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Thursday, June 08, 2023



Sciencecast: Climate Change Series - Episode 5

In episode five, we focus on sustainable agriculture and how the food we eat impacts the environment. Instead of meeting with UW experts, we turn to students who are knowledgeable about food insecurity, gardening and farming and the connections between agriculture and climate change.

A section of the UW Hoofers pier, pulled from Lake Mendota in early November, was coated in zebra mussels, an invasive species found in the lake last fall.

Zebra mussels found in Lake Mendota

Lake Mendota had once been the home for swimming, sailing and fishing, among many other recreational and scenic activities. But since the discovery of zebra mussels in the lake by a limnology lab last fall, the lake’s environment has shifted, resulting in changed food sources for fish and less attractive experiences for water activities at the Memorial Union terrace on a summer day. Throughout the summer following the zebra mussel discovery, Lake Mendota had become completely invaded by the mussels, with amounts ranging from 10 zebra mussels per square meter to 60,000 in some areas of the lake, which has created an imbalanced ecosystem, resulting in many future changes to the lake’s ecology and aesthetics.

Daily Cardinal

Science in brief

UW professors develop sensors to detect harmful materials: University of Wisconsin-Madison professors of chemical and biological engineering have recently developed new ways to detect explosives, pollutants and chemical disease markers.

From Oct. 20 until Nov. 2, UW-Madison's University Health Services vaccinated roughly 20,400 students for meningitis B at the Southeast Recreational Facility with the help of student volunteers.

Students respond to meningitis on campus

Sore arms and talks of a deadly infection flooded the campus last week, a result of students swarming the Southeast Recreational Facility to receive the first of two free meningococcal B vaccines offered by the university’s health services after three University of Wisconsin-Madison students fell ill this past month. Roughly 20,400 vaccines had been distributed with the help of nursing students, pharmacy students and other Dane County public health officials over the three week period spanning from Oct. 20 until Nov. 2.

The solar-charged battery, developed at UW-Madison, stores the sun's energy.

Battery technology aims to store the sun

Every day, the Earth is bombarded by energy from a source more powerful than humanity could ever replicate: the sun. But this power is not so kind as to be easily harnessed. Even with the wealth of solar technology available and in development, problems persist. Sunlight is a fickle resource, unable to be collected at night or when the weather is cloudy. Because of this inconsistency in production, solar energy’s main sticking point is storage. If solar power can be stored efficiently when the sun is shining, it can be dispersed at any given time. Song Jin, a professor in the chemistry department at UW-Madison, is looking into this area.


UW professor elected president of International Primatological Society, works to protect muriqui monkeys

In an office cluttered with monkey memorabilia —stuffed animals, posters and photos, books galore —Dr. Karen Strier smiled as she spoke about the species she holds close to her heart: the muriqui monkeys. Strier, the UW-Madison Vilas Research Professor and Irven DeVore Professor of Anthropology, however, has a new accomplishment to add to her list. Last August, she was chosen to be the president of the International Primatological Society.

The yellow bumblebee, seen here gathering nectar on St. John's Wort, is one of 12 bumblebee species found in the UW-Madison Arboretum. 

Rare bees find home at UW Arboretum

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum has provided a natural home, full of rich resources and desirable terrain for the rusty-patched bumblebee, that was discovered at the Arboretum in 2010 and is now proposed for the Endangered Species List by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been focusing their resources at the Arboretum to study the rusty-patched bumblebee, which has become a rarity in places it was once abundant. “We didn’t know the rusty-patched bumblebee was here, originally,” Susan Carpenter, the native plant gardener at the UW-Madison Arboretum, said.

The Science Festival at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery featured an array of vintage arcade style games that offered an opportunity for attendees of all ages to learn about science.

A review of the Science Festival’s Arcade Night

Friday’s Science Arcade Night, part of the annual 4-day Wisconsin Science Festival at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, was a wonderful fusion of science, technology, games and fun. Families, couples and students all enjoyed what the event had to offer. True to the event’s name, the ring of large, clunky arcade games was one of the first sights that greeted the festival goers when they walked in— a charming and vintage scene. Nearby, several science-related board games were set up, including a game integrating disease outbreak and Star Wars.

Daily Cardinal

Science in brief

“Science in brief” is a new column featured in the Daily Cardinal. Highlighting other science stories not covered in full, “Science in brief” hopes to shed light on the plethora of research the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers. In brief this week: Rockd, Electron Beam Lithography and heart patches.

The Rocky Mountain National Park is one of over 400 national parks directed by Jonathan Jarvis. He has been the current director of the National Park Service since 2009.

NPS director talks centennial goals, sexual harassment claims

In a nearly packed Shannon Hall Monday night, Director of the National Parks Service Jonathan Jarvis took the stage as part of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies’ Jordahl Public Lands lecture to address the NPS centennial and recent sexual harassment allegations surrounding park employees.

Dr. Nadia Drake, a contributing writer for National Geographic, began her talk Friday with a chemistry experiment.

Nadia Drake advises aspiring science writers with personal insights

Friday afternoon’s conversation with Dr. Nadia Drake, the Fall 2016 UW-Madison Science Writer in Residence, began with an experiment in which a chemistry professor placed dry ice into six cylinders filled with colorful liquid. Waiting until the chemical reaction stopped, Drake went to the front and poured huge amounts of dry ice into a basin of hot water. Clouds of white fog came out of the container as condensed water vapor.

Aaron Satkoski used the UW-Madison Department of Geoscience's mass spectrometer to measure isotopes in samples collected from South Africa.

Chemical composition of oceans helps scientists understand ancient life

New research on the chemical composition of the ocean has shown that, 3.26 billion years ago, the continents were actually above water. This pieces together several other studies into a cohesive, big-picture idea of how the world once looked, according to Aaron Satkoski and his team of researchers who studied the chemical composition of erosion in the ocean back in 2013 in the Barite Valley, near Barberton, South Africa.

Post-doctoral fellow in the UW-Madison School of Nursing Dr. Traci Snedden, right, studies concussions. 

Study to connect concussions and academics

The stick hit the puck and the puck glided across the ice. As the blades on his skates did the same, Vaughn Kottler, a now junior at UW-Madison but an incoming high school junior at the time, scurried around the hockey rink at tryouts. Little did he know what was about to hit him. He was so fixated on the puck and his stick, doing his best to make the team, that he didn’t notice the other player and the side of the rink so close to him. Crash! His body—and head—hit the boards.

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