News & Stories

Protecting against a devastating tropical disease

Schistosomiasis is one of the most devastating tropical diseases in the world. The Newmark Lab wants to develop something that prevents this parasitic infection. Learn more >

Blue Sky Science

Explore Blue Sky Science, a series of Q&A videos in which scientists answer curiosity-driven questions. Some examples of questions include:

Learn more >

China Is Using DNA from Uighurs to Predict Physical Features

via The Scientist

Morgridge bioethicist in residence Pilar Ossorio comments on the ethical perils of China’s efforts to use DNA-based technology to recognize faces — a potential weapon for racial profiling.

Pagliarini lab members attend mitochondrial disease walk, interact with patients

via UW-Madison Biochemistry

Events hosted by UMDF have enabled the Pagliarini Lab to connect with those who may directly benefit from the findings of their research: patients with mitochondrial disease.

Professor will make ‘workhorse’ microscope more powerful

via UW-Madison

Kevin Eliceiri says he has always believed that science is best done by building on the work of others and openly sharing what you have done.

The weird science behind smart toilets and your pee

via Mashable

A new, small-scale study published in Nature this month seeks to determine whether regular urine collection and analysis of the thousands of telling, changing indicators in our pee can reliably serve up information about a person’s health.

Can ‘smart toilets’ be the next health data wellspring?

Wearable, smart technologies are transforming the ability to monitor and improve health, but a decidedly low-tech commodity — the humble toilet — may have potential to outperform them all.

Protecting against a devastating tropical disease

Schistosomiasis is one of the most devastating tropical diseases in the world. The Newmark Lab wants to develop something that prevents this parasitic infection.

Peering into a more ‘human’ petri dish

The recent development of physiologic media, like other efforts designed to address the modeling capacity of cell culture, holds immense potential to improve understanding of human biology.

Tiny aquatic animals may combat schistosomiasis

via ScienceNews

Tiny aquatic invertebrates, once a nuisance to scientists studying snail fever, may actually hold the key to fighting the spread of the tropical disease.

Best of the Fest: 2019 Wisconsin Science Festival in photos

The Wisconsin Science Festival—now in its ninth year—offered more than 330 events across the state for people of all ages to dive into science topics.

Tiny Creature Could Help Prevent Devastating Parasitic Disease

via Howard Hughes Medical Institute

HHMI reports on the Newmark Lab’s discovery and purification of a substance made by rotifers that can paralyze the worms that cause schistosomiasis, a dangerous infection that affects 200 million people worldwide.

Parasite paralysis: A new way to fight schistosomiasis?

The Phillip Newmark Lab has isolated a natural chemical capable of paralyzing the parasitic worm schistosome, opening the door to new ways to combat a neglected tropical disease that sickens more than 240 million people.

U.S. Sen. Baldwin and the scientists carrying on her grandfather’s work

via Madison Magazine

At the Morgridge Institute for Research in the Discovery Building on the UW–Madison campus, David Green’s granddaughter — U/S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin — met the scientists who are continuing his early study of metabolism science, in hopes of breakthroughs that will help treat or reverse numerous diseases.

Protecting the most vulnerable patients during anesthesia

Pediatric anesthesia is a stressful and critical procedure. A project with the Morgridge Fab Lab aims to create a new medical device that alerts clinicians to compromised airways.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin takes in ‘locally sourced science’ at Morgridge Institute

Forward-thinking science and childhood memories came full circle on Wednesday for U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who visited a lab at the Morgridge Institute for Research that is carrying on the inspired legacy of her grandfather, David E. Green.

A Note to the Nobel Prize Selection Committee

via Scientific American

As 2019 Nobel Prize announcements unfold, Morgridge CEO Brad Schwartz reflected on his all-time favorite winner. “Howard Temin represented what society expects from us and had the characteristics that make society willing to fund our work,” Schwartz wrote in Scientific American. “People want scientists who get up every morning committed to finding the truth.”

Science Festival Panels Examine Science and Society

via Wisconsin Institute for Discovery

Panels on Oct. 17 and 18 during the Wisconsin Science Festival will examine representation and inclusion in science and science in entertainment and the arts. Both afternoon panels will take place in the Discovery Building.

Illuminating Better Cancer Treatments with Light

via Wisconsin Public Television

Peter Favreau, a postdoctoral researcher at the Morgridge Institute for Research, discusses how the use of Optical Microscopy is helping to create individualized effective cancer treatments based on each patient’s tumor cells.

Tapeworms need to keep their head to regenerate

Scientists have identified the stem cells that allow tapeworms to regenerate and found that their location in proximity to the head is essential, according to a new study in eLife.

Wisconsin Science Festival encourages science exploration for all with 200+ events statewide

The 2019 Wisconsin Science Festival, held Oct. 17-20, will feature more than 220 events statewide and include everything from fossil exploration and robotic engineering to animal encounters and the science of Star Wars.

Scientists explore the role of metabolism in immune response

In a new study published in Nature Metabolism, the Jing Fan Lab highlights how changing metabolism can regulate the course of an immune response.

Broad-spectrum approaches could tip the balance against virus threats

In the game against an essentially unlimited pool of virus threats, humanity is seriously outmatched. The Ahlquist Lab is working to develop broad-spectrum antivirals, solutions that will target many viruses at once.

Test Pilot Geese, Planetary Wrecking Balls and Super AI Vision: The Week’s Best Science GIFs

via Scientific American

The Morgridge Institute’s project to capture early developmental timing of humans “in a dish” was included in The Scientific American’s “Best Science GIFs” feature. This weekly feature highlights the most amazing short video clips produced in the world of science.

Fall ‘Crossroads’ topics include trade policy models, climate change and more

Crossroads of Ideas regularly invites speakers and discussions on challenging and engaging social science topics such as politics, policy issues, ethics, public perceptions, law and science and society.

Human developmental clock mimicked in a dish

A Morgridge regenerative biology team has created a first-ever human model for developmental timing: A “clock in a dish” that will help explore mysteries of early human development.

Pagliarini wins ASBMB Young Scholar Award 2020

Dave Pagliarini won the Earl and Thressa Stadtman Young Scholar Award given by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

Major microscopy project coming to life with new talent, technology additions

The University of Wisconsin-Madison effort to launch a shared cryo-electron microscopy facility for the bioscience community is gathering momentum, with two new faculty hires and key technology investments this summer.

MMI Fellow develops new model for parasite study

Bruno Martorelli Di Genova wants to eliminate the use of cats in the study of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, and the results of his groundbreaking research suggest he could do just that.

Developing tools to better understand, predict preterm birth

Preterm birth is a global health problem without a solution. New research aims to develop non-invasive, safe imaging tools to better identify the risk of preterm birth.

Morgridge Rural Summer Science Camp extended for additional week

via The Badger Herald

The Morgridge Summer Science Camp seeks to immerse rural high school students into research and allow them to experience a larger, urban research campus.

Morgridge-Milwaukee collaboration gets statewide recognition

via Wisconsin State Journal

Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, focused his statewide business column on July 21 on a novel eye research partnership between the Morgridge Institute and Medical College of Wisconsin.

Pagliarini wins young scholar honor

via American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Morgridge Institute metabolism investigator Dave Pagliarini will receive the 2020 Earl and Thressa Stadtman Young Scholar Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). The award honors outstanding scholars with ten years or fewer of postdoctoral experience.

High school students add science to their summer

For the last three weeks of July, the Discovery Building hosted
70-plus high school students and teachers for the Rural Summer Science Camp.

BioForward supports Rural Summer Science Camps

The Rural Summer Science Camp received a boost this year
from BioForward, an association representing more than 200 biohealth companies in Wisconsin.

2019 Frontiers in Metabolism meeting explores advances in metabolic research

This fall, the Morgridge Institute for Research will convene international leaders in metabolic research at the third Frontiers in Metabolism—Mechanisms of Metabolic Diseases meeting.

Rural Summer Science Camp expands opportunities, curriculum in its 13th year

The Morgridge Rural Summer Science Camp, where rural high school students and teachers take a deep dive into science research over the course of a week, is expanding and offering a third week of camp thanks to new support from a National Science Foundation (NSF) project.

Jacquelyn Fredrick joins Morgridge Board of Trustees

Jacquelyn Fredrick, a longtime executive with one of the nation’s leading providers of blood health solutions, has joined the Morgridge Institute for Research Board of Trustees.

When Small Worlds Collide: Collaboration Behind the Microscope with Liz Haynes and Henry He

via Masters of Microscopy

Welcome to Masters of Microscopy: The People Behind the Lens, where we showcase and celebrate the individuals who are the heart of the Nikon Small World competitions. They are scientists, artists, researchers, educators and everyday curious individuals who uncover the fascinating microscopic world around us.

Novel imaging tech brings together Madison, Milwaukee vision researchers

A Madison-Milwaukee scientific partnership is powering an effort to better understand the complicated mechanics of human vision.

An order of microscopy, to go

Our portable, shareable microscope, called Flamingo, offers a chance for biologists who have a crazy idea to reach out to us do some great research — and for us to build a custom instrument to solve unique questions in biology.

Growing transplantable arteries from stem cells

via FierceBiotech

Blood banks have been vital in medical care since the early 1900s, and now a team of scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research in Madison, Wisconsin, wants to take the concept a step further.

Congrats to our 2019 graduating students

Congratulations to the graduating students and research staff who will be moving onward and upward. A few of these students and staff shared about their time at the Morgridge Institute, their accomplishments and their plans for what’s next.

Stem cell scientists clear another hurdle in creating transplant arteries

Scientists at the Morgridge Institute are working toward a dream of creating artery banks with readily-available material to replace diseased arteries during surgery. Recent work highlights highlights a better way to grow smooth muscle cells, putting the science one step closer to that goal.

Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics’ $21 million plant is significant for regenerative medicine

via BizTimes

A new Madison stem cell manufacturing plant could have a significant impact on the Wisconsin medical landscape and the field of regenerative medicine, along with the local economy.

Faculty receive WARF, Kellett, Romnes awards

via UW-Madison

Dave Pagliarini, associate professor of biochemistry and director of the Morgridge Institute for Research’s Metabolism Theme, studies mitochondria — ubiquitous organelles essential for cellular metabolism. His lab integrates classic biochemistry with large-scale methodologies to systematically define the functions of uncharacterized mitochondrial proteins and to establish the detailed mechanisms that drive disease-related mitochondrial pathways.

‘Protein Pinball’ machine illuminates intricacies of bioinformatics research

Anthony Gitter faced a challenge: How could he translate his work into something children could understand and maybe even enjoy? The answer to that question: ‘protein pinball.’

Overmyer named new associate director of mass spec lab

Katherine Overmyer, a former Morgridge postdoctoral fellow, was named the associate director of the Laboratory for Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry (LBMS) at UW-Madison.

Morgridge scientist named a ‘cool science image’ winner

via UW-Madison

Congratulations to Jiaye “Henry” He, a member of the Huisken Lab, for his second straight winning entry in the UW-Madison annual “Cool Science Image” awards.

Twice as nice: Skala earns pair of fellow honors

via Biomedical Engineering, UW-Madison

Melissa Skala, principal investigator at the Morgridge Institute for Research, has earned recognition in 2019 as a fellow of both the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and SPIE, an international society for optics and photonics.

Training tomorrow’s engineers

Since 2015, engineering students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have teamed up with Morgridge Institute for Research engineers and clinicians at UW Hospital.

Biologist takes top prize in bioethics cartoon contest

Five prizes were awarded in the second annual Morgridge Ethics Cartooning Competition, a contest that invites participants to make a cartoon on any ethical issue arising in or from biomedical research. The competition drew 65 entrants from more than 32 different departments and programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and affiliated research institutions.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

via Chan Zuckerberg Science Initiative

Imaging of molecules, cells and tissues is central to biomedical research and clinical practice, allowing scientists to understand and identify disease. Yet progress in the imaging field has been slowed by inadequate software and limited sharing of advanced microscopy methods. The CZI Imaging Scientists program aims to move the field of imaging forward by increasing collaboration between biologists and technology experts and improving the imaging tools that scientists use.

Have microscope, will travel: New tech project links Madison, Boston scientists

An invention designed to transform how and where high-powered research microscopes are deployed — and who gets to use them — will make its way from Madison this spring to the fertile biology labs of greater Boston.

The Role of the Student Engineer in Medicine and Innovation

via Xconomy

In a March 18 Xconomy opinion piece, Morgridge Fab Lab Director Kevin Eliceiri describes how a trifecta of engineering training, clinical experience and entrepreneurship is putting Wisconsin students in a great position for future success.

