University of Wisconsin-Madison

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University of Wisconsin-Madison articles

Displaying 1 - 20 of 27

Video game may improve empathy in middle schoolers

Video game may improve empathy in middle schoolers
A space-exploring robot crashes on a distant planet. In order to gather the pieces of its damaged spaceship, it needs to build emotional rapport with the local alien inhabitants. The aliens speak a different language but their facial expressions are remarkably humanlike. This fantastical scenario is the premise of a video game developed for middle schoolers by University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers to study whether video games can boost kids’ empathy.
10th August 2018

Molecular magnetism packs power with 'messenger electron'

Molecular magnetism packs power with 'messenger electron'
Electrons can be a persuasive bunch, or at least, a talkative bunch, according to new work from John Berry’s lab at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The spins of unpaired electrons are the root of permanent magnetism, and after 10 years of design and re-design, Berry’s lab has made a molecule that gains magnetic strength through an unusual way of controlling those spins.
14th November 2017

Computer ‘assistant’ simplifies complex chip design challenges

Computer ‘assistant’ simplifies complex chip design challenges
With applications in devices such as lasers and solar panels, or as alternatives to the curved lenses in powerful microscopes or telescopes, metasurfaces — flat optical chips — offer unparalleled control of light. Created through a monolithic process, each tiny feature on a metasurface can perform its own unique light-scattering task — yet all of those features work together to perform a unified optical function.
20th October 2017


Making sense of bridges loaded with sensors

Making sense of bridges loaded with sensors
The University of Wisconsin–Madison has a few iconic landmarks: the statue of Abraham Lincoln in front of Bascom Hall, the Carillon Tower, and the colorful Union Terrace chairs on the shore of Lake Mendota. But one of its most heavily traveled structures is the pedestrian bridge over North Park Street between Mosse Humanities Building and Bascom Mall that numerous students and staff cross every day.
19th October 2017

A platform for high-performance electronics

A platform for high-performance electronics
A team of University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers has created the most functional flexible transistor in the world — and with it, a fast, simple and inexpensive fabrication process that’s easily scalable to the commercial level. It’s an advance that could open the door to an increasingly interconnected world, enabling manufacturers to add “smart,” wireless capabilities to any number of large or small products or objects that curve, bend, stretch and move.
29th September 2017

Coding for equity

Coding for equity
Sitting down with Katie Zutter the day a Google engineer was fired for writing that women are biologically less fit to work in tech — the latest flare-up involving issues of gender bias in the industry — could have been awkward. But the controversy didn’t throw the senior majoring in computer sciences and Spanish. To the contrary, inequities in tech only fuel her to push for change. By Katie Vaughn, University of Wisconsin-Madison
17th August 2017

Scientist and supercomputer recreate a tornado

Scientist and supercomputer recreate a tornado
With tornado season fast approaching or already underway in vulnerable states throughout the U.S., supercomputer simulations are giving meteorologists unprecedented insight into the structure of monstrous thunderstorms and tornadoes. One such recent simulation recreates a tornado-producing supercell thunderstorm that left a path of destruction over the central Great Plains in 2011.
14th March 2017

Designer switches could streamline stem cell biology

Designer switches could streamline stem cell biology
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have developed a novel strategy to reprogram cells from one type to another in a more efficient and less biased manner than previous methods. The ability to convert cells from one type to another holds great promise for engineering cells and tissues for therapeutic application, and the new Wisconsin study could help speed research and bring the technology to the clinic faster.
6th December 2016

Magnetic brain stimulation brings stowed memories back

Brad Postle’s lab, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is challenging the idea that working memory remembers things through sustained brain activity. They caught brains tucking less-important information away somewhere beyond the reach of the tools that typically monitor brain activity — and then they snapped that information back into active attention with magnets. Their latest study will be published in the journal Science.
5th December 2016

Computer chips bridge computation and storage gap

Computer chips bridge computation and storage gap
Computer chips in development at the University of Wisconsin–Madison could make future computers more efficient and powerful by combining tasks usually kept separate by design. Jing Li, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UW–Madison, is creating computer chips that can be configured to perform complex calculations and store massive amounts of information within the same integrated unit — and communicate efficiently with other chips. She calls them “liquid silicon.”
18th November 2016

