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We asked you on twitter for your eclipse questions, and user @_dbza_ asked us, “Since availability of glasses is a problem, can I use the phone camera to record a video of the eclipse? Would that damage the sensor?” The abridged version of the answer is yes, you’re probably safe […]

The sun will damage your eyes, but what about your ...


A female Norwegian Atlantic salmon swims in a fish tank as part of a research study at the Water Science and Engineering Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on June 7, 2017.  (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)
According to a recently published study, invasive quagga mussels in Lake Michigan, paired with decreasing nutrient availability, could explain an observed decline in food chain productivity in Lake Michigan. Currently, Lake Michigan is in the midst of a decade-long decline in food chain productivity, or the lake’s ability to produce […]

Going hungry in Lake Michigan


A small 3D molecule, in blue, is fit into the desired site of a 3D model of a target protein. If the docking program can make this fit easily, this small molecule would receive a high docking score.
From anti-cancer to antibiotic, high throughput screening is a powerful method of drug discovery. Researchers identify a target protein and test tens if not hundreds of thousands of chemicals for their ability to inhibit its function in the lab setting. Then, they whittle the chemical pool to a handful of […]

The machines are learning to develop new targeted drug therapies



Perseid meteor shower 2
This guest post comes from Erika K. Carlson, a graduate student in the Department of Astronomy at UW–Madison studying how being in binary and multiple star systems affects the behavior and evolution of stars. She is passionate about sharing science and the Universe with others through outreach, teaching, and social […]

The Perseids are here: Why meteors matter


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On the walk into the Lakeshore Nature Preserve on the morning of Wednesday, July 25, to collect samples of bat poop, or guano, Kyle George, a lab worker with the United States Geological Survey, remarked on how much guano the bats produce. “It’s a lot more than you would expect,” […]

Bat poop and thirsty trees in campus preserve aids researchers


The Milky Way over the Southern African Large Telescope in the Southern Hemisphere, as seen on July 18, 2017. Photo by Jeff Miller, UW-Madison
Today (yesterday, as you read this) we departed Johannesburg, headed toward Madison by way of Atlanta. As I type this sentence, we are 7,371 miles away, six miles above the Earth, soon to be over ocean. Our South African journey culminated as it began, in the Cradle of Humankind, in pursuit of […]

Gifts and serendipity



The dome of the Southern African Large Telescope against a blue sky
Hello from Day 8! After several days of immersing ourselves in anthropology with UW Professor Travis Pickering, his undergraduate field school students and his South African collaborators, on Sunday, July 16, Justin, Jeff and I gathered our belongings, ate a quick breakfast at our hotel in Johannesburg, and headed to […]

From anthropology to astronomy, stories from the road in South ...


The Cradle of Humankind, in Guateng Province, South Africa. Photo by Kelly Yyrrell 4
A team of three from University Communications at UW–Madison – videographer Justin Bomberg, photographer Jeff Miller, and me, science writer Kelly April Tyrrell – have traveled 8,779 miles from Madison, Wisconsin to Johannesburg, South Africa in order help tell important UW-focused stories about origins: from the origins of life on Earth, […]

Adventures in South Africa to follow ‘origins’ stories


Duckweed and algae float near the water’s surface where Dorn Creek Marsh flows into the northern edge of Lake Mendota during summer on July 29, 2015. The aquatic plants and the lake's ecosystem health are frequently studied as part of ongoing research conducted by the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)
Clean water consistently ranks high as a public priority. Yet people often fail to see eye to eye about how government should improve and protect water quality. Some may assume these disagreements are driven by a desire to defend one’s own interests, but a new survey of more than 1,100 […]

In Dane County, views about water policies reflect beliefs about ...