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Author: barncard

As Wildfires Grow, Millions of Homes Are Being Built in Harm’s Way

The New York Times

“That’s the perfect storm,” said Volker Radeloff, a professor of forest ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who helped lead the research. “Millions of houses have been built in places that will sooner or later burn,” he said, even as climate change increases the risks of major wildfires across the West with extreme heat and dryness.

Counties with more slaves in 1860 have higher gun ownership rates today, study finds

The researchers, led by psychology professor Dr. Nicholas Buttrick of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, hypothesize that this correlation exists because of the Reconstruction period in American history, which occurred immediately after the Civil War — “a moment when a massive upsurge in the availability of firearms co-occurred with a worldview threat from the emancipation and the political empowerment of Black Southerners.”

Cutting fossil fuel air pollution saves lives


“These [particles] get deep into the lungs and cause both respiratory and cardiac ailments,” says Jonathan Patz, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the authors of the study. “They are pretty much the worst pollutant when it comes to mortality and hospitalization.”

‘Call of Duty’ can make you a better sailor or Marine, according to science

Task & Purpose

“Anyone who is in a position where they would benefit from greater than normal cognitive control, top-down attention, peripheral visual processing would benefit from playing action games, which are primarily first- and third-person shooter games,” said Dr. C. Shawn Green, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison whose work studying the effect of video games on cognitive performance was supported by the Office of Naval Research.

UW study finds rivers emptying PFAS chemicals in Lake Michigan

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Christy Remucal, an associate professor with the UW Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and postdoctoral investigator Sarah Balgooyen looked at the water and sediments within 41 of the tributaries that feed water into the bay, and the impact water from tributaries broadly could be having on the Great Lakes.

“Special Needs” Is a Euphemism That Hurts Disabled Kids


The term “‘disability’ is not a slur,” says Morton Ann Gernsbacher, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies how language is used in relation to disability. But the term “special needs” may be moving in that direction, she says.

How Psychedelic Drugs Can Be Used for Mental Health

The New York Times

That research isn’t conclusive yet, said Paul Hutson, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies psilocybin and leads the school’s center for psychedelics research. But he anticipates there will soon be enough evidence for the Food and Drug Administration to approve psilocybin capsules to treat at least some of these disorders — most likely in the next five years or so.

First Homo naledi child fossil found in the Cradle of Humankind


“This makes this the richest site for fossil hominins on the continent of Africa and makes naledi one of the best-known ancient hominin species ever discovered,” said John Hawks, Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author of a previous study on the Neo fossil skeleton, in a statement.

Widespread Coronavirus Infection Found in Iowa Deer, New Study Says

The New York Times

“If deer can transmit the virus to humans, it’s a game changer,” said Tony Goldberg, a veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies the evolution of infectious diseases as they jump between animals and people. “To have a wildlife species become a reservoir after transmission from humans is very rare and unlucky, as if we needed more bad luck.”

Why student absences aren’t the real problem in America’s ‘attendance crisis’

The Conversation

“But what if America’s attendance crisis is about much more than students missing class?” write Eric Grodsky, sociology professor, and education researcher Elizabeth Vaade. “What if, instead, it is a reflection of family and community crises these students face – such as being evicted from the family apartment, fearing for their safety in their neighborhood or suffering an illness?”

Wisconsin winery American Wine Project makes low-intervention wines

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Nicholas Smith, instructor of wine science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, also said he is not aware of anyone else in this state who is making low-intervention wines on the scale that Rasmussen is.

“I’m happy to see what Erin is doing, drawing customers into the local industry, while being introspective into how we produce products and being transparent about it,” Smith said. “It’s a benefit to everybody.”

Magic Mushrooms May Be the Biggest Advance in Treating Depression Since Prozac


“The idea psychedelics liberate some of these powerfully valent, deeper emotional areas of the brain—the limbic areas involved in memory and emotion—to have their say is consistent with what people are reporting,” says [Charles Raison, a psychiatrist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison], who also serves as director of clinical and translational research for Usona Institute, a nonprofit that is leading a clinical trial of psilocybin. “They are often overcome by these really, really powerful emotions that are surprising, as if they’re coming from the outside but yet seem completely credible and utterly believable. These areas are liberated and get their day in court.”