Project investigates tissue-engineered arteries for transplant

Project investigates tissue-engineered arteries for transplant
The prospect of creating artery “banks” available for cardiovascular surgery, bypassing the need to harvest vessels from the patient, could transform treatment of many common heart and vascular ailments. But it’s a big leap from concept to reality. The Morgridge Institute for Research and the University of Wisconsin–Madison will address both the engineering and biomedical hurdles in this process through a five year, $8 million project funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
16th November 2016

Invention helps diabetics with safer insulin injections

Invention helps diabetics with safer insulin injections
  Insulin injection, if you’ve never done it, takes two hands. One hand holds the insulin injector. The other hand pinches the skin, to form a bulge so the hormone enters fat under the skin while avoiding muscle, where it can be absorbed quickly enough to cause a seizure. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that regulates sugar in the blood.
15th November 2016

Atlas of DNA-binding molecule could advance precision therapies

Atlas of DNA-binding molecule could advance precision therapies
Biochemists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have created the first atlas that maps where molecular tools that can switch genes on and off will bind to the human genome. It is a development they say could enable these tools to be targeted to specific parts of an individual’s genome for use in precision medicine, developing therapies and treating disease. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
14th November 2016

‘Prototype pathway’ yields organ transplant technology

‘Prototype pathway’ yields organ transplant technology
Organ transplantation has come a long way from its early days in the mid-twentieth century. But even with major medical advances, there’s still an admittedly familiar factor at play: ice. Just prior to transplantation, an organ is reconstructed and prepared in the sterile operating room during what is known as the “backbench procedure.” As surgeons prepare the organ, it stays cooled and preserved in a hypothermic state in a basin on a bed of sterile ice.
14th November 2016

UW spinoff sells neural cells to drug researchers

UW spinoff sells neural cells to drug researchers
Leaders of the University of Wisconsin–Madison lab that first transformed human stem cells into brain cells have started a company that produces and sells specialised neurons to drug researchers. BrainXell develops neurons from stem cells in its Madison lab, then freezes them for shipment. Once thawed in the customer’s lab, the cells undergo a final step of specialisation and become neurons like those found in the spinal cord or brain.
2nd November 2016

Transparent sensors for imaging the brain

Transparent sensors for imaging the brain
In 2014, when University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers announced in the journal Nature Communications that they had developed transparent sensors for use in imaging the brain, researchers around the world took notice. Then the requests came flooding in. “So many research groups started asking us for these devices that we couldn’t keep up,” says Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma, the Lynn H. Matthias Professor and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in electrical and computer engineering at UW–Madison.
14th October 2016

Electron beam lithography system for nanotech research

Electron beam lithography system for nanotech research
  Research projects statewide, from electronics to optics and medicine, are set to benefit from a new system coming to UW–Madison that will use electron beam lithography (EBL), a specialised technique for creating extremely fine patterns — in some cases more than 5,000 times narrower than the diameter of a human hair.
13th October 2016

Invention merges solar with liquid battery

Invention merges solar with liquid battery
As solar cells produce a greater proportion of total electric power, a fundamental limitation remains: the dark of night when solar cells go to sleep. Lithium-ion batteries, the commonplace batteries used in everything from hybrid vehicles to laptop computers, are too expensive a solution to use on something as massive as the electric grid. Song Jin, a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has a better idea: integrating the solar cell with a large-capacity battery.
23rd September 2016

Stem cell ‘heart patch’ moves closer to clinic

The promise of stem cells to treat cardiovascular disease may soon be a step closer to clinical application as scientists from three institutions seek to perfect and test three-dimensional “heart patches” in a large animal model. In theory, the heart patches, engineered tissue composed of the several different types of cells that make up heart muscle, would be implanted to replace diseased or damaged tissue and would perform all the functions of healthy, beating heart muscle.
22nd September 2016

Biomarkers may predict early Alzheimer's disease

University of Wisconsin-Madison Alzheimer’s researchers have identified a scientific approach that may help predict which older adults are more likely to develop cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease well before the onset of dementia. This approach – which statistically analyses a panel of biomarkers – could help identify people most likely to benefit from drugs or other interventions to slow the progress of the disease. The study was published in the August edition of the journal Brain.
2nd August 2016


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