How to get young scientists thinking about ethics? Cartooning, say UW researchers

via The Cap Times

A biomedical research institute is prompting young scientists to think about the ethics of their research — not through a rulebook or a lecture, but with a cartooning contest.

Dietram Scheufele on #scicomm: What scientists can do to promote science and explain their work

In this Q&A, Scheufele shares information about the news environment, what it means for science communication, and what scientists can do to promote science and explain their work.

Seeing things more clearly, thanks to campus-wide microscopy effort

via UWMadScience

Give most kids a basic microscope and a leaf or a drop of pond water, and they are in awe of the, well, microscopic patterns and organisms they can now see. Give a cell biologist a transmission electron microscope (TEM), and they can understand how structures within cells are organized – and how changes in the structures contribute to diseases.

Taking new approaches to study lipid biology

Any budding scientist knows that oil and water don’t mix. However, for our largely water-filled cells to thrive, nature needs to devise clever ways to make and move around the lipids—fat and oil-like compounds—that comprise membranes and other key cellular parts.

13 years of stem cell summer camp

Every summer since 2007, students from some of the smallest high schools in Wisconsin have descended on the Morgridge Institute for Research for some big-time scientific immersion.

Expert panel explores gene-editing controversy at Crossroads of Ideas

In late 2018, a Chinese scientist dropped a bombshell when he announced the birth of the world’s first gene-edited twins, and the scientific community is still grappling with the aftermath and ethical implications.

2019 Ethics Cartooning Contest – Public Voting

The Morgridge Ethics Cartooning Competition invited entrants to make a cartoon on any ethical issue arising in or from biomedical research. Now, you can help choose the competition winners.

GrammaTech adds real world benchmarks to SWAMP

Software development and quality managers that are looking to measure the benefit of static analysis now have a platform to do just that. Real-world benchmarks are now available in the Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP).

Stem cells: Where are we going?

Together with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we look back on 20 years of stem cell research and see where we’re going next. Catch up on what’s happened since James Thomson’s prescient prediction that stem cells “will change medicine, period.”

Metabolism scientist wins prestigious AAAS Fellowship

For Danielle Lohman, her passion for science policy began when she heard a PhD chemist speak at a career conference about the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellowship at the State Department in Washington, D.C.

New partnership will help fuel the next generation of scientists and explorers

An ambitious new partnership in Wisconsin will create, connect, and activate world-class content creators in science, instruction and media with teachers and learners across the state and the nation.

Conferences are Important for High School Students—Youth Apprentices and STEM Professional Development

via Promega Connections

Isabel Jones, Verona Area High School senior and second year YA, who works at the Morgridge Institute for Research, presented a scientific poster at one conference and spoke on a panel at another.

Scientists, ethicists slam decisions behind gene-edited twins

via Ars Technica

“There’s been very broad consensus that we shouldn’t be doing CRISPR on embryos yet.” Morgridge Institute bioethicist Pilar Ossorio speaks out about recent news of first human gene-edited babies.

Collaboration leads to ‘dream’ of artery bank

Just as blood banks are essential to medicine, the Thomson Lab hopes to see the advent of artery banks that give surgeons a better, readily available material to replace diseased arteries. The lab is using pluripotent stem cells to grow the cellular building blocks of the artery — endothelial and smooth muscle cells — and coax them into assembling into arteries that can grow and thrive in a majority of patients.

Out of left field: Thomson looks at discovery and the future of science

James Thomson, the UW-Madison biologist whose stem cell discovery 20 years ago opened fascinating and promising new avenues in science, took time to discuss his thoughts on the breakthrough and what the future holds for the field of regenerative medicine.

Summer science camp expands opportunities for Wisconsin’s rural schools

The Rural Summer Science Camp has seen more than 500 rural high school students and teachers since its inception in 2007. Campers learn about stem cell science, medical engineering, epigenetics, bioinformatics and more while engaging with and immersing themselves in the work of active researchers at the Morgridge Institute for Research and UW-Madison.

Improving the odds: Researchers develop novel device to study early stage of breast cancer

Imagine your chances of developing an invasive cancer were the same as a coin toss. Do you opt for aggressive treatments like surgery and chemotherapy, or do you take your chances that the cancer will never manifest?

Turning T cells into better cancer assassins

Alexandra Walsh, an assistant scientist in the lab of Morgridge medical engineer Melissa Skala, is leading a project to use non-invasive fluorescence imaging to identify and sort T cells for use in cancer immunotherapy treatments. The technology won a 2018 Innovation Award from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Best of the Fest: 2018 Wisconsin Science Festival in photos

We’ve collected some of our favorite moments from the 2018 Wisconsin Science Festival. Vote for your favorite photo and be entered to win some Morgridge prizes!

UW researchers, doctors trying to better predict preterm birth

via Wisconsin State Journal

Preterm births — which can lead to infant death or disability — are on the rise, accounting for nearly 400,000 of the country’s 4 million annual births. But doctors have a hard time figuring out which pregnant women are likely to deliver early.

Lunchroom leftovers make for an ‘eye-opening’ science project

via Wisconsin State Journal

This year the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers and the Wisconsin Science Festival are partnering on a Statewide Science Challenge open to all K-12 schools. The 2018 challenge is called “Lunchroom Leftovers” and student teams are conducting detailed analyses of food waste in their school cafeterias.

Scientists seek to improve quality control for genome editing therapies in the eye

via UW-Madison

As gene editing therapies for macular degeneration and other visual disorders work their way into clinical trials, the University of Wisconsin–Madison is on the forefront of research into making sure they are safe and effective.

How microscopes are opening a door into an invisible universe brimming with life — Genius Moments

via Mashable

Meet Dr. Elizabeth Haynes and Jiaye “Henry” He. Their tiny zebrafish video just won first prize in the annual Nikon Small World in Motion Competition. It basically selects the coolest movies or time-lapse photos taken through a microscope.

Imaging the zebrafish, one cell at a time

A new imaging project at the Morgridge Institute for Research might be the biology equivalent of a 19th century expressionist painting. Think Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” a constellation of tiny lines of color combining into a powerful image. Except the canvas of this research project will be a zebrafish, and the paint will be individual cells of a developing embryo.

Partnerships between universities, private sector working across Wisconsin

via Wisconsin Technology Council

At the UW-Madison, the progress of the Morgridge Institute for Research is another example. Partly financed with a $50-million gift from John and Tashia Morgridge of Cisco Systems fame, the private- non-profit biomedical research center is focused on novel strategies to improve human health.

Award Winning Videos Reveal The Weird And Beautiful Microscopic World

via Forbes

This week, Nikon announced the winners of the 2018 Nikon Small World in Motion contest. First prize went to Elizabeth Haynes and Jiaye “Henry” He of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for their mesmerizing time-lapse video of a zebrafish embryo growing its sensory nervous system over the course of 16 hours.

Award-Winning Microscopic Video of Growing Zebrafish Embryos Is Mesmerizing

via Gizmodo

A glowing, branching web slowly grows more and more tiny connections, with thin white tendrils reaching in to a black void. It looks like a fractal art piece. But in fact, it’s someone’s science research—the developing nervous system of a zebrafish embryo.

Morgridge, UW researchers win top prize in Nikon International Small World imaging contest

Henry He, a doctoral student at the Morgridge Institute for Research, and Liz Haynes, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, won first place in the 2018 Nikon Small World in Motion Competition for a video depicting neural development in a zebrafish embryo.

Morgridge, Meriter research project targets the persistent risk of preterm birth

Of the approximately 4 million births in the United States each year, at least 400,000 of them still trigger a state of desperation in maternity wards. Parents, doctors and medical staff feel this way over the challenge of managing high-risk pregnancies.

Trio of Morgridge Institute medical researchers to speak at Sept. 25 Innovation Network luncheon

via Wisconsin Technology Council

Three scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research will describe what brought them to Madison and how breakthroughs in medical engineering, regenerative biology and medical imaging will help save lives at the Tuesday, Sept. 25 Tech Council Innovation Network luncheon meeting in Madison.

Explore more than 200 events statewide at the Wisconsin Science Festival

From food science and viruses to data visualization and climate change, there’s something for everyone at the 2018 Wisconsin Science Festival (WSF), held this year from Oct. 11-14.

Chasing ghost particles with armies of computers

Scientists with the IceCube neutrino detection project, located on the South Pole and run by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, announced in July that they found the origin point of a cosmic neutrino in an energy-spewing black hole 4 billion light years from Earth. Scientists say the discovery will provide a fundamental new tool for seeing the unseeable in the universe.

Pushing toward personalized pancreatic cancer treatments

via College of Engineering

Melissa Skala and Paul Campagnola, a professor of biomedical engineering at UW-Madison, hope to make inroads toward improved drug therapies through a two-year National Institutes of Health Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant.

Metabolism investigator Jason Cantor joins Morgridge Institute, UW-Madison

Jason Cantor could describe himself as an engineer, biologist and biochemist, but don’t try to put his expertise into one box. Cantor, a scientist exploring the environmental influences on cancer cell metabolism, is launching a new lab in the Metabolism Theme at the Morgridge Institute and joining the UW-Madison departments of biochemistry and biomedical engineering.

Want to fight cyberthreats? Start with clean code

The SWAMP offers more than 30 open-source and commercial static code analysis tools fully integrated into its automated platform. A new classroom experiment represents an important front for the SWAMP as it aims to advance continuous assurance on software security.

Finding a weak link in the frightful parasite Schistosoma

The parasitic disease schistosomiasis is one of the developing world’s worst public health scourges, affecting hundreds of millions of people, yet only a single, limited treatment exists to combat the disease. Researchers are searching for potential new targets by probing the cellular and developmental biology of the parasitic flatworm Schistosoma.

Lipid species offer insights into metabolic health

Two new Morgridge Institute for Research studies suggest the current tests, which measure the abundance of lipid classes, are insufficient. Rather, lipids identified and studied at the individual species level—instead of grouped in classes—may be better signatures of metabolic health.

‘Flamingo:’ High-powered microscopy coming to a scientist near you

Jan Huisken’s Morgridge team has developed a portable, shareable light sheet microscope. The project can be mailed to a lab anywhere in the world, configured remotely by Morgridge engineers, and run one to three months of experiments.

Stem cell summer camp inspiring early careers in science and technology

Every summer since 2007, students from some of the smallest high schools in Wisconsin descend on the Morgridge Institute for Research for the Morgridge Rural Summer Science Camp. Now, 12 years into the camp, organizers are finding it has been a difference-maker.

UW Carbone Cancer Center Study to look for ways to personalize therapy in colorectal cancer

via School of Medicine and Public Health

The study will use optical imaging techniques developed by Melissa Skala, a co-investigator at the Morgridge Institute, to monitor the evolution of 3D cancer tumor cultures over time.

HOSA students tackle tough subject

via Wisconsin State Journal

Dane County high school students visited the Skala Lab to tackle pancreatic cancer, the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in Wisconsin.

New effort gives teens the opportunity, tools to drive science programming

The newly-launched Discovery Teen Science Café gives Madison high school students the opportunity to research, plan and host events that connect them with scientists working on topics the students are most interested in.

Discovery Outreach teams up with Family Science Nights

Family Science Nights are hands-on science activities hosted by K-12 schools and community centers—and a growing grassroots effort at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is helping to connect scientists and educators with families and community members.

Morgridge Institute announces John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Center for Research in Virology

The Morgridge Institute for Research is launching the John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Center for Research in Virology, a new transformative research initiative made possible by the philanthropic support of John and Jeanne Rowe.

Morgridge metabolism fellowship seeks to strengthen the research network

A graduate fellowship launched this year by the Morgridge Institute for Research will help bring “fresh eyes” to the growing pursuit of metabolism research at UW-Madison.

Congratulations to our graduating students

With the semester winding down, we are thrilled to congratulate graduating students and research staff who are moving on and up. More than 110 undergraduate and graduate students, in addition to post-doctoral fellows, work across six biomedical research themes at the Morgridge Institute.

Immortal: An oral history of stem cell discovery

In November 1998, the journal Science published James Thomson’s groundbreaking work on embryonic stem cells. There has been 20 years of progress since the initial discovery spawned a new field of research, and tremendous potential exists for the future. We reached out to the people who lived it, and they shared the experiences in their own words. This is their story.

HTCondor powers Marshfield Clinic project on disease genetics

Using the equivalent of hundreds of years of computing time on HTCondor, a Marshfield Clinic scientist is compiling a database that will map genetic connections to more than 8,000 human diseases.

New imager identifies tissue types during surgery

via University of Wisconsin

OnLume, a spinoff from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is continuing to develop its system for identifying tissue types during surgery. The company’s technology causes chemical labels to glow in the operating room.