The Godmother of the Digital Image

The New York Times

In mathematical terms, as in common parlance, a signal is something that conveys information. Jordan Ellenberg, a mathematician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who first met Daubechies in 1998 when they were colleagues at Princeton, points out that signal processing “makes up a huge proportion of applied math now, since so much of applied math is about the geometry of information as opposed to the geometry of motion and force” — that is, it’s more about the warp and weft of information than physical problems in, say, fluid dynamics or celestial mechanics.

Madison addiction recovery program reduces six-month recidivism odds

The Capital Times

“[Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative] works or at least is doing what it is intended to do,” said Veronica White, a University of Wisconsin-Madison doctoral student and research assistant for the program. “MARI needs more support to make it more effective to help more people stay engaged.”

The mysterious microbes that gave rise to complex life


Evolutionary biologist David Baum was thrilled to flick through a preprint in August 2019 and come face-to-face — well, face-to-cell — with a distant cousin. Baum, who works at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, was looking at an archaeon: a type of microorganism best known for living in extreme environments, such as deep-ocean vents and acid lakes.

Butterflies provide ‘extraordinary’ help pollinating cotton fields

Science | AAAS

“This paper will drive people to look at the importance of butterflies as pollinators,” says Karen Oberhauser, a butterfly biologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who was not involved in the research. If the results hold up in other crops, butterflies might be added to a short list of commercially important pollinators including honey bees, bumble bees, hoverflies, and beetles.

The latest on smoking cessation: 8 things physicians should know

American Medical Association

“There’ve been more than 20 studies, which have looked at smoking status and COVID-19 complications,” said AMA member Michael Fiore, MD, MPH, MBA, Hilldale Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin and director of the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. “Whether you measure the outcomes as death or using a severity index, like going to the ICU or being intubated, in more than 80% of those studies, smoking resulted in a statistically significant increase of adverse outcomes.”

Is MLB’s Plan to Return Safe? Health Experts Break Down the Proposal.

The Ringer

“There will be positive cases and there will be transmission between players,” says Laura Albert, an associate professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison whose research includes the optimization of emergency and public health systems. “And I anticipate it happening on airplanes and buses, in the locker rooms or bathrooms. It’s not totally clear how we can change those spaces to be safe if there’s a bunch of people using them.”

The Search for a Covid-19 Research Animal Model


“It’s not always going to be monkeys,” says Dave O’Connor, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Wisconsin. He works with the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, which, like Tulane, is part of a network of primate research centers jointly supported by the NIH and university hosts around the country. The centers are now diverting most of their focus to coronavirus research.

Engineers Made a DIY Face Shield. Now, It’s Helping Doctors


Early last week, Lennon Rodgers, director of the Engineering Design Innovation Lab at University of Wisconsin-Madison, got an urgent email from the university’s hospital. Could his lab make 1,000 face shields to protect staff testing and treating Covid-19 patients? The hospital’s usual suppliers were out of stock, due to the spike in demand prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

A Brutal Murder, a Wearable Witness, and an Unlikely Suspect


With smartwatch heart trackers, “if you’re trying to determine if someone’s heart rate is exactly 80 beats versus 90 beats per minute, that’s a really hard thing,” says kinesiology professor Lisa Cadmus-Bertram. “If you’re trying to determine if a heartbeat has ended, in my experience with these devices, they should be able to do that quite easily.”

UW researcher develops obesity treatment device

Spectrum News 1

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Madison have made a small device that would attach to the lining of a person’s stomach and use electricity to stimulate the nerves that tell your brain it’s full when you eat. As a stomach moves it sends that signal and ideally makes you feel full with eating far less.

Listen: Mice ‘argue’ about infidelity in ultrasound

National Geographic

New research (from UW–Madison’s Josh Pultorak and Catherine Marler) published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution shows that when these monogamous mice are separated from their mate and then reunited, the animals sometimes don’t handle it well—revealing a new side to their social lives and behavior.

Could Life Be Floating in Venus’s Clouds?


“If you accept the arguments about water and life on Mars, then why shouldn’t we include Venus in that?” Sanjay Limaye, a planetary scientist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, told Eos. “Venus had liquid water. It could have had the chance to evolve or sustain life that could be living in the habitable clouds.”

Why are U.S. neuroscientists clamoring for marmosets?


At a meeting here this week, convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM’s) Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, neuroscientist Jon Levine, who directs the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, likened the surge in demand to “a 10-alarm fire that’s about to be set.”