Improved understanding of early spinal cord development paves the way for new treatments

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are developing the means to turn stem cells into a wide range of specific types of spinal cord neurons and cells in the hindbrain — the critical nexus between the spinal cord and the brain — paving the way for improved prevention and treatment of spinal cord disease.

Label-free Imaging, Plus Data Science, Means Better Quality Control for Biomanufacturing Stem Cells

Krishanu Saha and Melissa Skala have devised an innovative method for reprogramming cells that leverages micropatterning, label-free imaging and machine learning to enable real-time, noninvasive monitoring of reprogramming. This method can be used to develop cutting-edge personalized therapies and disease models.

Finding Associations Between Colors and Concepts

While looking at a graph about fruit, it may seem intuitive to associate a bar of blue to blueberries and yellow to bananas, but are there connections between color and abstract concepts such as driving, comfort, efficiency, or reliability?   Understanding how people absorb meaning from visual features, and predicting the meaning they attribute to color in any context is filled with possibility.

Claudia Solís-Lemus receives NSF CAREER Award

Claudia Solís-Lemus’ has been awarded a coveted five-year research grant from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. Solís-Lemus’ NSF grant will support her research, which combines statistical theory and biology to help understand  how the biodiversity that we see on Earth evolved from single-cell organisms. 

Science Explains Why We Have Favorite Colors

Through a series of lab studies between 2010 and 2017, Karen Schloss, PhD and her collaborator, Stephen Palmer PhD, a researcher at UC Berkeley, set out to find out why we like certain colors more than others.
They hypothesized the Ecological Valence Theory (EVT), which they describe in their 2017 paper as the theory that “…people like/dislike a given color to the degree that they like/dislike all of the objects and entities that they associate with that color.”

Bacterial “zorbing” reveals a new type of social movement

While studying the three-member model microbial community, nicknamed The Hitchhikers of the Rhizosphere (THOR), researchers from professor of plant pathology and director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery Jo Handelsman and professor of biomedical engineering and Discovery Fellow David Beebe’s labs noticed cells moving in unexpected, unique ways under the microscope.

Researchers use virtual reality to demonstrate effectiveness of 3D visualization as a learning tool

Researchers from the Neuroimaging Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and Dr. Karen Schloss from Wisconsin Institute for the Discovery at University Wisconsin-Madison have developed the UW Virtual Brain Project, producing unique, interactive, 3D narrated diagrams to help students learn about the structure and function of perceptual systems in the human brain.

Molecular Puzzles in 3D: Understanding a Mechanism for Methylation

A new publication from the Xuehua Zhong’s group at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the genetics department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison clarifies an important epigenetic mechanism in plants that will help researchers better understand the epigenomes of both plants and animals.

New Effective and Safe Antifungal Isolated from Sea Squirt Microbiome

By combing the ocean for antimicrobials, scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have discovered a new antifungal compound that efficiently targets multi-drug-resistant strains of deadly fungi without toxic side effects in mice. WID postdoc Marc Chevrette is part of the team that published the finding in Science.