Recap: Celebrating 20 Years of Stem Cell Science

On April 18 more than 170 scientists, researchers and supporters joined scientist o celebrate the 20th anniversary of the isolation of human embryonic stem cells.

Cryo-EM Expert Elizabeth Wright Joining Biochemistry to Direct New Facility

via UW Biochemistry

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Biochemistry will welcome Elizabeth Wright in July as a faculty member and director of the department’s newly established cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) facility.

Mentoring at Morgridge

When Ava VanDommelen was seven, she asked for her first microscope for Christmas. Now, at 17-years-old, she’s using microscopy to explore cancer tumors and the immune system at the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Two Morgridge scientists place in 2018 Cool Science Image Contest

Two scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research—Jayhun Lee and Jiaye “Henry” He—were named winners in the 2018 Cool Science Image Contest, competing against more than 170 submitted images and videos.

Winner: Blue Sky Bracket Challenge

It’s your turn to pick the winners in the final head-to-head matchup of this March Madness-style bracket. Would you rather explore the mechanics of 3D printing or how viruses relate to cancer? You choose in the Blue Sky Science Bracket Challenge. Come back next week to support your favorite videos in the final championship! A winner will be crowned on April 9.

Ethics cartooning competition winners announced

Umair Khan, a UW-Madison graduate student working at the Morgridge Institute for Research, took the top prize in the inaugural Ethics Cartooning Competition.

Mentoring, done right

via College of Engineering

A good mentor can make all the difference for finding the right career path. For biomedical engineering graduate student Amani Gillette, that difference was so striking that she wanted to give back to the mentored research program that had been critical for homing in on her own professional niche.

SWAMP-in-a-Box can help turbo-charge software assurance

In the drive to reduce software security flaws, the Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP) at the Morgridge Institute for Research has enhanced its portable platform that brings a comprehensive suite of software assurance tools to the programmer’s desktop.

Fearless Science

In a new report, we meet the scientists driven to understand the mysteries of biology and alleviate human suffering from disease. Take a look inside as we explore science at the Morgridge Institute for Research.

The ‘Ice Road Truckers of science’ and why we need them

In an opinion piece published in The Hill, the nation’s leading news website on U.S. politics, Morgridge Institute for Research CEO Brad Schwartz and UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank argue that a renewed investment in basic research is essential to America’s economic progress.

New Pyle Chair honors Morgridge affiliate Joshua Coon

A new chair at the Morgridge Institute for Research takes aim at osteoarthritis, a debilitating and painful disease that affects more than 27 million Americans. Currently, osteoarthritis is largely treated with palliative care to help patients alleviate their symptoms.

An Achilles heel discovered in viruses could fuel new antiviral approaches

Scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research have discovered a promising new target to fight a class of viruses responsible for health threats such as Zika, polio, dengue, SARS and hepatitis C.

Scholarly snowball: Deep learning paper generates big online collaboration

Bioinformatics professors Anthony Gitter and Casey Greene set out in summer 2016 to write a paper about the “state of the art” in deep learning for biomedicine, a hot new artificial intelligence field striving to mimic the neural networks of the human brain.

New stem cell method sheds light on a tell-tale sign of heart disease

While refining ways to grow arterial endothelial cells in the lab, a regenerative biology team at the Morgridge Institute for Research unexpectedly unearthed a powerful new model for studying a hallmark of vascular disease.

2018 Ethics Cartooning Contest – Public Voting

The first Morgridge Ethics Cartooning Competition invited entrants to make a cartoon on any ethical issue arising in or from biomedical research. Now, you can help choose the competition winners. Voting will be open until January 31, 2018.

Blue Sky Science: Could we use planarians to help us understand human regeneration?

Planarians are flatworms, and they’re masters of regeneration with virtually unlimited capacity to regenerate any missing tissue or body part lost to injury or aging.

Madison-based SWAMP and Synopsys join forces to educate the future cybersecurity workforce

The Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP) has partnered with Synopsys, an industry leader in software security and quality, to expand its suite of assurance tools in support of the academic community.

Blue Sky Science: Why is the sky blue?

Light from the sun comes in many different colors including colors we can see and some colors we can’t see. And just like sound waves or waves on the water, light travels in waves as well.

Cracking the code of coenzyme Q biosynthesis

Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a vital cog in the body’s energy-producing machinery, a kind of chemical gateway in the conversion of food into cellular fuel. But six decades removed from its discovery, scientists still can’t describe exactly how and when it is made.

Blue Sky Science: How do you identify edible mushrooms?

There’s not one rule that applies to mushrooms. You have to know your biodiversity to know which species are edible and which species are not edible.

Blue Sky Science: How many molecules are in a cubic inch?

Molecules are formed by atoms bonding together, and there are many different types of molecules that you interact with every day. For example, water and sugar are both molecules.

Blue Sky Science: Why don’t joints bend both ways?

Structurally joints don’t bend both ways because there are physical components within their design that prevent or resist motion. This could be bone, such as the elbow joint, or it could be ligamentous restraint, such as in the knee.

Mastodons, brains, and a view of Mars: How the Wisconsin science festival helps bring kids and science together

Last weekend, excited young people darted about with a delirium I haven’t seen since the Pokémon craze. The University of Wisconsin-Madison was the home base for the Wisconsin Science Festival that included 54 communities, leaving every citizen within an hour’s drive of an event.

Blue Sky Science: How do beetles use camouflage?

Beetles are an extremely diverse group of insects on the planet. There are about a million or more described species of insects, that we know of so far, and of those about 400,000 are beetles.

Best of the Fest: Wisconsin Science Festival in photos

We’ve collected some of our favorite moments from the 2017 Wisconsin Science Festival, held Nov. 2-5 in Madison and across the state. Vote for your favorite photo and be entered to win some Morgridge prizes!

Measuring the molecules of life – Q&A with Josh Coon

Proteins are the workhorse molecules that perform all the functions in the cell and the body. Being able to detect and measure proteins is critical to figuring out basic biology, and the signature of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes. Josh Coon is creating technologies to do exactly that.

Regulating iron in the blood for optimal health – Q&A with Rick Eisenstein

Iron is an essential nutrient to human life, the element by which we regenerate red blood cells. Too little iron can cause serious problems such as anemia. But too much can be toxic, potentially causing blood clotting. Rick Eisenstein studies iron metabolism, with the goal of helping humans achieve the optimal balance for health.

Blue Sky Science: Why do hurricanes form where they do? Why Florida and not Wisconsin?

Hurricanes form near places like Florida and not further north like Wisconsin because they need some critical components to develop.

Blue Sky Science: Could scientists build a virtual brain and body for research?

To learn from a virtual body, it would need to be able to accurately simulate or predict how the body responds to internal and external changes.

New course brings storytelling techniques to science

via University of Wisconsin

A new course teaches early-career scientists how to communicate their work outside of the lab, and is designed to turn real research into engaging stories, visuals and presentations.

Blue Sky Science: Why do some animals go extinct while other species regenerate their populations?

Much depends on the circumstances in which the animals have become rare in the first place. It could be a big environmental change in the habitat, something affecting food, water, shelter or cover.

Morgridge ‘titans’ of healthcare

via Madison Magazine

Morgridge’s own James Thomson (founder of Cellular Dynamics) and Rock Mackie (founder of Tomotherapy) are listed among the top nine “healthcare titans” fueling the Madison economy.

Morgridge, UW scientists explore national security implications of gene editing

A trio of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research participated in an international think tank this month on the intersection of genome editing technology and national security.

WARF announces annual grant figures and Innovation Award winners

via University of Wisconsin

At a ceremony honoring several of the year’s most outstanding inventions, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) announced that it has granted the Morgridge Institute for Research $19 million in grants for the 2017-18 academic year.

New 3D imaging technique for future precision medicine toolbox

via College of Engineering

For an illness like cancer, doctors often turn to computed tomography (CT) scans for a more definitive diagnosis, based on reconstructing a 3D organ from multiple 2D image slices. At the molecular level, such 3D scans could become an important part of precision medicine: a future of tailoring treatment decisions to each patient’s unique cellular features.

Monsters of Morgridge

Not all monsters lurk in the closet, hide under the bed, or go bump in the night; in fact, they are all around us. In basic research, you can find tapeworms who thrive on the blood of their animal hosts – or the limb-generating axolotl, a water amphibian whose very name means “water monster.”

Blue Sky Science: How are stars (like the sun) formed?

A star is considered a sun if it’s in the center of a system with planets orbiting around it. Stars are formed in very large dark clouds. These dark clouds are made primarily of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

Study Shows HPV Works Across Cellular Borders to Drive Cervical Cancer

via School of Medicine and Public Health

Human papillomavirus (HPV) and the hormone estrogen are both linked to the development of cervical cancers, but how they work together has remained unclear. A new study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers shows how the combination of two factors influences the local cervical environment and drives the progression of cancer development.

Blue Sky Science: Why do leaves change color in the fall?

September and October are the peak months for admiring fall foliage, the orange, yellow and red leaves. To understand why leaves change color, you have to start with the process of photosynthesis. All plants, including trees, have green leaves because of a compound called chlorophyll.

Morgridge, UW scientists played role in Nobel-winning gravitational wave discovery

Tuesday’s announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded to researchers Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Kip Thorne and Barry Barish of the California Institute of Technology, bears Morgridge Institute for Research and University of Wisconsin System connections.

Discovery Incubator fosters innovation in science outreach

Innovation can come from anywhere, but often it’s when the right people are in the right place at the right time.

From moon rocks to flash talks, explore 100+ Wisconsin Science Festival events

Radio technology, astrobotany, dairy science and computer coding are just a handful of science topics to be explored at the 2017 Wisconsin Science Festival, held Nov. 2-5.

Blue Sky Science: Why does the moon have craters?

One reason the moon has craters because it gets hit by objects, small pieces of rocks that come from outer space. These are pieces of asteroids, comets that are flying around in the solar system.

Morgridge cartoon contest seeks to spark creative thinking on bioethics

Can you find the humor while searching for the ethical high ground? A new cartooning contest sponsored by the Morgridge Institute for Research will reward the most creative bioethical thinkers with up to $3,500 in cash prizes.

Blue Sky Science: How is a gummy bear made?

Gelatin is the basis of what makes a gummy bear a gummy bear, but we first start with sugar, corn syrup and water. Gelatin is thermoreversible, meaning that heat can turn it back into a liquid.

A novel data storage project unshackles microscopy from data overload

Jan Huisken teamed this summer with the Morgridge Institute computational technology team and technicians from storage platform company Dell EMC to create an end-run around the bottleneck. The team installed a storage system that creates a new intermediate 100-terabyte storage platform that will collect data straight from its origins at the microscope.

Blue Sky Science: How can milk make so many different products?

Milk can make many products because of its complex chemistry and history. Early humans used milk and had to experiment with various means to preserve it and its nutrition content over time.

Blue Sky Science: How does our brain think?

In order for your brain to think, you need nerve cells that can detect information about the outside world and can transmit that information to other nerve cells.

Blue Sky Science: How do fireflies glow?

When living creatures produce and emit light it’s called bioluminescence. The main reason fireflies glow is to find a mate, though they can also light up under other situations as a warning to others.

Blue Sky Science: How were the Madison lakes formed?

Before the last glaciation, which started about 30,000 years ago, there was a deep river valley that ran under where Lake Mendota and the other Madison lakes are now. A glacier moved into this area and slowly filled up the valley.

Blue Sky Science: How did dinosaurs evolve into birds?

Not all dinosaurs were big. In fact, the smallest ones are the ones that are still alive today. The one big question is: How exactly did flight evolve?

Blue Sky Science: How does science protect great works of art?

Art conservators can use X-rays and infrared technology to learn more about the structure of a painting, the paint layers and what happened to a painting over time.

Blue Sky Science: What is beyond Pluto?

There are many, many objects beyond Pluto, but where they came from and when they formed is a whole other question.

Creating the blueprints for new biofuels – Q&A with Tim Donohue

Earlier this month, the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) received another major boost from the U.S. Department of Energy, receiving more than $250 million to conduct another five years of groundbreaking work on alternative fuels.

Stem cells, microfluidics and drug discovery headline high school science camp

For the last 11 years, high school students and teachers from rural communities in Wisconsin have journeyed to Madison to dig into stem cell science, learning from leading researchers in regenerative medicine.

Science Festival 2017: Revel in a Century of Public Broadcasting

The 2017 Wisconsin Science Festival on November 2-5 will celebrate one of the great scientific “firsts” that Wisconsin bestowed on the world — the birth of public radio — while gazing into the future of radio technology, including the search for extraterrestrial life.

