Research

courtesy Valerie Stull/MIGHTi

At the Wisconsin State Fair this month, among the extreme food offerings - like, say, the deep-fried bacon-wrapped olives on a stick - was one menu option you might have missed: cricket nachos

From the thirteenth floor of a glass tower at the Oregon Health & Science University, you get a panoramic view of downtown Portland and the majestic mountains in the distance. But it's what's happening inside the building that's brought me here.

"Should we go do this thing?" lab manager Amy Koski asks.

There is a little room at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that is filled with the eyeballs of animals — everything from the duck-billed platypus to the two-toed sloth to the boa constrictor.

Researchers have come up with a new way to extract water from thin air. Literally.

This isn't the first technology that can turn water vapor in the atmosphere into liquid water that people can drink, but researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, say their approach uses less power and works in drier environments.

A funding crunch for scientific research is creating incentives for scientists to cut corners and even occasionally to cheat.

This is one of the findings in a new report about scientific integrity from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Sometimes scientists adopt sloppy practices that can lead to false conclusions. This can hamper progress in science. And taxpayer dollars are on the line.

Rachel Morello

It’s not uncommon to see UW-Madison or UW-Milwaukee named among the nation’s top research universities.

State schools regularly appear on industry-compiled lists. And just last year, UWM joined an elite group of “R1” institutions – schools recognized for their research output.

How do undergrads contribute to the research work their campuses are doing?

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Every time you post to Twitter or Facebook, these sites are collecting data about you. At this point you ought to expect that by participating in social media sites, you’re giving up some of your privacy. It’s just the name of the game.

Some see big data from social media sites as a god send for researchers - a perfect way to study social habits with huge numbers of people. But what happens when that data with your personal details still attached is published for a study, for the world to see?

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Earlier this year, the documentary Gleason made its Milwaukee premiere in a private event. The film tells the heartwrenching story of Steve Gleason, a former NFL player who suffers from ALS.

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There are a variety of treatments for people who suffer from the brain disorder known as OCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Treatments such as cognitive behavior therapy have been effective in helping many patients who deal with the disorder, which can cause severe and often crippling anxiety.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr

A Marquette University researcher hopes his work could be a promising step towards a cure for spinal cord injuries and the paralysis they cause.

Dr. Murray Blackmore turned to an unlikely ally in his work - cancer genes.

bioforward.org

A report out this week offers a snapshot of an increasingly important sector of the Wisconsin economy. 

The report quantifies the economic output of the state’s bioscience sector, and how it relates to other Wisconsin industries. 

The report was commissioned by BioForward, the trade association for the bioscience industry.  It was released Wednesday, at the group’s Bioscience Summit in Madison. 

Miguelángel Guédez / Flickr

The brain is a funny thing. You could be listening to your favorite radio show, say, when something catches your eye. Before you realize it, your mind has wandered and you've lost track of what you were just listening to.

UW-Milwaukee researcher Debbie Hannula studies the very real impact of this phenomenon. In fact, Hannula, who is a professor of psychology at UWM, received a grant from the National Science Foundation to examine how memory affects your attention.

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You were probably warned as a child to never combine water and electricity. The list of things not to do was impressive – don’t walk outside in a lightning storm, don’t plug in a hair dryer over a sink full of water. Essentially we were told some variation of "keep them far, far apart."

Well, Brooke Mayer didn’t get that message. Or if she did, she ignored it.

Richard Wheeler

Actress Angelina Jolie announced yesterday that she’s had a preventive double mastectomy after learning that she carries a genetic mutation that puts her at high risk for developing breast cancer.

That announcement has, for many, rekindled a dilemma about how much information we want to know about our genome, and what do with that information once it’s in hand.