biopics

After seeing the most recent film about the life and career of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, software pioneer and co-founder of Microsoft, is absolutely ecstatic about the biographical films he expects to come out about him after he dies. “It’s just so exciting to think about all the great movies they might make about me,” said Gates while energetically bouncing around in his seat.


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SCIENCE

Rocks reveal an oxygenated ocean earlier than assumed

The oceans of the Archean were nothing like today’s vast blue pools. In fact, these oceans lacked free oxygen. Until recently, it was thought the oceans’ water columns were uniformly anoxic until the Great Oxidation Event, which occurred 2.4-2.2 billion years ago. However, researchers at UW-Madison have discovered evidence of free oxygen in Earth’s shallow oceans much earlier.


SCIENCE

Science Podcast: Dr. Falh on Cancer

Dr. William Fahl has a long history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed his B.S in zoology and chemistry in 1972 and went on to complete his Ph.D in physiology and oncology here in 1975. He is now a Professor of Oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and runs a research lab in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research. His lab's main interests involve finding a way to enable cells to protect their genomes against natural, environmental, or chemotherapy induced toxins. In this podcast, Dr. Fahl discusses the modern day approach to combating cancer as well as his lab's recent discoveries. One of these, which is a focus of this podcast, is the development of a protective drug molecule to prevent hair follicles from deteriorating during chemotherapy. This molecule is applied via a topical lotion which is absorbed into the scalp which then acts as a vasoconstrictor on hair cells and prevents them from receiving the toxic chemotherapy drugs which cause hair loss. This discovery is currently in clinical trials. If successful, this revolutionary discovery by Dr. Fahl and his lab has the potential to completely eliminate the adverse side effect of hair loss due to chemotherapy. 


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SCIENCE

Wisconsin Science Festival: Designing genes with synthetic biology

There are many committees held for the regulation of synthetic biology, the design and construction of new biological parts, devices and systems, including the redesigning of our existing biological systems such as designer genes. Many argue that designer genes could be used to cure diseases, such as Huntington’s disease, autism and cancer. Others argue that scientists are playing god when they can design genes. Most are unsure of the impact that it will have on society.


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SCIENCE

WARF opposes proposed ban on fetal tissue research

UW-Madison’s scientific research has long been recognized as top-notch and paramount to the advancement of science, technology and medicine. UW-Madison is also home to some of the best scientists in the world. All of this, however, could be threatened by the Wisconsin legislature’s proposed ban on using fetal tissue for research purposes.


SCIENCE

Lazy eye shifts brain wiring

Amblyopia, or ‘lazy eye’, has long been thought of as a permanent feature in adults. This facial feature, where one eye is often slightly askew, is seen in both children and adults.


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