In the past week, researchers with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS) project, the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project and the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) project each announced they had achieved these various milestones. In each case, the successes were based on innovative drilling technologies and promise to open new scientific vistas for Antarctic research.
For the first time, human embryonic stem cells have been transformed into nerve cells...
A multi-university team of researchers has artificially engineered a unique multilayer material...
In the past week, researchers with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS) project, the...
University of Wisconsin-Madison chemists have identified an approach to use oxygen gas to convert lignin, a byproduct of biofuel production, into a form that could allow it to replace fossil fuels as a source of chemical feedstocks. Lignin is a complex organic material found in trees and other plants and is associated with cellulose, the valuable plant matter used to make paper or biofuels.
When it comes to delivering genes to living human tissue, the odds of success come down the molecule. The entire therapy— including the tools used to bring new genetic material into a cell—must have predictable effects. Now, a new screening process will simplify non-viral transfection, providing a method researchers and clinicians use to find an optimal set of biomaterials to deliver genes to cells.
As the shapes of galaxies go, the spiral disk—with its characteristic pinwheel profile—is by far the most pedestrian. But despite their common morphology, how galaxies like ours get and maintain their characteristic arms has proved to be an enduring puzzle in astrophysics. How do the arms of spiral galaxies arise? Do they change or come and go over time? The answers to these and other questions are now coming into focus as researchers capitalize on powerful new computer simulations to follow the motions of as many as 100 million “stellar particles” as gravity and other astrophysical forces sculpt them into familiar galactic shapes.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a new way to accelerate a workhorse instrument that identifies proteins. The high-speed technique could help diagnose cancer sooner and point to new drugs for treating a wide range of conditions.
Stretched-out clothing might not be a great practice for laundry day, but in the case of microprocessor manufacture, stretching out the atomic structure of the silicon in the critical components of a device can be a good way to increase a processor's performance.
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are helping search for evidence of alien life not by looking into outer space, but by studying some rocks right here on Earth. Some of the rocks are up to 3.5 billion years old. The scientists are looking for crucial information to understand how life might have arisen elsewhere in the universe and guide the search for life on Mars one day.
Armed with a better understanding of how glasses age and evolve, researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison raise the possibility of designing a new class of materials at the molecular level via a vapor-deposition process.
Aiming to address the strategic military need for accurate, high-resolution imaging, a University of Wisconsin-Madison electrical and computer engineer working with the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the U.S. Department of Defense has a simple goal: to make night vision more accurate and easier for soldiers and pilots to use.
A collaboration has made a precise measurement of elusive, nearly massless particles, and obtained a crucial hint as to why the universe is dominated by matter, not by its close relative, antimatter. The particles, called antineutrinos, were detected at the underground Daya Bay experiment, located near a nuclear reactor in China, 55 km north of Hong Kong.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have used the Stack Trace Analysis Tool (STAT), a highly scalable, lightweight tool to debug a program running more than one million MPI processes on the IBM Blue Gene/Q-based Sequoia supercomputer. The debugging tool is a significant milestone in LLNL's multi-year collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of New Mexico to ensure supercomputers run more efficiently.
Using a biomass-derived solvent, University of Wisconsin-Madison chemical and biological engineers have streamlined the process for converting lignocellulosic biomass into high-demand chemicals or energy-dense liquid transportation fuel. Their new method eliminates the need for costly pretreatment steps that separate hemicellulose and cellulose, two main components of plant biomass that react at different rates.
A licensing agreement for a novel renewable chemical and biofuel production method between Hyrax Energy and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation promises to accelerate commercial development of the technology and lead to high-quality U.S. jobs. The technology provides a new way to transform cellulosic biomass into renewable fuels and high-value chemicals.
Using simple technology developed primarily for producing electricity from hydrogen, a team of researchers has developed what could be a commercially viable, continuous process for converting biomass and electricity into renewable liquid transportation fuels.
Glass materials may have a far less randomly arranged structure than formerly thought. Over the years, the ideas of how metallic glasses form have been evolving, from just a random packing, to very small ordered clusters, to realizing that longer range chemical and topological order exists. A team of scientists at the Ames Laboratory has been able to show for the first time there is some organization to these structures.
The Madison Symmetric Torus, a leading piece of equipment in plasma physics research for more than 20 years, recently gained a new capability with the installation of a neutral beam injector. The addition allows University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers to delve further into the basic properties of plasmas, which are important in astrophysics research as well as numerous other applications.
A field of young sunflowers will slowly rotate from east to west during the course of a sunny day, each leaf seeking out as much sunlight as possible as the sun moves across the sky through an adaptation called heliotropism. It's a clever bit of natural engineering that inspired imitation from a University of Wisconsin-Madison electrical and computer engineer, who has found a way to mimic the passive heliotropism seen in sunflowers for use in the next crop of solar power systems.
Inspired by the erratic behavior of photons zooming around and bouncing off objects and walls inside a room, a team of researchers from several universities has combined these bouncing photons with advanced optics to enable them to “see” what’s hidden around the corner. This technique may one day prove invaluable in disaster recovery situations, as well as in noninvasive biomedical imaging applications.
Electrical engineers at The University of Texas at Arlington and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have devised a new laser for on-chip optical connections that could give computers a huge boost in speed and energy efficiency.
With the help of a $2 million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research, mechanical engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will develop a tool to characterize the performance of a new class of alternative fuels that could be used in maritime vehicles such as submarines and aircraft carriers.
An international team of researchers has discovered how adding trace amounts of water can tremendously speed up chemical reactions—such as hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis—in which hydrogen is one of the reactants, or starting materials. Previous research had indicated this phenomenon, but until now the true importance of water to its effect has eluded chemists.
Drawing on computational tools and scanning transmission electron microscopy, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Iowa State University materials experts has examined metallic glasses at the difficult-to-reach scale of just a few nanometers length. They have discovered a new nanometer-scale atomic structure that could help developers fine-tune structures.
An international team of researchers reports the results of a computational study that shows liquid crystals, manipulated at the smallest scale, can unexpectedly induce the molecules they interact with to self-organize in ways that could lead to entirely new classes of materials with new properties.
Huntington's disease, the debilitating congenital neurological disorder that progressively robs patients of muscle coordination and cognitive ability, is a condition without effective treatment, a slow death sentence. But if researchers can build on new research, a special type of brain cell forged from stem cells could help restore the muscle coordination deficits that cause the uncontrollable spasms characteristic of the disease.
For the first time, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have made early retina structures containing proliferating neuroretinal progenitor cells using induced pluripotent stem cells derived from human blood. The retina structures showed the capacity to form layers of cells which possess the machinery that could allow them to communicate information.
After just three months of operation, the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment has far surpassed expectations, recording tens of thousands of particle interactions and paving the way to a better understanding of neutrinos and why the universe is built of matter rather than antimatter.