Jerrod Buckner connects students to the wonders of science

Jerrod Buckner is the newest member of the Morgridge Institute for Research Outreach team. With his background in designing afterschool programs, Buckner is working to connect elementary and middle school students and their families to the wonder of science happening here at Morgridge and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Blue Sky Science: Why can eye color vary between siblings?

We all have genes in our body, and our genes carry DNA. Siblings can inherit various genes from their parents and they don’t always get the same ones.

Blue Sky Science: How does our immune system recognize bad from good?

Important cells for distinguishing between good and bad are T cells, and it’s estimated that there are approximately a trillion T cells in our body.

Stem cell advance brings bioengineered arteries closer to reality

New techniques developed at the Morgridge Institute for Research and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have produced, for the first time, functional arterial cells at both the quality and scale to be relevant for disease modeling and clinical application.

Blue Sky Science: What is pain tolerance and how does it work?

Pain is subjective and is different for every person who experiences it. There’s also different dimensions of pain including sensory, emotional and behavioral components.

Blue Sky Science: How do people learn to read?

From the science, researchers know a lot about how reading works, how children learn, the kinds of obstacles children encounter, and where teachers and classroom activities can make a difference.

Quality and collaboration, not growth, should drive research institutions

via STAT

The crux of the problem is that, over the years, many leaders of research institutions have treated research as a volume business and focused more on money and operational size than on the discovery of new knowledge.

Morgridge scientists illuminate structures vital to virus replication

In the fight against the viruses that invade everyday life, seeing and understanding the battleground is essential. Scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research have, for the first time, imaged molecular structures vital to how a major class of viruses replicates within infected cells.

Blue Sky Science: How do fireworks get their color and shape?

Fireworks, as you can tell from the name, involve fire. To get a fire you need fuel, oxygen and heat, and that’s true in fireworks also.

Model organisms: Peculiar creatures, big discoveries

From axolotls to zebrafish, this story explores some of science’s classic models, others more unusual, but all with potential for increasing our understanding of biology to improve human health.

2017 Rural Summer Science Camp spans Wisconsin landscape

For two weeks in July, more than 50 Wisconsin rural high school students and 10 teachers will converge on Madison to get a taste of stem cell science, rubbing elbows in labs with some of the world’s leading researchers in regenerative medicine.

Blue Sky Science: How does friction work?

Friction is a force that resists sliding motion between contacting surfaces. A bike, for example, has many instances of friction.

Blue Sky Science: Why do cats have rough tongues?

Cats have functional barbs or papillae on their tongue made of keratin, the same material that nails and our hair is made out of. They’re very rigid little barbs that face backwards.

Blue Sky Science: How and why do our teeth fall out?

It’s normal and natural for baby teeth to fall out. Usually kids start to get loose teeth between ages 5 and 7. The new permanent tooth begins eating the root of the baby tooth away, that baby tooth becomes loose, and then the permanent tooth eventually pushes it out and erupts into its place.

American Family, Boys & Girls Club partner to expand Saturday Science

More children and families can take a monthly plunge into hands-on science, thanks to an American Family Insurance and Boys & Girls Club of Dane County partnership to provide transportation to and from Saturday Science events at the Discovery Building.

Blue Sky Science: How do the sun and rain make rainbows?

Rainbows are really cool because they’re a blend between art and science. It required a number of scientists to actually explain how they form, including Isaac Newton.

Blue Sky Science: How do plants grow if there’s no sunlight?

Plants need sunlight for a process that we call photosynthesis. Plants are what we call autotrophs, meaning they create their own food or energy to grow.

Blue Sky Science: How many galaxies are in the universe?

Counting the number of galaxies in the universe is tough, because we can’t see all of the galaxies in the universe. At a certain point, distant galaxies disappear from our field of view.

Blue Sky Science: What is water scarcity?

Water scarcity is essentially when there’s not enough water in the right place at the right time. Even in places that seem water-rich, it may not be clean enough for its intended purposes.

Blue Sky Science: What’s the difference between types of 3D printer filaments?

3D printing is the process by which we make a piece layer by layer, and the various forms of 3D printing differ in how they make each layer. Extrusion-based printing, or fused deposition modeling, uses filaments. It takes a raw material and extrudes it through a die to create a long strand That’s what a filament is.

Blue Sky Science: How does a curveball curve?

The rule to remember for curveballs: whichever way the front face of the ball is spinning will be the direction in which it curves. The effect is more dramatic with ping pong balls and tennis balls because of their lower mass compared to baseballs.

You may also like … Algorithms that improve drug discovery

Anthony Gitter, a Morgridge investigator and assistant professor of biostatistics and medical informatics, says the goal will be to create machine learning tools that dramatically reduce the time and cost associated with screening compounds for therapeutic relevance.

Pagliarini earns distinguished early career honor from Protein Society

Dave Pagliarini, lead investigator of metabolism for the Morgridge Institute for Research and associate professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is being recognized for major early-career achievement by The Protein Society.

Blue Sky Science: How are robots and humans similar?

Robots can be similar to people, but they aren’t necessarily so. People create the robots and can choose what aspects of functionality and design are important, but there are some benefits you get out of similarity.

Morgridge researcher scores in cancer research ‘lightning round’

Melissa Skala, a Morgridge Institute for Research investigator in medical engineering, won a highly competitive award from the nonprofit organization Stand Up to Cancer at its annual 2017 summit January in Santa Monica.

Blue Sky Science: Is the biofuel process a complete cycle?

The production of biofuels starts by growing plants out in a field or forest. All of the biomass represented in those plants essentially comes through photosynthesis.

Failure isn’t fatal: A favor to the future

Dr. Stuart Firestein, author of “Failure: Why Science Is So Successful” and professor at Columbia University, brings attention to the virtues of courage and patience when advising young investigators on how to handle failure at the beginning of their career.

Blue Sky Science: Why is there gravity on Earth but not in space?

There’s actually gravity pretty much everywhere. But why do we feel gravity more here on the surface of the Earth instead of in space when astronauts appear weightless?

‘KinderMining:’ Tackling big data sets by keeping things simple

With about 100 lines of code, a Morgridge Institute for Research team has unleashed a fast, simple and predictive text-mining tool that may turbo-charge big biomedical pursuits such as drug repurposing and stem cell treatments.

Blue Sky Science: How does saving a file or image to a hard drive work?

A hard disk drive contains a circular shiny silver disk, similar to a CD or DVD but much smaller. This disk is coated with a magnetic material, and information is stored by magnetizing very tiny pieces of this surface.

Blue Sky Science: Why do fresh cheese curds squeak?

When cheese is manufactured, the milk is clotted and some of the water removed. You end up with a curd, a tough structure where the proteins in the cheese form a mesh.

Blue Sky Science: How much does a human brain typically weigh?

The human brain includes 100 billion neurons, or brain cells, and is an ever-changing organ.

Jan Huisken: Building a better, smarter microscope

As the medical engineering lead at Morgridge, Huisken will continue his innovations in “smart microscopy” by building custom devices both for his own lab and for the campus research community.

Blue Sky Science: How are cells created?

New cells are created from existing cells through a process referred to as the cell cycle. One cell can make a copy of itself and form two new daughter cells.

Study shows stem cells fiercely abide by innate developmental timing

The mystery of what controls the range of developmental clocks in mammals — from 22 months for an elephant to 12 days for a opossum — may lie in the strict time-keeping of pluripotent stem cells for each unique species.

Blue Sky Science: How do rockets get past Earth’s atmosphere?

Rockets encounter most of the resistance when they’re near the Earth’s surface. The higher up they get, the thinner the air gets, and the resistance pushing against the rocket gets lower.

High-throughput computing plays pivotal role in knee biomechanics research

Darryl Thelen, professor in mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducts research with this notion in mind while using computational models of the musculoskeletal system and high-throughput computing resources to refine knee surgical procedures.

Jose Maria Ayuso Dominguez: A Man of Many Names and Talents

If there were two words that described Jose Dominguez they would be: radiating enthusiasm. It’s easy to see his incredible passion and positivity for his research and life.

What we can learn from hibernation – Q&A with Hannah Carey

Hannah Carey, a UW-Madison professor of comparative biosciences, uses hibernating mammals as models to study extreme changes in physiology and nutrition that occur on a seasonal basis. Carey discusses this remarkable process and its potential to impact human health by improving trauma care.

Blue Sky Science: How do bees make honey?

Most bee species do not make honey, but those that do—as you might guess—are specifically called honey bees.

Blue Sky Science: How does electricity move through wires?

It’s a complicated process, but there are charges inside wires and these charges can be acted on by an electric field. They can move through the wire in something that’s called an electric current.

Tapping the ‘wild collaboration’ within biomedical engineers

By partnering with the Morgridge Institute for Research, BME landed internationally recognized optical imaging pioneers Melissa Skala and Jan Huisken to their new faculty ranks.

Blue Sky Science: Can brain injuries sustained while playing sports be fully recovered from?

A concussion is defined as a traumatic blow to the head coupled with some kind of altered consciousness. Some people refer to it as seeing stars, getting your bell rung. People may feel disoriented for a period of time.

Blue Sky Science: How does virtual reality work?

A broad definition says virtual reality is the idea of combining the physical world and the artificial world in such a way that the two are indistinguishable. How could technology provide all of the sensory sensations or different ways that people see, feel and hear the world such that the artificial and physical are blended together?

Chris Barry: Exploring the mystery of developmental clocks

Why does it take about nine months for humans to fully develop from conception to birth, compared to 22 months for an elephant, or just three weeks for the world’s most-studied mammal, the mouse?

Blue Sky Science: How does the moon affect the tides?

The tides are the result of the moon exerting its gravitational force on the ocean and bulging it both toward and away from the moon. The tide is higher, the ocean is higher, at the location closest to the moon and on the opposite side of the Earth.

Blue Sky Science: Why do some viruses cause cancer?

Infectious agents—both bacterial and viral—are responsible for about 25 percent of all human cancers. The virus infection does not by itself cause cancer, but can interfere with a cell’s normal maintenance of things.

Blue Sky Science: How do animals evolve and get new traits?

How animals evolve and develop traits is basically the foundation of evolutionary biology. Whether it be animal or plant, bacteria or fungi, there is one organism that gave rise to all those types of life.

Blue Sky Science: How long would it take a tree to grow in space?

It’s a complicated question because, while researchers have grown spruce seedlings on the International Space Station, they haven’t grown full-size trees. Using knowledge of how trees operate on Earth, scientists can guess what’s going to happen when they’re grown in space.

Blue Sky Science: Why are snowflakes individually unique?

Two important factors influence the shape of snowflakes. One is the ambient temperature, and the other is humidity. A snowflake needs to grow under the condition of a super saturated environment.

Blue Sky Science: How does the epiglottis distinguish between water, food and air?

Swallowing is one of the most obvious functions the epiglottis serves, because it hoods over the airway, or larynx, when you eat and drink. When you swallow, the muscles in your throat respond by pulling the voice box up and underneath the tongue, and the epiglottis is pulled to cover over the larynx.

Blue Sky Science: Can all mosquitos transmit viruses like Zika?

Not all mosquitos can transmit the Zika virus, and that’s the case with any mosquito-borne pathogen. There are about 3,000 species of mosquitos in the world and only a handful—about 150—are considered vectors of pathogens, capable of spreading viruses.

Brad Schwartz: Measure what matters in science

In a guest blog for the Nov. 22 online edition of Scientific American, Morgridge Institute CEO Brad Schwartz writes about a challenge research institutions face in conveying the true societal value of research.

Blue Sky Science: Why do we have freckles?

Freckles are composed of an ingredient called melanin, which protects against damage caused by UV light. Your body makes melanin to protect itself from sun damage.

OnLume receives SBIR support for image-guided surgery

OnLume received the $300,000 Phase I SBIR grant through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the development of imaging and lighting systems for transient lighting in fluorescence image-guided surgery.

Blue Sky Science: How does thunder form?

Thunder is formed by the intense heating produced by lightning. The thunder you hear is made up of vibrations that travel as sound waves through the air until they reach your ear.

Blue Sky Science: Why do chickens lay different-colored eggs?

Genetics is the simple answer to why chickens lay different-colored eggs. Some chickens lay white shell eggs and some lay brown shell eggs, similar to the way hair color varies in people.

Blue Sky Science: How do temperature and wind affect traffic noise?

In terms of temperature, sound waves move faster in warm air and slower in cold air. So as sound moves through the atmosphere, some parts of the wave will be moving faster than the rest.

Morgridge ‘prototype pathway’ yields a novel organ transplant technology

Organ transplantation has come a long way from its early days in the mid-twentieth century. But even with major medical advances, there’s still an admittedly familiar factor at play: ice.

