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Google Glass goes to class

Monday, November 17th, 2014

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cardinal-1

Climate change alters the cast of winter birds

Over the past two decades, the resident communities of birds that attend eastern North America’s backyard bird feeders in winter have quietly been remade, most likely as a result of a warming climate. [caption id="attachment_16571" align="alignleft" width="319"] A mix of birds gather around a snow-covered bird feeder during a winter day. According to UW researchers, birds typically found in more southerly regions are gradually pushing north — a likely result of climate change. Photo: Martha Allen/Cornell Lab of Ornithology[/caption] Writing this week in the journal Global Change Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison wildlife biologists Benjamin Zuckerberg andKarine Princé document that once rare wintering bird species are now commonplace in the American Northeast. Using more than two decades of data on 38 species of birds gathered by thousands of “citizen scientists” through the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch, the Wisconsin researchers show that birds typically found in more southerly regions are gradually pushing north, restructuring the communities of birds that spend their winters in northern latitudes. [caption id="attachment_16570" align="alignleft" width="250"] Carolina wrens, which have greatly expanded their wintering range, sit atop a snowman’s head. Photo: ...
Thursday, October 16th, 2014
-20141016
changing-climate
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Climate change alters the cast of winter birds
CALS in the Media

Strangers in your backyard? Thank climate change

Audubon magazine
-20141116
cals-in-the-media
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Strangers in your backyard? Thank climate change
CALS in the Media

What’s the buzz? Midwest farmers offered federal aid to support bees

Wisconsin State Journal
-20141101
cals-in-the-media
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What’s the buzz? Midwest farmers offered federal aid to support bees

UW to close Madison Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory and consolidate services at Marshfield

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison plans to close its Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory on the west side of Madison and consolidate services at the Soil and Forage Analysis Laboratory located in Marshfield. That consolidation will happen gradually over the next year and is expected to be completed by November 2015, says Richard Straub, CALS senior associate dean. The Madison lab will continue to process samples in the near term. Meanwhile, the college will develop a plan for receiving samples in the Madison area and transporting them to the Marshfield lab in a way that allows for timely processing. “This decision is strictly a financial one,” says Straub. “It was difficult, but by consolidating testing efforts at the Marshfield facility we will be able to remain competitive.” The Madison Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory was established in 1913. The Marshfield Soil and Forage Analysis Lab was established in 1959. The labs provide analysis for soil, plants, forage, and manure. The Marshfield lab also fulfills a state mandate to certify the accuracy of the private sector laboratories ...
Friday, October 31st, 2014
-20141031
uncategorized
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UW to close Madison Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory and consolidate services at Marshfield
Food Systems

Two CALS research teams win WARF Innovation Awards

[caption id="attachment_43236" align="alignleft" width="322"] Aurelie Rakotondrafara (R) and collaborator Jincan Zhang.[/caption] A discovery that could transform drug production and a fresh strategy for feeding a hungry world have claimed top honors from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. One of the winning teams is led by Aurelie Rakotondrafara, the other by Richard Vierstra. This year’s prizewinners included a special genetic sequence that could enable researchers to produce multiple proteins from a single strand of mRNA. The sequence, a type of internal ribosome entry site (IRES), was discovered in a wheat virus by UW–Madison plant pathologist Aurelie Rakotondrafara and collaborator Jincan Zhang. “The new IRES is the first of its kind that can be exploited in plant systems, with far reaching implications,” says Rakotondrafara. “The power to express multiple genes at once could lead to better biofuel crops and new drugs.” The researchers found the special sequence in the Triticum mosaic virus, which can express its protein at a higher efficiency from its single mRNA strand. Their discovery could change how biopharmaceuticals are made, like the antibody cocktail produced in tobacco plants currently being used to treat Ebola victims. A ...
Monday, October 27th, 2014
-20141027
food-systems
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Two CALS research teams win WARF Innovation Awards
Changing Climate

When the isthmus is an island: Madison’s hottest, and coldest, spots

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"] Chilly winters may temporarily mask its effect, but the downtown Madison isthmus creates an urban heat island. According to a new study, the city’s infrastructure leads to higher temperatures than its nonurban surroundings. Photo: Jeff Miller.[/caption] As Dane County begins the long slide into winter and the days become frostier this fall, three spots stake their claim as the chilliest in the area. One is a cornfield in a broad valley and two are wetlands. In contrast, the isthmus makes an island — an urban heat island. In a new study published this month in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers highlight the urban heat island effect in Madison: The city’s concentrated asphalt, brick and concrete lead to higher temperatures than its nonurban surroundings. After collecting and analyzing more than two years of temperature and humidity data from a network of 151 sensors throughout the Madison region, they have found some of the area’s hottest, and coldest, spots. The study was aimed at helping the Madison region plan for the future, to think about the impacts ...
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
-20141023
changing-climate
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When the isthmus is an island: Madison’s hottest, and coldest, spots