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University of Wisconsin-Madison


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Health - Life Sciences - 06.08.2020
Simpler COVID-19 test could provide results in hours from saliva
Associate research specialist Miranda Stauss and senior scientist Roger Wiseman process small vials of spit collected from volunteers. At far right, Tom Friedrich, professor in the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, explains a consent form as his colleague Matt Reynolds, center, assistant professor in the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, hands a volunteer small vial for collecting spit as part of a trial of a new COVID-19 saliva test.

Health - Pharmacology - 06.08.2020
Nanoparticle system captures heart-disease biomarker from blood for in-depth analysis
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a method combining sticky nanoparticles with high-precision protein measurement to capture and analyze a common marker of heart disease to reveal details that were previously inaccessible. The new method, a system known as nanoproteomics, effectively captures and measures various forms of the protein cardiac troponin I, or cTnI, a biomarker of heart damage currently used to help diagnose heart attacks and other heart diseases.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.07.2020
UW researchers devise approach to treat rare, incurable form of blindness
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have published a proof-of-concept method to correct an inherited form of macular degeneration that causes blindness, and that is currently untreatable. Best vitelliform macular degeneration, or Best disease, is an inherited eye condition that typically leads to blindness over the course of a few decades.

Materials Science - Health - 22.07.2020
New 3D-printed artery can monitor blockages from the inside
When surgeons replace part of a blood vessel - something they do in 450,000 patients per year in the United States to treat blood clots, coronary disease, stroke damage and more - the grafted vessel is monitored by CT scans, ultrasounds and other expensive imaging techniques. Despite all that effort, between 40% and 50% of those grafts fail.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.07.2020
Detailed view of viral replication machinery lends new insights into infection
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, is known as a positive-strand RNA virus because of the way it stores and makes copies of its genetic material. Many other important pathogens such as the Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses are also part of this same group - the largest of six genetic classes of viruses.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 17.07.2020
Bioenergy research discovery paves way to production of new hydrocarbon
Fatty acids, the compounds that give a diet rich in leafy greens and fish its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, are now also heralded for their versatility as raw materials in bioenergy production. Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center scientists are enamored with one particular kind of long chain fatty acid, called furan fatty acid, because it could substitute for petroleum-based products including fuel, engine lubricant, medicines and food additives.

Life Sciences - 10.07.2020
Parasitic worms use their keen senses to wriggle through their hosts
Parasitic filarial nematodes infect hundreds of millions of people, causing diseases such as river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, which can lead to elephantiasis, a severe swelling of the limbs. Mosquitoes spread the parasitic worms, which engage in sophisticated migrations within their insect and mammal hosts.

Chemistry - 03.07.2020
Peering under galactic dust, study reveals radiation at center of Milky Way
Thanks to 20 years of homegrown galactic data, astronomers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW-Whitewater and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have finally figured out just how much energy permeates the center of the Milky Way. The researchers say it could one day help astronomers track down where all that energy comes from.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.07.2020
Tiny mineral particles are better vehicles for promising gene therapy
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have developed a safer and more efficient way to deliver a promising new method for treating cancer and liver disorders and for vaccination - including a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Therapeutics that has advanced to clinical trials with humans. The technology relies on inserting into cells pieces of carefully designed messenger RNA (mRNA), a strip of genetic material that human cells typically transcribe from a person's DNA in order to make useful proteins and go about their business.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.06.2020
New tool for assessing heart muscle cells helps unlock their potential
A new image analysis technique designed by UW-Madison engineers can quantify the organization and alignment of heart muscle cells (like these cell groups, in which individual cells are marked by fine white outlines) and help them grow more useful muscle tissue from stem cells. Image courtesy of Brett N. Napiwocki Heart muscle cells made from stem cells could be used to screen drugs or develop cell-based therapies for heart disease.

Health - Life Sciences - 25.06.2020
Forming genitals in boys requires complex dance between genes and hormones
The most common congenital disorders of all, especially in baby boys, are differences in a newborn's sexual anatomy that is not standard female or male. In boys, they include undescended testicles, misplaced urethras, and improperly developed internal organs. Some of these disorders may be treated with surgery and some also with hormonal supplementation.

Health - Pharmacology - 22.06.2020
Hamsters develop protective immunity to COVID-19 and are protected by convalescent sera
In an animal model for COVID-19 that shares important features of human disease, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Tokyo and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai show that prior infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus provides protection against reinfection, and treatment with convalescent serum limits virus replication in their lungs.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.06.2020
Changing environment at home genetically primes invasive species to take over abroad
University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists have found that a constantly fluctuating environment can enable some species to invade new areas by helping them maintain the genetic diversity they need to settle into their new homes. And once those invasive species arrive, adaptation can take surprisingly similar paths.

Electroengineering - Physics - 22.06.2020
Critical communications component made on a flexible wooden film
In the not-too-distant future, flexible electronics will open the door to new products like foldable phones, tablets that can be rolled, paper-thin displays and wearable sensors that monitor health data. Developing these new bendy products, however, means using materials like new plastics and thin films to replace the rigid circuit boards and bulky electronic components that currently occupy the interiors of cell phones and other gadgets.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 03.06.2020
First optical measurements of Milky Way’s Fermi Bubbles probe their origin
Astronomers used the WHAM telescope to measure huge outflows of gas extending from the Milky Way's center known as the Fermi Bubbles. They were able to measure the velocity, density and pressure of the gas for the first time, confirming and extending previous measurements made by using a distant quasar as a light source to look through and measure the gas.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 29.05.2020
UW-Madison scientist helps set national earth sciences research priorities for next decade
Andrea Dutton, examining rock samples at the University of Florida, says, "Earth science issues impact our daily lives in many different ways. So, when policies are developed, it's imperative they are at least informed and evidence-based so we can make good decisions about what to do” Photo by Erica Brouch On May 20, 2020, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine published a report that provides a framework for the next 10 years of research in the earth sciences.

Physics - Materials Science - 26.05.2020
Understanding ceramic ’mortar’ of materials may reveal ways to improve them
When most people think of ceramics, they might envision their favorite mug or a flowerpot. But modern technology is full of advanced ceramics, from silicon solar panels to ceramic superconductors and biomedical implants. Many of those advanced polycrystalline ceramics are combinations of crystalline grains which, at the microscopic level, resemble a stone fence held together with limestone mortar.

Health - Veterinary - 13.05.2020
Confirms cats can become infected with and may transmit COVID-19 to other cats
In a study published today (May 13, 2020) in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists in the U.S. and Japan report that in the laboratory, cats can readily become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and may be able to pass the virus to other cats. Professor of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine Yoshihiro Kawaoka led the study, in which researchers administered to three cats SARS-CoV-2 isolated from a human patient.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.05.2020
On viral junk, quicker drug testing could help outflank coronaviruses
Illustration of a cell being infected by COVID-19 particles (shown in pink). Researchers hope to better understand how coronaviruses enter cells, spread, and cause varying immune responses in different individuals. NIAID/NIH Viruses like novel coronavirus can be sloppy multipliers, leaving lots of junk particles around infected cells during reproduction.

Health - Media - 11.05.2020
How should journalists cover coronavirus preprint studies?
When a story in the Los Angeles Times recently claimed that the novel coronavirus behind COVID-19 had mutated into a more contagious version, it was quickly amplified by other outlets and stoked fears that the virus was becoming more dangerous. The problem is, that wasn't necessarily true. Scientists quickly took to Twitter to point out the research paper the story was based on was a preprint - a first draft of scientific findings.