Science

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Sean Carroll is the Alan Wilson Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at UW-Madison, and author of the new book, The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters. His book uses true stories of scientific discovery to explain how scientists connected the dots and came to understand that all of life is interconnected. 

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Until recently, scientists didn't understand just how critical adolescence is for human development. And over the next decade, we will likely learn more than ever before about how young minds develop.

That’s because work is starting on a groundbreaking study of the subject. It's called the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development, or ABCD, Study, and nearly two dozen institutions across the U.S. will be participating in the research.

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We all wish we had better powers of recollection. We have all experienced the momentary panic of forgetting where we dropped our keys or reading glasses, or having a thought – a word or a name or a concept - just out of reach.

New Research Shows Invasive Plants Can Feed Farms, Power Homes

Dec 2, 2016
Photo by Sam Corden / Great Lakes Today

Researchers who work in wetlands in Michigan are taking a new approach to invasive plants. Instead of removing plants like phragmites and switchgrass, they’re harvesting them. They say these plants are a threat to biodiversity, but they can benefit farmers and even power homes.

The Hidden Brain / Facebook

Much of the work of social scientists centers around explaining why we humans do the things we do. Not all social scientists are good at explaining that work – or putting it into context – for general audiences. But fortunately, one of tasks of journalists is also to explain why things are the way they are.

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Enhancing instruction in STEM fields continue to draw a lot of attention in the education world, and the effort to draw more girls to science, technology, engineering and math is seen by many as especially important.

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Forensic science has long been the basis for popular prime time television. From Jack Klugman’s classic Quincy character in the 1970s and '80s to the various versions of CSI, forensic science has peaked our cultural curiosity for decades. 

It turns out that reality is equally as interesting. Diana Johnson knows this firsthand. She has seen the work in real life, as a forensic scientist with the New Jersey State Police. Now, she teaches the next generation of forensic scientists at Marian University in Fond du Lac.

Chris Ranson / Lakefront Brewery

A UWM professor has teamed up with Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery to recreate an Iron Age brew, inspired by evidence her team uncovered in an archaeological dig.

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When it comes to studying the origins of humans, we naturally rely a lot on the fossil record.  And fossils, well, they teach us pretty much everything we need to know about our ancestors, right?

When you sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, only half your brain is getting a good night's rest.

"The left side seems to be more awake than the right side," says Yuka Sasaki, an associate professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University.

Ballantine Books

The gulf between science and football might seem like a large one, but scientist and author Ainissa Ramirez would say they're more alike than you might imagine. Her latest book, Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Gamelooks at the similarities between scientists and football fans.

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A recent study published in Nature found that by pounding vegetables and cutting meat, early humans saved hours of chewing time every day. In fact, our ancestors saved more than 2.5 million chews every year through these simple methods of processing food.

How researchers came to this conclusion is another story entirely. Subjects were enticed to join the study with a sign that simply read, “Chew for Science.”

There's lots of evidence that getting too little sleep is associated with overeating and an increased body weight.

The question is, why? Part of the answer seems to be that skimping on sleep can disrupt our circadian rhythms. Lack of sleep can also alter hunger and satiety hormones.

Henze/NASA / ligo.caltech.edu

News of the discovery of gravitational waves dominated the news a couple of weeks ago, and UWM scientists were among those who played a large role in that discovery.

Our astronomy contributor and the director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium, Jean Creighton, was not only excited about the discovery for its scientific importance, but also personal significance.

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What do two black holes sound like when they collide? Not much. But just detecting it is the first step in unlocking some of the biggest mysteries of our universe.

A century ago, Albert Einstein predicted the presence of gravitational waves - ripples in spacetime created by catastrophic events. Yesterday, researchers from UWM and around the world confirmed their existence with the help of LIGO, a gravitational wave detector that senses those ripples as they pass.

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