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Category: Research

Tanzania’s Dilemma: It’s Not So Easy To Go From Vaccine Denier To Vaccine Embracer

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: The authority of the minister and her deputies in advocating vaccination doesn’t guarantee a new national attitude, says Aikande Kwayu, honorary research fellow specializing in political governance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who is based in Tanzania.

“Their actions and statements during the last administration influenced a lot of conspiracies, lies and also denial about the pandemic,” says Kwayu.

A wolf hunt blew past its kill quota in February. Another hunt is coming this fall.

The Washington Post

Quoted: Lead author Adrian Treves, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, argues that without a more precise number the hunt quota should be set as low as is possible.

“A quota of one would comply with the statute [mandating a hunt] and acknowledge that we have no clue how successfully the wolves reproduced this year,” Treves said. “Because the hunt happened during the mating season, we would need good data on how many packs produced pups, and that is data we do not have.”

Forget Critical Race Theory in the Classroom. Kids Are Learning About Race on TikTok.


Quoted: “If you look at the language of some of these bills, they’re really pretty broad,” says Diana Hess, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s school of education. “There’s a lot of things that are in the language that would make it really hard to teach civic education.”

‘An abomination’: the story of the massacre that killed 216 wolves

The Guardian

Quoted: Adrian Treves, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has studied wolf-hound conflicts, found that neighboring Michigan, which has stricter hounding regulations, has seen far fewer dogs injured or killed by wolves. Lighter regulation in Wisconsin means more dogs in the woods, Treves said, which leads to more conflict. “Houndsmen prefer to hunt in a place that lets them do what they want to do.”

Intense heat raises the risk of violence in American prisons

The Economist

Noted: Another, and probably underestimated, factor may be the weather. Mississippi summers usually see average temperatures rise above 80℉ (26.7℃), a threshold at which the likelihood of violence in prisons increases.

That is the finding of a working paper by Anita Mukherjee of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Nicholas Sanders of Cornell University. The authors matched county-level weather variations across Mississippi with violent incidents reported in the state’s 36 prisons and jails between 2004 and 2010. Using these data, they built a statistical model that controlled for the time of year that the violence took place, the type of institution and other factors. They calculated that on days with average temperatures of 80℉ or higher the chances of violence increased by 20%. The hot weather leads to an average of 44 additional incidents of severe violence—those that result in serious injury or death—each year,

‘It’s five years since a white person applied’: the immigrant workforce milking America’s cows

The Guardian

Noted: Green county has seen one of the state’s fastest growths in Latino population, increasing by an estimated 228% from 2000 to 2019, according to the Applied Population Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Monroe is the largest city in Green county and has seen a steady increase of Latino immigrants over 20 years. With a population of only about 10,800, new people stand out, which has made the adjustment, like the farm work, incredibly difficult for some dairy workers.

Carbon-capture pipelines offer climate aid; activists wary

Associated Press

Quoted: “These early plants are relatively easy and that’s a good place to start,” said Greg Nemet, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in the development of climate-friendly energy technology. “As that gets shown and proven, you get some transportation networks, then it gets easier to do the harder stuff later.”

UW-Madison joins international initiative to prevent future pandemics


Research at UW-Madison has been crucial to the COVID-19 response in Wisconsin, and the university is now getting some new help to keep the research going — to try to get ahead of whatever the next threat may be. Virology professor Thomas Friedrich is one of the researchers involved currently with coronavirus variant sequencing.

Fellowships Launched To Combat LGBTQ Health Disparities


The American Medical Association Foundation announced on Tuesday that the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Public Health and Medicine will be the first institution to participate in its new National LGBTQ+ Fellowship Program, which aims to combat shortcomings in the medical care provided to LGBTQ people in the United States.

50 States

USA Today

Madison:The University of Wisconsin Center for Human Genomics and Precision Medicine opened a new clinic Friday that will use the latest genetic technology, and exploit connections to top scientists around the world in order to help patients who have been at the mercy of unknown diseases. Stephen Meyn, who directs the Center for Human Genomics and Precision Medicine, said the new clinic represents an initial investment of several million dollars and is expected to take on about 100 cases a year “and ramp up from there.” The clinic has already “reviewed more than 50 cases with a wide range of conditions from birth defects to neurologic problems to skeletal disorders and immune system problems, Meyn said. The clinic, located in the Waisman Center, will partner with the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, the Biotechnology Center at UW-Madison, Stanford University in California and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Meyn said that in addition to the clinic for patients, the project will also include research.

Hardy Microbes Hint at Possibilities for Extraterrestrial Life

Scientific Americane

Extremophile research was pioneered by the late Thomas Brock, a microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He found, against all expectations, that certain hardy microbes could thrive in geothermal springs hot enough to poach an egg. The microbiologist’s curiosity led to the isolation of a molecule—from a heat-loving bacterium—that is now used in labs across the world to amplify and sequence DNA. Brock passed away in April, but his legacy lives on.