Can artery ‘banks’ transform vascular medicine?

The prospect of creating artery “banks” available for cardiovascular surgery, bypassing the need to harvest vessels from the patient, could transform treatment of many common heart and vascular ailments.

Blue Sky Science: How do we make robots?

Imagine building a robot in three stages.

Blue Sky Science: How does a 3D printer make color?

3D printing involves making an object layer by layer. There are many 3D printing techniques, and they all differ in how each layer is constructed. Each type of printer has a different opportunity or mechanism for adding color.

Blue Sky Science: What is a solar flare?

A solar flare is a release of magnetic energy from the sun. The energy is stored as a magnetic field around the sun, and then it is released with energetic particles and waves coming from the solar surface.

Getting personal with pancreatic cancer

Oncologists are struggling to improve the grim survival rates of pancreatic cancer, which are especially frustrating in an era that is making good progress on other cancer fronts. “I think everyone now understands that there’s got to be a better way,” says Dr. Dustin Deming, assistant professor of medicine with the UW-Madison School of Medicine […]

Blue Sky Science: What is cedar-apple rust disease?

Cedar-apple rust is one of several plant diseases that are all caused by different species of a fungus called gymnosporangium. All of these diseases are referred to as gymnosporangium rust diseases.

From physics to fitness, athletes in science challenge minds and bodies

From Rosalind Franklin to Edwin Hubble, history has shown that athleticism and scientific prowess are not mutually exclusive traits.

Mateusz Manicki: Collaboration breeds scientific opportunity

In order to understand the biochemical underpinnings of disease, it is imperative to shrink down to the molecular level. It’s this mentality that steered Mateusz Manicki all the way from Poland’s Gdansk University to Madison, Wisconsin to study mitochondrial proteins. Manicki will be using mass spectrometry resources to better understand the functionality of cells contributing to a given disease.

Blue Sky Science: Why (and for how long) do butterflies stay in a cocoon?

Caterpillars start out as very small, tiny creatures. In the beginning they eat lots of food—just like the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”—and get bigger and bigger.

Blue Sky Science: What precautions are recommended in regards to Zika virus and pregnancy?

Many people travel to areas that have active, ongoing transmission of Zika virus disease.

Thomson honored for stem cell research legacy

Wisconsin biotechnology advocacy organization BioForward honored two giants in state biomedical innovation — stem cell research pioneer James Thomson and entrepreneur Ralph Kauten — for their scientific and business achievement during its annual summit September 27 in Madison.

Blue Sky Science: Why do we have wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of permanent molars that typically come in between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people don’t form them anymore, and a lot of people that do need to have wisdom teeth taken out.

Curious research: Endowed chair honors developmental biologist Phil Newmark

Newmark, who joined the Regenerative Biology research focus at the Morgridge Institute and the Department of Zoology this summer, is also serving as the first recipient of the Burnell R. Roberts Chair in Regenerative Biology.

Blue Sky Science: Why do the northern and southern lights only appear near the poles?

The formation of the northern and southern lights—known as aurora borealis and aurora australis—begins with solar flares from the sun. The solar flares eject groups of electrons from the sun that act as a wind and flow toward the Earth.

Early development reveals axolotl mysteries

In the amphibian world, the axolotl is the replacement-parts king. This endangered Mexican salamander serves as its own NAPA store for lost body parts, able to fully regenerate limbs, tail, heart, spine and eyes — making it a model of curiosity for regenerative biologists.

Blue Sky Science: Why do some logs float and some sink?

Whether an object floats or sinks in water is determined by the ratio of its weight compared to its volume. If an object of a certain volume weighs more than an equal volume of water, it sinks because the water can’t hold it up. If an object weighs less than an equal volume of water, it floats because the water can support its weight.

Tech investment spurs Alzheimer’s research

The Laboratory of Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry (LBMS), launched in summer 2015, accelerates the university’s ability to apply this powerful technology to high-impact projects, says Joshua Coon, UW-Madison professor of chemistry and biomolecular chemistry and LBMS director.

Play us a song: the (Hyper)piano man

Christopher Taylor has the hands of a musician, his fingers most at home striking the keys of a piano, and an analytical mind honed by years of computer programming. Now after tackling his latest endeavor, Taylor can also call himself an engineer, a builder, a maker.

Science arcade night, storytelling headline 2016 Wisconsin Science Festival

From arcade games to storytelling to stargazing, the 2016 Wisconsin Science Festival, held Oct. 20-23, will feature something for everyone across 200-plus events.

Blue Sky Science: Could we harness energy in space for use on Earth?

When thinking about collecting energy from a source in space, the natural answer is the sun.

Blue Sky Science: How are moons created?

Anything that orbits a planet is a moon, and moons can form in several different ways.

Blue Sky Science: What are bacteria?

Bacteria are amazing single-celled, simple organisms. They’re found everywhere on the planet in all sorts of environments from your gut to the soil to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Sarah Erickson-Bhatt: Bridge to a breakthrough

When Sarah Erickson-Bhatt lost her mother to breast cancer before she began undergraduate study in 2001, the physics student determined that fighting cancer would become her life’s work.

Blue Sky Science: How do toys affect a baby’s development?

Virtually every theory of child development says that play is crucial to development in every way. It impacts cognitive development, social and emotional development, as well as language development.

Course aims to prepare scientific postdocs for leadership

Postdoctoral trainees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have an opportunity to refine their professional leadership skills through a six-session course starting in fall 2016.

Blue Sky Science: Could we use viruses to fight cancer?

Cancer is, essentially, cells that have started to grow uncontrollably and stop behaving like normal cells. Viruses are an attractive treatment tool because they, by their very nature, are manipulators of cells. It may be possible to reengineer viruses in a way that could either stop cancers from growing or kill cancer cells.

Mitochondrial maps reveal new connections to poorly understood diseases

Mitochondria are the engines that drive cellular life, but these complex machines are vulnerable to a wide range of breakdowns, and hundreds of their component parts remain a functional mystery.

Blue Sky Science: Why do beavers, rabbits have the same kind of teeth?

Squirrels, beavers, chipmunks and rabbits all have similarly-shaped teeth, because all of those animals have teeth that continually grow throughout their lives.

Blue Sky Science: Are there wormholes that lead to other galaxies?

Wormholes can exist within the framework of general relativity, Albert Einstein’s theory that governs how space-time interacts with matter in our universe.

Plumbing the possibilities of ‘seeing around corners’

The Morgridge Institute for Research and University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers are working to optimize a camera capable of a slick optical trick: Snapping pictures around corners.

John Durant helping light science festival fireworks nationwide

Durant is director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Museum, where he began in 2005 after decades of leadership at major British science museums. This summer, Durant joined the scientific advisory board of the Morgridge Institute for Research, where he will give guidance to an outreach program that attracts more than 30,000 people annually to the Discovery Building.

Blue Sky Science: What determines the melting or boiling point of a substance?

Before we can answer that question, we need to know first: What is a solid? What’s a liquid? What’s a gas?

Jing Fan joins Morgridge Institute metabolism theme

Can we fight cancer by targeting its metabolism, essentially starving tumors of the nutrients they need to survive? It’s one of the intriguing big-picture questions in the research field of Jing Fan, a new investigator in the Morgridge Institute for Research metabolism theme.

Blue Sky Science: How long does it take a GMO product to grow?

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, refer to any plant or animal that has been genetically modified by humans. For centuries, breeders have been able to do this through selective breeding practices.

Blue Sky Science: Does an earthquake ever form a new tectonic plate?

Most earthquakes occur when a geological fault, fractures within the earth’s crust, slip and release energy. Individual faults, some of which form the tectonic plate boundaries, build up strain over decades and centuries to eventually break in large earthquakes.

Madison College students think outside the shell in stem cell project

Since chick embryos lack a developed immune system, scientists are able to engraft other types of cells — including mouse and human cells — into the friendly 3D confines of the embryo and study their behavior. Under the right conditions, the introduced cells can thrive.

Blue Sky Science: Could we make a living creature using only stem cells?

Stem cells are special cells inside your body that can multiply indefinitely, or make copies of themselves. They can also differentiate, meaning they can become every cell type that’s present in your body.

NIH leader headlines summit on big data and health

Phillip Bourne, who since 2014 has served as the NIH’s first associate director for data science, will give the keynote address June 30 at the annual research retreat for Wisconsin’s own big-data center, called the Center for Predictive Computational Phenotyping (CPCP).

Blue Sky Science: What makes a mammal? Is an octopus a mammal?

It’s a great guess, but an octopus is not a mammal. An octopus is an invertebrate animal, which means it has no spine. More specifically, an octopus is a cephalopod, like squid and cuttlefish. They’re some of the smartest invertebrates.

Linectra and Xemex tie for second in manufacturing category of statewide competition

Two Morgridge-affiliated inventors tied for second place in the advanced manufacturing category of this year’s statewide Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

Three Morgridge-affiliated inventors are state business plan finalists

The Morgridge Institute for Research will be well represented in this year’s statewide Governor’s Business Plan Contest, with three of the 13 finalists having direct ties to the Morgridge Medical Engineering research group.

Blue Sky Science: How did dinosaurs go extinct?

When it comes to dinosaur extinction, the working idea is what’s called the bolide impact. This is the hypothesis that a meteorite came to the surface of the Earth, hit the Earth, and led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Blue Sky Science: How are waterfalls made?

It basically it takes four things to make a waterfall.

Regeneration pioneer to join Morgridge Institute, UW-Madison faculty

Phil Newmark, a developmental biologist studying the mysteries of how the body regenerates damaged tissue, will join the Morgridge Institute for Research and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Zoology where he will hold the Burnell R. Roberts Chair in Regenerative Biology beginning in fall 2016. Newmark, currently a professor at the University of Illinois […]

Blue Sky Science: Why is it difficult to predict which flu vaccine will be most effective?

A vaccine is meant to train your immune system to recognize a virus so it can fight off that virus if you ever come in contact with it.

Pagliarini ‘energized’ by White House visit

It’s not every day someone gets the chance to stroll through the East Wing of the White House, snapping photos and checking out its famous Blue Room and Red Room. Dave Pagliarini experienced that and more during his trip to the nation’s capital May 5-6 to receive his Presidential Early Career (PECASE) award.

Can cybersecurity crack the undergraduate curriculum?

In a time when million-dollar security breaches of household name corporations regularly make headlines and complicate lives, computer science undergraduates at America’s universities remain surprisingly underexposed to basic cybersecurity tactics. The Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP), a national cybersecurity facility housed at the Morgridge Institute for Research in Madison, Wis., has been working to address this […]

Blue Sky Science: What’s going on in the brain when people sleepwalk?

When we sleep we go through different types of sleep stages. You have slow-wave sleep, which is like your deep sleep, and then there’s dream sleep, which is called REM sleep.

Community, business leader Mary Burke joins Morgridge Board of Trustees

Mary Burke will bring more than two decades of experience in Wisconsin business, civic and educational leadership to the Morgridge Institute for Research as a new member of its Board of Trustees.

Collagen imaging: Bridging the gap between microscopy and the clinic

When it comes to diagnosing breast cancer and predicting how the disease will progress in a patient, current practice is seeing a gap between the imaging information scientists can get from a high resolution microscope and the lower resolution images typically gathered in the clinical setting.

Blue Sky Science: How do hovercrafts work?

To understand how a hovercraft works, we have to understand a few things about matter. We, and all ordinary matter, are made of little tiny things called atoms and clumps of atoms called molecules.

Blue Sky Science: How did animals evolve from water to land?

Water to land evolution is a complex question, and one that is still actively researched today.

Blue Sky Science: Why do supercomputers have to be so big?

We need supercomputers because scientists are doing really awesome work that requires lots of computing time. For some of this work, if we weren’t using supercomputing to break up tasks and make processing faster, it would take years or decades to complete.

Blue Sky Science: Do plants produce nectar every day?

Not all plants produce nectar, only plants that are visited by animal-type pollinators. Plants that are wind pollinated, for example, will not produce nectar.

#100miles4research: Kopietz celebrates 19 years cancer-free

The Kopietz Family (L-R): Lucas, Courtni, Jeff, Teresa, and Tyler. Courtni and her dad Jeff are soon embarking on a 100-plus mile trek across Portugal to celebrate Courtni’s 19th year cancer-free. All proceeds donated to #100miles4research campaign will benefit the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Blue Sky Science: When will a human trip to Mars be possible?

We could send humans to Mars whenever we want to. We have the technology to do it today, though we would need to build new rockets that use that technology.

