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Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

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A black-tailed rattlesnake is seen in Arizona. Different species of snakes kept the genes for different types of toxins and shed others, new research shows.
A black-tailed rattlesnake is seen in Arizona. Different species of snakes kept the genes for different types of toxins and shed others, new research shows. SHARON AND DANNY BROWER

How rattlesnakes got, and lost, their venom

Monday, September 26th, 2016

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Wax to seal silage bunks? – Audio

Friday, September 30th, 2016

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How rattlesnakes got, and lost, their venom

Millions of years ago, as the snake family tree grew new branches, the ancestor of modern rattlesnakes was endowed with a genetic arsenal of toxic weaponry, including genes for toxins that poison the blood, toxins that damage muscle and toxins that affect the nervous system, a research team headed by Sean B. Carroll at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has learned. But in a relatively short period of evolutionary time, as that limb branched further, rattlesnakes like the Eastern and Western Diamondback of North America shed their neurotoxin genes altogether, keeping instead those for toxins that damage the muscles and blood vessels of their prey. Meanwhile, the Mojave rattlesnake retained the neurotoxin and lost certain other genes. Their study was published Sept. 15 in the journal Current Biology. [caption id="attachment_20560" align="alignright" width="300"] An Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake in a defensive posture ready to strike with its rattle next to its head. Photo: iStock © Anthony Wilson[/caption] “We were mining the DNA record for information about how evolution works,” says Carroll, professor of molecular biology and genetics at UW–Madison and vice president for science education at ...
Friday, September 16th, 2016
-20160916
basic-science
10
How rattlesnakes got, and lost, their venom

UW spinoff helps boost new crop in cranberry country

[caption id="attachment_20495" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Adam Nemitz (center) and Christian Krueger discuss the aronia crop during a field visit to the JR Nemitz Cranberry Co. near Warrens, Wisconsin, in August. Photo: Bryce Richter[/caption] The overcast sky is clearing as a wave of moderate thunderstorms moves off to the east. On rolling, sandy terrain northeast of Tomah, in the heart of cranberry country, rows of short shrubs called aronia have reached two feet in height. Although Adam Nemitz, who planted the bushes two years ago, says they are “in their infancy,” the more vigorous bushes have already started to bear aronia fruits – clusters of blue-black berries with a passing resemblance to large blueberries. When the bushes reach eight feet in height, each can bear about 20 pounds of a fruit that is sometimes touted, in this nutrition-conscious era, as the “next superfruit.” The optimist would hope we are looking at Wisconsin’s next specialty crop; but the realist would see a 20-acre experiment with an uncertain future. Nemitz is an optimist – both his family and that of his wife, Sandy, have been growing cranberries ...
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
-20160831
food-systems
10
UW spinoff helps boost new crop in cranberry country
Health and Wellness

Resources on lead in home garden soil available in English and Spanish

A set of resources is available to help homeowners assess the safety of their home garden soil, particularly soil near older homes. The trio of documents, available in both English and Spanish, provides information about lead in home garden soil, how to take soil samples for analysis, and how to minimize potential lead exposure. Depending on the risk level, suggested interventions include thoroughly washing produce, selecting lower-risk vegetable varieties, adding soil amendments, building raised garden beds and relocating the garden site. The documents are available through the UW-Extension Learning Store at the links listed below. They can be downloaded and shared for free. They are also available as printed booklets for a nominal fee. Resources in English: Lead in Home Garden Soil: http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Lead-in-Home-Garden-Soil-P1774.aspx Reducing exposure to lead in your garden soil: http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Reducing-Exposure-to-Lead-in-Your-Garden-Soil-P1773.aspx Sampling Lawn and Garden Soils for Analysis: http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Sampling-Lawn-and-Garden-Soils-for-Analysis-P370.aspx Resources in Spanish: El plomo en la tierra de huertas domesticas: http://learningstore.uwex.edu/El-plomo-en-la-tierra-de-huertas-dom%C3%A9sticas-P1809.aspx Reducción de exposición al plomo en la tierra de su huerta: http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Reducci%C3%B3n-de-la-exposici%C3%B3n-al-plomo-en-la-tierra-de-su-huerta-P1808.aspx Cómo obtener muestras de tierra de céspedes y huertas para análisis: http://learningstore.uwex.edu/C%C3%B3mo-obtener-muestras-de-tierra-de-c%C3%A9spedes-y-huertas-para-an%C3%A1lisis-P1807.aspx   Recursos en español e inglés sobre el plomo en la tierra Una serie de recursos está disponible para ayudar los jardineros ...
Thursday, September 29th, 2016
-20160929
health-wellness
10
Resources on lead in home garden soil available in English and Spanish
Food Systems

You say potato, I say potential! Research station connects growers, researchers and industry leaders

The Hancock Agricultural Research Station, a 412-acre vegetable research farm founded in 1916 in central Wisconsin, links farmers from across the state and UW-Madison researchers. Growers, scientists and industry members collaborate at the station to determine how to best use the land and produce the best crops possible. Video produced by Craig Wild of UW-Madison University Communications. For more information, contact Felix Navarro, Superintendent, Hancock Research Station at felix.navarro@wisc.edu or (715) 498-8271. https://youtu.be/k7SHr9O1eSQ
Friday, September 23rd, 2016
-20160923
food-systems
10
You say potato, I say potential! Research station connects growers, researchers and industry leaders
CALS in the Media

Rattlesnake Ancestor Was Venom Factory

Yahoo! News UK
-20160923
cals-in-the-media
10
Rattlesnake Ancestor Was Venom Factory

Bacteriology professor Jade Wang named HHMI Faculty Scholar

[caption id="attachment_20581" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Jue “Jade” Wang (right), associate professor of bacteriology, works with student Christina Johnson in Wang’s lab in the Microbial Sciences Building. Wang is the recipient of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar award. Photo: Bryce Richter[/caption] Jue “Jade” Wang, an associate professor of bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Faculty Scholar. The recognition comes with research funding for Wang and her laboratory each year for the next five years, as well as support for the institution in order to help cover the administrative costs associated with her work. “We’re very happy that she’s gotten this award,” says Rick Gourse, professor of bacteriology and a colleague of Wang’s in the bacteriology department. The Faculty Scholars Program, created through a partnership between HHMI, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Simons Foundation, is intended to boost the work of promising early-career scientists who have already demonstrated excellence in their fields. Wang is one of 84 Faculty Scholars recognized at 43 institutions across the U.S, according to HHMI. This is the first time ...
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
-20160922
uncategorized
10
Bacteriology professor Jade Wang named HHMI Faculty Scholar

UW-Madison CALS alumna Denise Retzleff: Guiding the youth movement

Positivity. It’s a quality many of us strive to exhibit. But Denise Retzleff is one of the few to radiate it on an almost daily basis. In her role as 4-H Youth Development Educator in Fond du Lac County, Retzleff works to create a positive environment for children in the hopes of harnessing their potential so they can ultimately serve their communities. “It’s exhilarating to see young people taking on challenges,” says Retzleff. “I see a lot of growth in self-confidence. There’s so much energy and enthusiasm that young people bring, and I get to be part of that energy.” Growing up on a dairy farm in southern Fond du Lac County, Retzleff had no choice but to get involved in day-to-day chores. And that work ethic led her to UW–Madison, where she received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and a master’s degree in continuing and vocational education from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. “It was a great learning environment,” she says. “Very collegial — I felt very supported by faculty and challenged as a student.” After graduating, Retzleff taught agricultural ...
Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
-20160921
uncategorized
10
UW-Madison CALS alumna Denise Retzleff: Guiding the youth movement