Science Confirms the Obvious: Ten Studies That Make You Say “Duh”

Popular Science

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research,_ September 2009 The Findings Research has already shown generations of antacid-crunching deans that the more often college students get drunk, the more likely they are to hurt themselves. Using data from the College Health Intervention Projects, a survey of 12,900 students that screens for problem drinking and other health data, Marlon Mundt of the University of Wisconsin pinned it down: The chance of male college students having an alcohol-related injury jumps by 19 percent for each day a month they guzzle eight or more drinks. Among women, it increases by 10 percent for each day they consume five or more drinks.

LIFT Dane’s Legal Tune-up Tool can help you remove eligible criminal and eviction records

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “We used public data that is so often used against people to help correct situations or improve situations that might be barriers to employment, housing, education, childcare and health,” explained Marsha Mansfield, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Economic Justice Institute and director of LIFT Dane.

Tom Still: Wisconsin must step up to compete for federal R&D dollars

Wisconsin State Journal

States around the country are gearing up for projects that could pair engineering schools and industry, but the dean of UW-Madison’s College of Engineering warned this week the state will be at a disadvantage unless there’s more investment in infrastructure needed to compete. “If we don’t act soon, we’re going to lose out,” said Ian Robertson, dean of Madison’s 4,500-student engineering college. “Others are going to get ahead of us. They’re all gearing up to go after the Endless Frontier money. It’s that simple.”

NFL funding study on its most common injury: hamstrings

The Washington Post

The league’s Scientific Advisory Board on Thursday announced a four-year, $4 million award to a team of medical researchers led by the University of Wisconsin. The study is part of the NFL’s effort to better understand and prevent lower-extremity injuries, including soft tissue strains such as hamstrings.

Organic Farming Should Protect Nature, Not Destroy It


According to a recent University of Wisconsin study, hundreds of thousands of acres of native forests and grasslands have been converted to agricultural use in the last year — and millions of acres in the last decade — with no penalty to the growers. California vineyards have been eating away native oak woodlands. Wheat farms are taking over former prairie lands in the Northeast. Overseas, organic palm oil sold in the U.S. is being produced on forestland that was once crucial orangutan habitat.

Wisconsin DNR working on wolf hunt and management plans

Spectrum News

Noted: A recent study from UW-Madison showed that about an additional 100 wolves had been killed during the hunt last winter on top of the 218 killed by hunters and trappers.
“Researchers estimate that a majority of these additional, uncounted deaths are due to something called cryptic poaching, where poachers hide evidence of illegal killings,” a university release about the study said.

Wisconsin group works to conserve and restore prairies

Spectrum News

Quoted: Earth’s vegetation is changing as fast as it did during the Ice Age, according to University of Wisconsin geography and climate professor Jack Williams. Organizations like the Prairie Enthusiasts conserving and restoring land makes a big difference.

“One of the things we’ve definitely learned from the past is that when climates change, species move and one way we can help those species is helping this movement across these modern, fragmented, very much transformed landscapes,” Williams said.



The US doesn’t really know how widespread the Delta variant is because its virus sequencing is lagging far behind many other rich nations

Business Insider

Quoted: Thomas Friedrich, professor of pathobiological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told the FT that federal regulations designed to protect people’s privacy can get in the way of the “rapid sharing of information we need.” States interpret these regulations in different ways, he said.

Wisconsin educators help design ‘Shipwrecks!’ game

PBS Wisconsin

During the 2020-21 academic year, 14 Wisconsin third through fifth grade teachers took part in the Shipwrecks! Game Design Fellowship with PBS Wisconsin Education and Field Day Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Throughout the winter, these educators met with teachers, game designers, researchers and maritime archaeologists to co-design a video game that investigates shipwrecks in the Great Lakes using the practices of maritime archaeologists.

As fisheries managers consider ecosystem approaches, new study suggests no need for new strategies

Seafood Source

Quoted: “Management of forage fish populations should be based on data that are specific to that forage fish, and to their predators,” University of Wisconsin-Madison Associate Professor Olaf Jensen, a co-author of the study, said. “When there aren’t sufficient data to conduct a population-specific analysis, it’s reasonable to manage forage fish populations for maximum sustainable yield, as we would other fish populations under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.”

Wolf study raises questions about what’s going on in Wisconsin’s woods

Wisconsin Examiner

After contributing to an independent study to assess how many wolves were killed during the February wolf hunt, Professor Adrian Treves expected some criticism. “There’s just more controversy surrounding wolves, their protected status, and the conflict that some people experience with them that makes management very difficult and controversial,” Treves, a professor of environmental studies at UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, told Wisconsin Examiner. It’s also normal for new research to be debated, questioned, and compared with other existing information. Treves, however, feels that’s not how the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is handling the study’s findings.

Native bees need saving too, research shows decline across Midwest

Spectrum News

This summer, UW-Madison researchers further looked at the links between certain types of crops, the growth in those types of crops and the correlation to a decline in native bees across the state and the midwest as a whole.