CAREER award to explore dynamics of biology

Anthony Gitter remembers the mental spark when listening to a recent talk about the discovery of so-called “precocious cells” — a tiny group of cells that lead an advance charge against infection.

Blue Sky Science: Can people have the abilities of animals?

This question brings up all kinds of interesting issues about who we are as humans and how we compare to other animals.

Blue Sky Science: How does someone get two different-colored eyes?

When the eye color, or iris color, is different between the two eyes, the condition is called iris heterochromia.

Blue Sky Science: How did scientists find out about electricity?

Electricity is a complex topic that drives the world as we know it today, from Thomas Edison’s iconic light bulb to the satellites that enable our cell phones. Fundamentally, electricity is just the presence and flow of electric charge.

Blue Sky Science: How do some plants grow without dirt?

The principal purpose of soil is to provide mineral nutrition for the plant.

Morgridge virology team leader wins distinguished Hilldale Award

Paul Ahlquist, leader of the Morgridge Institute virology team, is one of four recipients of the Hilldale Award for distinguished contributions to teaching, research and service.

New Morgridge research team leader foresees era of ‘smart microscopes’

Jan Huisken, a scientist who develops tools to image biology in its unaltered natural state, will lead the medical engineering focus area at the Morgridge Institute for Research and help catalyze a campus-wide multi-scale imaging initiative.

High Throughput Computing helps LIGO confirm Einstein’s last unproven theory

A few years ago, a global team of scientists parlayed decades of research into the discovery of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle considered a building block of the universe. A humble software program called HTCondor churned away in the background, helping analyze data gathered from billions of particle collisions.

Blue Sky Science: How do scientists find fossils?

There are a number of steps that go into a researcher finding a fossil, something I spend a majority of my summer doing. First you have to figure out what kind of fossil you want to find.

Blue Sky Science: What’s the science of leap year?

2016 is a leap year, meaning we insert an extra day, February 29, into the calendar. We do this once every four years in order to keep our calendar aligned with the Earth’s seasons.

Pagliarini earns presidential recognition for research on mitochondria

Dave Pagliarini, Director of Metabolism at the Morgridge Institute for Research and Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has received the U.S. government’s highest honor for scientists in the early stages of their careers.

Blue Sky Science: Do you think there’s life on other planets?

The short answer to the question is that we don’t know. The closest planets to Earth are located millions of miles away, so it’s very difficult to go off and find evidence directly.

Blue Sky Science: How is spider silk made?

Spiders have silk-producing glands in their bodies, specifically in their abdomen. In these glands they have the chemical components already put together to produce silk, but it’s in a liquid form.

Q&A with Discovery Audio-Visual Coordinator Alan Ruby

If you’re one of the thousands of people annually who participate in meetings at the Discovery Building, chances are you’ve benefited from the skills and commitment of Alan Ruby and his team.

Melissa Skala: Follow the Light to Better Cancer Treatment

Skala’s research problems focus on cancer detection and treatment, and her expertise in light-based, optical imaging is giving clinicians revolutionary new tools for the fight. Skala will be bringing her talents this summer from Vanderbilt University to the Morgridge Institute for Research and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a Morgridge investigator and professor of Biomedical Engineering (BME).

Blue Sky Science: Why can people eat the same diet or take the same medication and have different outcomes?

This is a question scientists are still trying to figure out. We know that it has to do with the specific genetic makeup, and everyone has slight differences in metabolism.

Blue Sky Science: What and where is the Yahara watershed?

The Yahara watershed is a geographic area in south central Wisconsin. It is comprised of about 370,000 people and 359 square miles home to the city of Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and this chain of lakes we refer to as the Yahara lakes.

Morgridge, campus partner to power up ‘mass spec’ potential

The Morgridge Institute for Research, as part of its Metabolism Initiative, is working with a University of Wisconsin-Madison team to greatly expand the scope of “mass spec” applications on campus. A new resource housed in the UW-Madison Biotechnology Center brings together a multi-million dollar investment in mass spectrometry tools from multiple sources to form a central repository to tackle large-scale investigations.

Blue Sky Science: How many species of snakes are there?

There are more than 3,400 species of snakes worldwide, and they exist on every continent except Antarctica. We have about 50 snake species in the United States and 21 different snake species in the state of Wisconsin.

Blue Sky Science: Can we use stem cells to treat brain injury or neurological disorders?

The simple answer to the question is yes. It is possible to regenerate parts of the brain with stem cells, just like we can in other organs.

Blue Sky Science: Does space go on forever?

We really don’t know if space goes on forever. The universe is big enough that we can’t see all of it for a number of reasons. And there are ways that we could live in a space that doesn’t go on forever, but still has no actual edge to it.

Blue Sky Science: How do we hear?

Sounds reach our ears from different locations and first travel through the ear into the ear canal. Then tiny bones inside the middle ear end up vibrating and pushing on a small window. This then gets a special membrane inside our ear to vibrate.

Blue Sky Science: Why do hissing cockroaches hiss?

Madagascar hissing cockroaches and some of their relatives can produce an audible hissing noise that almost sounds like a cat hissing.

Blue Sky Science: How does your brain form memories?

The first step in forming a memory is called encoding, and encoding starts with perception. If you remember back to the first time you met your best friend, you encoded or perceived a lot of information about them.

Blue Sky Science: Why can dogs hear a dog whistle but people can’t?

Humans can hear sounds in a range from about 20 hertz to 23 kilohertz at the upper range of their hearing ability. The hearing range of dogs is almost double that.

Blue Sky Science: Why do some colors make you feel emotions?

Over the years you’ve learned to associate certain colors, certain shapes, certain things that you see with specific emotions.

Blue Sky Science: What is a neutrino?

In high school you learn that matter is made of atoms, atoms are made of electrons and nuclei, and nuclei contain neutrons and protons. That’s a basic picture of matter, but it’s an incomplete one. Missing in that picture is a full particle called neutrinos.

Blue Sky Science: What is machine learning?

Machine learning is an area of computer science that focuses on building computer programs that help machines learn by example. This is similar to the way young children learn about the world around them.

Scheufele named to gene editing panel

Dietram Scheufele, professor of life sciences communication at UW-Madison and Morgridge Institute for Research affiliate, will serve on a national panel examining the implications of human genome editing.

New stem cell process increases therapeutic potential

Researchers from the Morgridge Institute for Research and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Australia have devised a way to dramatically cut the time involved in reprogramming and genetically correcting stem cells, an important step to making future therapies possible.

Blue Sky Science: How are crystals formed?

The word “crystal” comes from the Greek “krystallos,” meaning clear ice. A crystal is defined as a solid material consisting of a three-dimensional periodic ordering of atoms, molecules or ions. Crystals form by a process called crystallization that signifies a transition from chaos to perfection.

Blue Sky Science: How fast could a human theoretically run?

The current world record for running speed is held by Usain Bolt at roughly 28 miles per hour, and it’s difficult to imagine running faster.

Morgridge Institute, Morgridge Center expand hands-on science activities in South Madison

Afterschool Expeditions, a program in which elementary and middle school students engage in structured, hands-on science activities at the Discovery Building, has become an integral part of the outreach programming produced by WARF and the Morgridge Institute for Research in partnership with Science Alliance and numerous UW-Madison groups.

Blue Sky Science: How do we identify new species from fossils?

When we try to identify different species in nature today, we usually think of that question in terms of interbreeding. We look at different populations, whether they look different or the same, and ask, do they ever interbreed with each other or encounter each other in nature?

Blue Sky Science: What is gene editing?

Gene editing involves changing the sequence of letters in the DNA. Researchers like to edit genes so they can understand the function of them, particularly genes that relate to various types of disorders that physicians have seen in the clinic. We can use this information to generate new hypotheses of how genes influence diseases.

High-throughput computing, HIV and the mystery of ‘elite controllers’

In August 2015, just before going on vacation, virology researcher Dave O’Connor teed up the largest data analysis challenge of his lifetime. The computing run included 694 independent jobs, each one with about one billion points of genomic data to process. O’Connor returned to find that his “set it and forget it” gamble paid off handsomely: 693 of the 694 computing runs had fully completed, with zero human intervention.

‘Prototype Pathway’ open for business in Morgridge Fab Lab

The Morgridge Institute’s medical engineering team brought UW-Madison clinicians to the Advanced Fabrication Laboratory, or “Fab Lab,” Oct. 1 to celebrate the launch of the BerbeeWalsh Prototype Pathway.

Blue Sky Science: Why is light faster than sound?

Light and sound are very different. Sound is actually a mechanical disturbance through air or another medium. Sound always needs a medium to travel through and the type of medium determines its speed.

Stem cells help predict neural toxicity

A new system developed by scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research and the University of Wisconsin-Madison may provide a faster, cheaper and more biologically relevant way to screen drugs and chemicals that could harm the developing brain.

Blue Sky Science: How are volcanoes formed?

Some volcanoes, like the Cascade Volcanoes up in Washington and Oregon, are of the type called stratovolcano. These steep volcanoes sometimes erupt explosively, and other times have calmer lava flows that just spill out on the surface. The material from eruptions, like lava and ash, build up and cause these volcanoes to have a character like a layer cake.

Wisconsin Science Festival embraces ‘Made in Wisconsin’ theme

A robot zoo, carbonated fruit, and virtual reality simulations are just a handful of experiences to be had at the 2015 Wisconsin Science Festival, held this year from Oct. 22-25.

Blue Sky Science: Why do clouds have water?

Not only do clouds have water, they consist almost entirely of water. And that water comes from the earth’s surface, including the ocean, lakes and streams and even the ground.

Ossorio to help steer National Academies Initiative on human gene editing

Pilar Ossorio, the Morgridge Institute for Research bioethicist in residence, will serve on an international committee convened by the National Academies of Science (NAS) to address the ethically challenging frontiers of human gene editing technology.

Great Outcomes Sparked by John and Tashia Morgridge

The announcement today of $250 million being raised for the University of Wisconsin-Madison through the John and Tashia Morgridge Match program is truly inspirational. At a pivotal time for the university, this effort supports a critical mass of new endowed professorships that will help attract and retain the very best talent to Wisconsin.

Blue Sky Science: How do seedless plants start?

Plants can propagate in two ways: sexually and asexually. Sexual propagation is through seeds. Seeds develop from the sexual organs of flowers. But some plants take a very long time to be able to propagate by seeds.

Q&A with New Morgridge Metabolism Director Dave Pagliarini

Dave Pagliarini, UW-Madison associate professor of biochemistry, has been selected to lead the Morgridge Institute Metabolism Initiative, which will provide leadership, infrastructure and community building to this growing UW-Madison research area. Pagliarini, an expert on mitochondria structure and function, reflects on some of the opportunities ahead.

Morgridge Institute selects Pagliarini to lead campus metabolism initiative

Dave Pagliarini, a University of Wisconsin-Madison associate professor whose departmental home put metabolism research on the map worldwide, will help define the future of Wisconsin metabolism science as a lead investigator at the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Blue Sky Science: How does a hot air balloon work?

Directionally you never know where a balloon is going to go because the wind controls it, I don’t. I can send a balloon higher or lower, but not steer it in specific directions. So before we send passengers up in a hot air balloon, we send up a small hydrogen balloon that tells us the wind speed and direction.

Algorithm helps identify elusive genes that express like clockwork

The genes that turn on and off in precisely timed patterns, known as oscillatory genes, play an essential role in development functions like cell division, circadian rhythms and limb formation. But without a time-lapse view of genetic expression, these genes have gone largely undiscovered.

Blue Sky Science: How do cows make milk?

The first time you milk cows they make what’s called colostrum. We often call it liquid gold because it has lots of fat and proteins.

Remex Static Mixer team working to bring innovation to market

Eric Ronning, a recent UW-Madison graduate and member of Morgridge Institute’s medical engineering team, also appreciates the importance of fostering a cohesive, talented team for collaborative innovation.

Blue Sky Science: How do planes fly?

Imagine this: Stick your hand out of the window of a car that travels at around 60 mph, and you will notice how lift is being produced as you twist your hand up and down. As the car accelerates, you will notice that no matter how you shape your hand, lift is always being produced.

Novel Morgridge technology may illuminate mystery Moon caves

It’s widely believed that the Moon features networks of caves created when violent lava flows tore under the surface from ancient volcanoes. Some craters may actually be “skylights” where cave ceilings have crumbled.

Blue Sky Science: What is the purpose of the appendix?

For decades, scientists and physicians have believed that the appendix really doesn’t have a function in human beings. It may have had a purpose in some living thing tens of thousands of years ago, but that purpose never persisted in humans.

Blue Sky Science: What is the Kuiper belt?

