A rusty-patched bumblebee on Culver’s root in the UW–Madison Arboretum. The Arboretum’s insecticide-free prairies, woodlands and gardens are a paradise for the rusty-patched and at least a dozen other bumblebee species. PHOTO: SUSAN DAY/UW-MADISON ARBORETUM
This winter may now feel a shade lonelier for a handful of bumble bee princesses tucked away underground in the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum, but they will probably wake up in the spring to a larger group of human admirers. This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared rusty-patched […]

Happy in the Arb, endangered in the world


Yellow origami bird on a string
Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, often are significantly delayed in expanding their vocabularies and other language skills compared to typically developing children. Yet, “we know very little about [language] processing in [children with ASD] or the mechanisms underlying it,” says Susan Ellis Weismer, a professor of communication sciences […]

Children with autism often have language delays but not for ...


A photomicrograph of Neisseria meningitidis//Photo: CDC
As UW–Madison undergraduate students prepare to take their finals and head home for winter break, public health officials are urging them to make plans to get their second dose of meningococcal disease B vaccine. Three students were hospitalized with the disease in October. At that time, few students ware vaccinated against it but, working […]

For complete immunity, UW students should get second dose of ...



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At the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters’ James Watrous Gallery, local artist Leslie Iwai’s exhibit, Daughter Cells, is on display now through January 22. Iwai’s work was largely inspired through a collaboration with UW Carbone Cancer Center professor Mark Burkard and his research on cell division. I sat down with Iwai and Burkard recently to […]

When science becomes art


Two cyclists on Madison's Capital City Loop, November 2016
This post comes courtesy of Jenny Seifert, science writer and outreach coordinator for the Water Sustainability and Climate Project at UW–Madison. A version of this story first appeared last month on WSC’s blog, Yahara in situ: Staying cool may not be a concern to Madisonians at this time of the year, […]

Biking, for science


A fall supermoon, which appears 14 percent bigger than normal, as seen from Madison, Wisconsin on November 14, 2016
The following is a guest post from resident supermoon skeptic, Jim Lattis, a science historian and director of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s astronomy outpost, Space Place who says that, despite the hype behind a recent slew of “supermoons”: “I encourage people to go out and take a look. It’s always good […]

Supermoon skeptic says the moon is still pretty great



A tree shines yellow near the UW–Madison Arboretum
The following comes from scifun.org, Learn About … The Chemistry of Autumn Colors: Every autumn across the Northern Hemisphere, the lengthening nights and falling temperatures induce trees to prepare for winter. In these preparations, they shed billions of tons of leaves. In certain regions, the shedding of leaves is preceded by […]

Why do leaves change color in the fall?


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In a September 8, 2016 article in the New York Times, President Obama called the trends in climate change “terrifying.” Today in Madison, it’s November 1 and the mercury is forecast to hover around 70 degrees. Nationwide, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a November of near-record warmth. […]

Explaining the ‘terrifying’ trends of climate change: Q&A with climate ...


Planetary nebula NGC 2818, a gaseous shroud of a dying, sun-like star in the southern constellation Pyxis.
Putting telescopes and astronomical instruments in space has long been a UW-Madison specialty. Since at least the early 1960s, when the late Wisconsin astronomer Arthur D. Code devised a cigar-box sized photometer for the X-15, the first rocket-powered plane to soar briefly in space, UW-Madison has been developing hardware – […]

Hubble and beyond