“Rarer [bees] that have become increasingly rare, they might not be able to thrive because we’ve eliminated those flowers that they need from the landscape,” said Jeremy Hemberger, a research entomologist at UW-Madison “by converting prairies and wetlands to agriculture and developments.”

The decline of native bees is a decades-long problem that keeps the list of endangered bees growing.

“Native bees are silently playing these really important roles, so just people becoming more aware that there’s all these other groups out there that through our actions we could be supporting, I think is a really valuable thing,” UW-Madison professor Claudio Gratton said.

Researchers Estimate 1/3 of Wisconsin’s Wolf Population Wiped Out in Last Year


In an analysis published in the journal PeerJ on July 5, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM) estimate that Wisconsin’s wolf population was reduced by about one-third between April 2020 and April 2021. Specifically, the researchers estimate that 313 to 323 (27 to 33 percent) of the state’s 1,034 wolves were killed by hunters or poachers in that period of time.

Wisconsin’s Covid Condition: The Delta Variant Looms for Unvaccinated People

PBS Wisconsin

Quoted: “The really good news is that if you have gotten your vaccine, you’re not going to be sick with the Delta virus,” said David O’Connor, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the July 7 edition of Here & Now’s Noon Wednesday.

“Most of the people who are getting sick with the Delta variant, and indeed with covid generally, in the United States are people who are not vaccinated,” said Thomas Friedrich, a professor of pathobiological sciences at UW-Madison, also during the July 7 episode of Noon Wednesday.

UW Prof. Jordan Ellenberg, “Shape: The Hidden Geometry Of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy And Everything Else.”


Stu Levitan welcomes one of the brightest stars in the firmament that is the University of Wisconsin faculty, Professor Jordan Ellenberg, here to talk about his New York Times best-seller, Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else.

Latinos Have Greater Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s, But Less Likely to Get Help

WTTW - Chicago PBS

Quoted: Dr. María Carolina Mora Pinzón, a preventive medicine physician and scientist at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute at University of Wisconsin, Madison, says that Latinos are less likely to move a relative into a residential care facility or access other forms of help.

“We have heard from people that are looking for the services, that they are not available for their family members,” said Mora Pinzón. “It’s either an access issue where they are not eligible, or the insurance does not cover these types of services.”

Virtual cow fences, 24-hour NYC partying, Carters’ anniversary: News from around our 50 states

USA Today

Madison: As many as one-third of the state’s gray wolves likely died at the hands of humans in the months after the federal government announced it was ending legal protections, according to a study released Monday. Poaching and a February hunt that far exceeded kill quotas were largely responsible for the drop-off, University of Wisconsin scientists said, though some other scientists say more direct evidence is needed for some of the calculations

California identifies new, rare gray wolf pack

ABC News

Wisconsin was the first state to resume hunting of wolves. A study released this week by University of Wisconsin scientists says that as many as one-third of Wisconsin’s gray wolves likely died at the hands of humans in the months after the federal government announced it was ending legal protections.

Wisconsin’s gray wolves are in serious trouble

Popular Science

The aim of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was to have a hunting season that “resulted in no annual increase or decrease in the state’s wolf population.” Wolf hunts are annual events where hunters congregate to hunt the animals for sport, though this practice has become controversial in many countries. However, that no change in the wolf’s population goal was not met, says Adrian Treves, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and coauthor of the new findings.

After COVID-19 Successes, Researchers Push to Develop mRNA Vaccines for Other Diseases

Scientific American

In 1990, the late physician-scientist Jon Wolff and his University of Wisconsin colleagues injected mRNA into mice, which caused cells in the mice to produce the encoded proteins. In many ways, that work served as the first step toward making a vaccine from mRNA, but there was a long way to go—and there still is, for many applications.

Self-powered biodegradable patch zaps broken bones to heal them

New Atlas

Seeking a simpler, less invasive alternative, a team led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Prof. Xudong Wang created a self-powered electrical patch that is surgically placed onto a bone-break site, but that is harmlessly absorbed by the body once its job is done. It’s called the fracture electrostimulation device, or FED.

We Are on Track for a Planet-Wide, Climate-Driven Landscape Makeover

Mother Jones

Scientists debate what this floral rearrangement will look like. In some places, it may take place quietly and be easily ignored. In others, though, it could be one of the changing climate’s most consequential and disruptive effects. “There’s a whole lot more of this we can expect over the next decades,” said University of Wisconsin-Madison paleoecologist Jack Williams. “When people talk about wildfires out West, about species moving upslope—to me, this is just the beginning.”

First Thing: Six months on, Republican efforts to deny Capitol attack are working

The Guardian

Wisconsin’s gray wolf population plunged by as much as a third after they were removed from the endangered list in January. A study by the University of Wisconsin released on Monday found that poaching and a hunt in February were largely responsible for the huge drop in population numbers. Gray wolves in the lower 48 states were removed from the US Fish and Wildlife Service list of endangered and threatened species in January, soon before Donald Trump left office.