The Kuiper belt, named after astronomer Gerard Kuiper, is a massive, icy region of our solar system that exists just beyond the planets. Actually shaped more like a donut than a flat belt, the Kuiper belt is best known as home of the dwarf planet Pluto.

Morgridge CT innovation wins WARF Accelerator support

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Accelerator Program helps discoveries patented by WARF move further along the commercialization process by providing funding and connections to a network of industry experts.

SWAMP expands portfolio of open-access software assurance tools

The Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP) has added three new services to its suite of assurance offerings, including support for software written in Ruby, support for Android software written in Java, and access to Parasoft’s Jtest and C/C++test static analysis tools.

Blue Sky Science: How do we purify dirty water?

What we use to purify water depends a lot on where the water’s coming from and what we want to do with it. If we’re going to drink water it needs to be very clean and very safe. There are lots of regulations that we have to meet.

Blue Sky Science: Why is Pluto considered a dwarf planet?

Before Pluto was discovered, it was predicted. Astronomers had observed that massive objects can affect the orbits of its neighbors, and, after seeing deviations in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, assumed something substantial existed beyond their orbits.

Summer science campers engage in hands-on stem cell activities

Now in its ninth year, the Rural Summer Science Camp brings teachers and high school students from rural Wisconsin communities to Madison to learn about advances in stem cell science and careers in research. A large emphasis is placed on hands-on, experiential learning. Campers aren’t just hearing about science– they’re doing science.

Gift to Morgridge Institute ‘Fab Lab’ to boost medical device innovations

A gift to the Morgridge Institute for Research will help spur medical device innovations coming directly from clinicians — the people who know firsthand where the advances are needed.

Blue Sky Science: How does autopilot work?

An autopilot is a flight control system that allows a pilot to fly an airplane without continuous hands-on control of the airplane. It allows the pilot to focus on higher-order tasks such as navigating, communicating with air traffic control, planning for weather contingencies and rerouting associated with any kind of emergency circumstance.

Campus ‘Big Data’ project may point the way to Alzheimer’s early detection

Without a big advance in early diagnosis and treatment, experts forecast as many as 14 million new Alzheimer’s cases by 2050 occurring among the 78 million baby boomers, the first wave of whom just turned 65.

Blue Sky Science: How are video games used in research?

Video games are used in about five different ways.

Blue Sky Science: How can we use stem cells to build tissues and organs?

There are two major properties of a stem cell, and the first one is its potency. By that we mean its ability to give rise to specialized cells.

UW metabolism researchers blaze new paths

With metabolic pathways now seen as essential players in human development and aging, as well as common diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, metabolism has become a wellspring of new knowledge for biologists.

Study redefines role of estrogen in cervical cancer

Scientists know that the hormone estrogen is a major driver in the growth of cervical cancer, but a new study examining genetic profiles of 128 clinical cases reached a surprising conclusion: Estrogen receptors all but vanish in cervical cancer tumors.

What They’re Saying About the Morgridge Metabolism Initiative

The UW-Madison campus community has high expectations for the campus-wide Metabolism Initiative, which is spearheaded by the Morgridge Institute for Research and is in the process of a national search for a leader.

OnLume a top competitor in statewide business competition

OnLume LLC, a Madison-based company, placed second in the life sciences division of the 2015 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

Blue Sky Science: Is it possible to bring back extinct animals?

De-extinction, as it’s been termed, hasn’t happened in over 3 billion years of life on earth, so it will be an epic event if and when it happens.

Blue Sky Science: What can your center of gravity help you with?

Gravity is this invisible force that pulls objects toward one another. And one of the things that gravity does is pull us toward the earth. So it’s important to know that’s what gravity is. And then center of gravity is sort of this middle point where all of a body’s weight or an object’s weight is.

Blue Sky Science: How does cancer form and is there a cure?

Cancer occurs when one of the tissues in our body decides to grow uncontrollably, and our immune system is not able to recognize and destroy it. So the tissue continues to grow and can eventually break off into pieces and attach to other parts of the body and affect our health.

Introducing Blue Sky Science

Beginning Monday, May 4, the Morgridge Institute has launched a partnership with the Wisconsin State Journal called “Blue Sky Science,” which will feature weekly video Q&As from Discovery Outreach participants on cool science topics.

Blue Sky Science: Do trees get viruses?

Definitely trees get viruses. There are a wide range of different plant viruses that go not only to trees but to other types of plants as well.

Blue Sky Science: What is 3-D printing?

3-D printing refers to a kind of manufacturing where a part is built up layer by layer. With a typical machine, you take a block of material and subtract away. With additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, you start with nothing and you add layer by layer until you have a final part.

A pathway for understanding cancer’s origin

The tools of modern biology have made it possible to obtain an incredibly detailed picture of how cancer cells differ from healthy cells at the molecular level. Somewhat paradoxically, despite these meticulous portraits of cancer, it remains remarkably difficult to answer the very fundamental question: What caused cancer in this patient?

Adam Uselmann works to advance imaging tech in new postdoctoral fellowship

Time and again the Madison community has shown itself to be an incubator for collaborative ideas and innovative work. Adam Uselmann, a research associate at the Morgridge Institute for Research, has seen some of his collaborations grow into a new postdoctoral opportunity.

Blue Sky Science: How does the brain get the heart to constantly beat?

Interestingly, in the course of the day, your heart will beat somewhere around 100,000 times and over a calendar year might beat up to 35 million times. Over the course of a lifetime then, your brain and your heart have to work together to engineer 3 billion heartbeats.

A quest to understand the neural crest

Katie Vermillion’s research into the mysterious work of the neural crest — a mobile, multitasking marvel of early embryonic development — begins simply enough every Monday morning with a delivery of five-dozen chicken eggs from a local farmer.

Microbial communities may inform understanding of rapid evolution

Martin Bontrager, a graduate research assistant in the lab of UW-Madison zoologist Carol Lee, is studying the microbiome of copepods to better understand the organism’s ability to rapidly evolve.

Ellen Arena: A career that traverses different fields, different countries

Ellen Arena’s young career has already taken her from an undergraduate degree at UW-Parkside in Racine to advanced degrees in British Columbia and Paris. Her research also has traversed from molecular biology to bacterial pathogens to microscopy and computation.

Morgridge Institute, UW partners select three postdoctoral fellows

Three scientists have been selected for the inaugural Morgridge Institute for Research Postdoctoral Fellows program, designed to prepare promising young scientists for a changing research landscape.

Andy Pohl: Bringing computing solutions to biological research

It can be difficult to define the threshold for when data becomes “big data,” but it is clear that as research technologies become more sophisticated, scientists are collecting and analyzing information that necessitates advanced computing tools.

Science engagement experts partner with Morgridge Institute

Intuition tells us that the more factual information one gathers on a controversial topic, the more likely one will reach the “correct” conclusion.

Gift helping uncover the mysteries of regeneration

From a philanthropic standpoint, extraordinary patience is required of individuals who believe strongly enough in the possible outcomes to provide ongoing support. Mildred “Babe” and Marv Conney are among those whose faith in the potential miracles of science has remained unshaken for nearly 30 years.

Year One: SWAMP a catalyst for improving cyber-security

As an exercise in the high-stakes world of software security, Patrick Beyer ran an open-source medical technology software package through the Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP) to see what would happen.

Omid Forouzan: Microfluidics allows for close study of virus-host interactions

Omid Forouzan, as part of the new Morgridge Fellowship program, wants to harness engineering and biomedical fields to develop a microfluidic multi-cell culture model. This microscale research tool will allow for study of cell-cell interactions in the development of HPV-associated cervical cancer.

UW botanist harnesses the grid to illuminate crop growth

When Edgar Spalding crunches data on Wisconsin corn, the numbers boggle the mind: Four million acres are planted annually, with 30,000 seeds planted per acre, producing about 120 billion seedlings sprouting skyward each May.

Andreas Velten awarded Air Force OSR grant for advance in imaging technology

Andreas Velten, a Morgridge Institute Affiliate with the Medical Engineering Group and assistant scientist with UW-Madison Laboratory of Optical and Computational Instrumentation, won a grant for his work in imaging technology through the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program (YIP).

Morgridge rethinks CT scanning technology to sharpen clinical images

The outdated hardware underlying computed tomography (CT) scanners has created a bottleneck for improving its imaging potential. An innovative project out of the Medical Engineering group at the Morgridge Institute for Research seeks to bypass this obstacle with a design for a multi-source x-ray tube.

Building a better mouse (model) for studying human disease

In recent decades, a few genetic strains of mice have proven invaluable to medical researchers in serving as “surrogates” capable of supporting the growth of human cells. These “xenografted mouse models” can give scientists a relevant window into human biology that may point to new therapies and understanding of disease — or at the very least, validate or disprove results from a laboratory dish.

Student launches nonprofit to support college students with physical illness

For young adults, the transition from high school to college and a more independent lifestyle can be a challenging new experience. Tack on a physical illness and mounting medical bills and the traditional stressors of college life grow exponentially. Shannon Strader, a senior graduating this month from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, founded Bella Soul, a […]

‘The Big Next:’ Dr. James Berbee’s transition from technology to medicine

What do you do after launching a computer networking company in the gung-ho 1990s, growing it to 700-plus employees across the Midwest, serving some of the world’s largest technology companies, then selling the company 13 years later?

Madison-based Gel Combs honored at Bioscience Vision Summit

Gel Combs LLC, a company founded by Matt Copeland, Ben Cox and Brandon Walker, was one of five honored at the 2014 Bioscience Vision Summit’s Emerging Company Showcase. BioForward, promoting innovation in Wisconsin’s growing biotechnology industry, hosts the summit annually. The showcase features early stage companies that have transitioned successfully out of research and development, […]

Morgridge scientists find way to ‘keep the lights on’ for cell self-renewal

One remarkable quality of pluripotent stem cells is they are immortal in the lab, able to divide and grow indefinitely under the right conditions.

James Dahlberg retiring from Morgridge Institute

During his leadership Dahlberg focused on three core goals. They included redefining the institute’s mission, improving financial accountability across the institute, and hiring a dynamic permanent director who could implement a long-term vision.

Mackie focuses future on entrepreneurship

Thomas “Rock” Mackie is no stranger to the practice of innovation and entrepreneurship. From the research and development stage to commercialization and investments, Mackie has seen ideas become tangible, marketable products on more than one occasion.

SWAMP wins ISE North America Project of the Year award

The Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP) was awarded the ISE® North America Project of the Year in the Academic/Public Sector Category. The SWAMP offers a high-performance computing platform that analyzes software for weaknesses with an array of open source and commercial software security testing tools.

Generosity as a Catalyst for Great Things

As CEO of the Morgridge Institute for Research, I am reminded every time I enter our building of the extraordinary vision, commitment and generosity of John and Tashia Morgridge. The entire University of Wisconsin community received another wonderful reminder last week, with the announcement $100 million lead gift that represents a brilliant investment in the heart of a great university.

Morgridge Institute partners on macular degeneration award

Drs. Brad Schwartz, CEO of the Morgridge Institute for Research; Terri Young, Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (DOVS); and David Gamm, Director of the McPherson Eye Research Institute (MERI); are pleased to announce the recipient of the $25,000 grant award for Metabolism Research in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. This pilot award is funded by the Morgridge Institute and the James Christenson Estate Macular Degeneration Research Fund.

UW spinoff SHINE Medical hits major funding milestone

SHINE Medical Technologies, a medical isotope company developing technology that originated from University of Wisconsin-Madison research, has signed a $125 million term sheet that represents a massive step in bringing an important medical advance to market.

Bill Swisher joins Morgridge as Chief Development Officer

Bill Swisher, the assistant vice president for corporate and institutional partnerships at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), has been named the new chief development officer of the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Two UW student teams are finalists in national inventors competition

Two University of Wisconsin-Madison teams are among only seven undergraduate finalists for the 2014 National Collegiate Inventors Competition, which honors the latest in student creativity and innovation.

System for growing, distributing microgreens wins Wisconsin Innovation Award

In the growing movement for urban agriculture, microgreens are becoming a popular, profitable option for producers. Tasty and nutritious, microgreens can be grown inside any time of year, mature from seed to harvest in 10-14 days, and sell at $20-30 per pound.

‘Tissue chip’ offers better approach to screen neural toxins

A multidisciplinary team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research is creating a faster, more affordable way to screen for neural toxins, helping flag chemicals that may harm human development.

Wisconsin Science Festival celebrates scientific discovery, community

Thousands of visitors young and old will have the chance to indulge their “inner scientist” during the 2014 Wisconsin Science Festival, held this year from Oct. 16-19, with more than 20 communities statewide joining Madison in the party.

Andreas Velten: Taking imaging to new extremes

Unlike many of us, Andreas Velten loves working in windowless rooms. His research tools are shrouded in sealed black boxes to keep out unwanted light. He’s been known to cover red building exit signs to extinguish any trace of visual noise.

Targeting HIV with live cell imaging

Using an imaging technique that illuminates viral behavior within live cells, a team of scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research are identifying new targets to derail the disease-spreading machinery of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Anthony Gitter: Taking the statistical road less traveled

Much of biostatistics involves finding and mapping the predictable pathways that can tell us something about what makes a disease tick. But Anthony Gitter finds equal importance in the statistical back roads that other scientists might ignore.

Desirée Benefield: Using microscopy to battle ‘microbial overlords’

From artist to microbiologist, Desirée Benefield has always been a very visual person. Before she was in graduate school studying the structure of bacterial toxins, Benefield was a glass blower.

Kevin Eliceiri to bring multi-scale imaging focus to Morgridge Institute

Scientific imaging has long been a research strength at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, home of major advances in cellular-scale optical imaging, human-scale medical imaging and many spaces in between.

Morgridge forges into microfluidics

The Moore’s Law that has computer processing power doubling every two years may have its equivalent in biology, where microfluidics technology is taking the smaller-faster-cheaper quest to new levels.

Students explore promise and challenge of stem cell therapies

The projects looked right at home in the Discovery Town Center: A row of four colorful scientific posters describing the status of stem cell therapies, complete with microscopic images, graphics, flow charts and detailed reference lists.

Camp offers insights on regenerative biology

Students from rural Wisconsin high schools modeled, sampled, and pipetted their way through lessons on regenerative biology at the Rural Summer Science Camp.

Morgridge Institute launches new focus area on metabolism

The Board of Trustees of the Morgridge Institute for Research has approved a new Morgridge focus area in metabolism, a growing research field with enormous potential to treat or reverse a broad spectrum of human diseases.

Wisconsin scientists find genetic recipe to turn stem cells to blood

Writing today (July 14, 2014) in the journal Nature Communications, a group led by University of Wisconsin-Madison stem cell researcher Igor Slukvin reports the discovery of two genetic programs responsible for taking blank-slate stem cells and turning them into both red and the array of white cells that make up human blood.

Madison-based SWAMP, Secure Decisions partner to enhance software security

Secure Decisions, a leading provider of assessment tools to enhance software security, is partnering with the Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP) to build a powerful and publicly accessible resource to improve the software that drives everyday life.

Rowe family gift supports exploration of ever-evolving viral threats

Infectious diseases have large-scale human impact, and virology research works to tackle current issues while building knowledge to prepare for future threats and to provide more broad spectrum controls. John and Jeanne Rowe have provided long-term support for Ahlquist’s research group, which studies viruses like HIV, human papillomavirus and Chikungunya.

James Thomson: Opening access to the cellular building blocks of life

Thomson’s discoveries in human stem cell research at UW-Madison have redefined biomedicine, first with the isolation and culturing of human embryonic stem cells in 1998; then in the development of human pluripotent stem cells from adult skin cells in 2007.

Paul Ahlquist: Working to beat the virology numbers game

This is an important and exciting time to be studying virology, Ahlquist says, thanks to the new perspective provided by genomics and advanced computation. Prior to this time, incremental advances in knowledge often lacked the larger context, how these puzzle pieces all fit together.

Pilar Ossorio: Exploring the ethics of genomic data

The human genome contains our most personal and sensitive information—the complete compendium of our inherited traits. Even the smallest samples of human tissue and accompanying health histories provide vast troves of data to the biomedical community, which in turn has a legal and ethical obligation to safeguard its usage.

James Dahlberg: Scientific successes enhanced by chance

Asked why he became a biochemist, Jim Dahlberg reflected briefly and answered, “I always found science exciting, interesting, and relatively easy. I just thought that it would be the most rewarding way to spend my life. And once I was introduced to the world of biochemistry I was hooked.”

Rock Mackie: Applying physics and engineering to medicine

While growing up in Canada, Thomas Rockwell (Rock) Mackie, director of Medical Engineering, had three heroes: Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and antarctic explorer Ernest Shackelton. They inspired a fascination with nuclear physics and scientific expedition that Mackie has pursued in both academia and industry.

Q&A with Pilar Ossorio: Is whole genome sequencing an effective diagnostic tool?

As the cost of whole genome sequencing (WGS) approaches $1,000, the possibility of using it to help diagnose patients becomes economically feasible. But is it the right tool for doctors?

Mackie to receive highest honor in medical physics

Thomas “Rock” Mackie, director of medical engineering at the Morgridge Institute for Research, will receive the highest honor in the field of medical physics for his game-changing contributions to medical imaging.

Med tech: New imaging invention a ‘Google Earth for microscopy’

A team in the Morgridge Institute for Research’s Advanced Fabrication Laboratory, in collaboration with the UW-Madison Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation (LOCI), is developing a technology that visualizes an important middle ground for biomedical and basic research applications.

Morgridge Institute launches new interdisciplinary fellows program

A new postdoctoral fellowship program approved this spring for the Morgridge Institute for Research aims to spark unique collaborative research opportunities with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, while preparing biomedical PhDs for a changing career landscape.

UW expands effort to serve advanced computing needs in research

If you’re conducting quantitative research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, regardless of discipline, chances are there is a “next level” of discovery that could be unlocked through advanced computing.

Discovery program taps the real experts in hands-on science

Like any educational endeavor, hands-on science requires lots of trial and error, and good ideas may not always strike a chord with young imaginations. So how do you know when you’re on to something really good?

Mining the Mind: High-Throughput Computing and the Future of Brain Research

Looking back to his graduate student work a decade ago, UW-Madison neuroscientist Michael Koenigs says he couldn’t have foreseen how quickly — and completely — his field would be transformed by advanced computation.

National, shared software assurance facility, ‘SWAMP,’ launches

The Software Assurance Marketplace, or the “SWAMP,” has created a resource to address this growing need that will be publicly available and free to the community beginning today (Monday, Feb. 3).

UW-Madison student team takes on global health challenge in Hult Prize

A group of student entrepreneurs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will compete this spring in the international Hult Prize, in which college students attack global problems with sustainable business ideas.

A shift in stem cell research

A team of engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has created a process to improve the creation of synthetic neural stem cells for use in central nervous system research.

New advocacy group focuses on kick-starting UW business creation

A newly-launched advocacy group is aiming to increase the number and success rate of start-up ventures stemming from UW-Madison ideas, building on the renewed commitment in 2013 to campus innovation.

Ming Yuan: Novel hiring partnership lands a big data pioneer

To statistician Ming Yuan, the challenge of dealing with big data reminds him of the Indian fable “Blind Men and the Elephant,” in which six blind men touch one distinct part of an elephant — an ear, a tail, a trunk, a husk — and reach narrow conclusions about the nature of the animal.

New ethics consulting service to help UW scientists navigate gray areas

A new service will provide the University of Wisconsin-Madison research community with another checkpoint on ethical challenges that arise across the research spectrum, from study design to the implications of results.

National software security hub takes shape at Morgridge

The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research are home to what may become a transformative cyber-security resource called the Software Assurance Marketplace, or SWAMP. The team is developing an integrated network of assurance tools that provide a simple, one-stop resource for developers. The big advantage is saving open-source developers time and money, while creating more accurate assessments.

Miron Livny: Collaborative spirit supports Nobel Prize-winning science

In 1964, François Englert and Peter Higgs theorized the existence of a subatomic particle that gives all other particles mass. Nearly 50 years later in 2012, a global team of researchers found evidence that supports the existence of the Higgs boson particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Morgridge Institute taps biomedical innovator as chairman

The trustees of the Morgridge Institute for Research have named Fred Robertson as chairman, replacing Ernie Micek, whose term as chair has ended and who will remain on the board.

With heart cells, middle schoolers learn the hard lessons of science

via UW-Madison

The students are among a group of 12 in a Madison Metropolitan School District program called the Middle School Science Cohort, a program geared for students with a propensity for science and math. The setting is a teaching lab at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, most likely the only place in the country — if not the world — where adolescent learners conduct real science using the kinds of stem cells on the front lines of modern biology.

Morgridge Institute for Research welcomes new CEO

The Morgridge Institute for Research, a private, nonprofit biomedical research institute affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, announced today the appointment of Dr. Brad Schwartz as chief executive officer.

Scholars call for new ethical guidelines to direct research on social networking

The unique data collection capabilities of social networking and online gaming websites require new ethical guidance from federal regulators concerning online research involving adolescent subjects, an ethics scholar from the Morgridge Institute for Research and a computer and learning sciences expert from Tufts University argue in the journal .

National cybersecurity effort launched to strengthen software infrastructure

Scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have received a $23.6 million grant as part of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA 11-02) by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to address threats arising from the development process of software used in technology ranging from the national power grid to medical devices.

Morgridge Institute’s Velten named a top young inventor

Andreas Velten, an associate scientist with the Morgridge Institute for Research, has been recognized by MIT’s Technology Review as a TR35 honoree for 2012.

Collaborative computing, pioneered at UW-Madison, helped drive LHC analysis

When scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe announced the appearance of a new particle among the pieces of smashed protons, Miron Livny saw a huge scientific success.

Thomson lab lands $2.2 million NIH grant

With a $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, stem cell pioneer Dr. James Thomson, University of Wisconsin–Madison associate professor of biomedical engineering William Murphy and School of Medicine and Public Health medical informatics professor David Page will lead a team to derive and assemble the distinct cell types found in the human cerebral cortex.

Northern Wisconsin high schoolers learn with stem cells, UW researchers

Eighteen top science students from northern Wisconsin high schools have earned the opportunity to hone their laboratory skills and work alongside leading researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison at a summer science camp focused on stem cells.

Dahlberg named interim executive director of Morgridge Institute for Research

James Dahlberg, emeritus professor of biomolecular chemistry at UW–Madison, has been named interim executive director of the Morgridge Institute for Research by the board of trustees of the nonprofit biomedical research organization.

New round of federal funding received for $85 million medical isotope project

The Morgridge Institute for Research has received a $20.6 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration to support development of a new process and manufacturing plant for a medical isotope needed by tens of thousands of U.S. patients daily.

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery named 2012 Laboratory of the Year

The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, the innovative 330,000-square-foot public-private facility that opened just more than a year ago on the UW–Madison campus, has been named the 2012 Laboratory of the Year.

Discovery building marks first anniversary with Gold LEED

The innovative building, which houses two research institutes and a main floor designed to engage the public in science, is the first laboratory building in Wisconsin to achieve LEED Gold certification as established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Study reveals critical similarity between two types of do-it-all stem cells

In a study published today (Sept. 11), researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison report the first full measurement of the proteins made by both types of stem cells. In a study that looked at four embryonic stem cells and four IPS cells, the proteins turned out to be 99 percent similar, says Joshua Coon, an associate professor of chemistry and biomolecular chemistry who directed the project.

Chinese high schoolers to learn from stem cells

Eighteen students participating in the inaugural Global Wisconsin Idea Program — a unique pairing of American and Chinese teenagers — will join a Chinese university dean this week to learn more about the science of stem cells during a hands-on workshop hosted by the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Study shows patient’s own cells may hold therapeutic promise after reprogramming, gene correction

Scientists from the Morgridge Institute for Research, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of California and the WiCell Research Institute moved gene therapy one step closer to clinical reality by determining that the process of correcting a genetic defect does not substantially increase the number of potentially cancer-causing mutations in induced pluripotent stem cells.

Morgridge Institute for Research announces scientific leadership team, research areas

The Morgridge Institute for Research, the private side of the new interdisciplinary Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has finalized its inaugural team of top scientists selected to bring to life the institute’s mission of accelerating discovery to delivery to improve human health.

Wisconsin, Morgridge scientists excise vector, exotic genes from induced stem cells

A team of scientists from the Morgridge Institute for Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports that it has created induced human pluripotent stem (iPS) cells completely free of viral vectors and exotic genes.

Deep drilling begins for Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery geothermal system

Deep drilling begins this week to place 75 bore holes approximately 300 feet below the site of the future Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, marking another first for the interdisciplinary research building project.

Stem cell pioneer James Thomson to steer regenerative medicine at MIR

The Morgridge Institute for Research, the private, not-for-profit side of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, is announcing the appointment of world-renowned stem cell pioneer and researcher James Thomson as the first member of its multidisciplinary scientific leadership team.

Institutes will provide space for science, arts, community

Faculty, staff and graduate students are invited to give input on the design of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery during upcoming town hall meetings, planned for Oct. 1, 8 and 10.

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