2016: CALS year in review

The end of the year is a great time to look back and reflect on the accomplishments of the CALS community. Here are some of the stories that made 2016 a memorable year for the college: Kemp station celebrated grand …

Designer switches of cell fate could streamline stem cell biology

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have developed a novel strategy to reprogram cells from one type to another in a more efficient and less biased manner than previous methods. The ability to convert cells from one type to another …

The promise and peril of CRISPR: Q&A with Dietram Scheufele

Dietram Scheufele, a CALS professor of life sciences communication, serves on a national panel examining the implications of human genome editing. The committee, appointed late last year by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, is examining the clinical, …

UW–Madison researchers study plant aging, gain insights into crop yields

New insights into the mechanism behind how plants age may help scientists better understand crop yields, nutrient allocation, and even the timing and duration of fall leaf color. In a new paper published Nov. 22 in the journal eLife, the …

A vision for genes: One-of-a-kind geneticist snags Ph.D.

When you ask questions about Drew Hasley, the answers often revolve, paradoxically enough, around questions. He was selected for his first biology research job at Albion College in Michigan by a professor who was impressed by the difficulty of his …

Farm & Industry Short Course evolves to serve Wisconsin farmers

Mason Spencer grew up in Beaver Dam, Wis., with no thought of going into farming. But an experience as a milker for a small-scale dairy sparked his passion for agriculture. Spencer wanted to learn more about the agriculture industry without …

Buckthorn Baggie kills invasive trees without chemicals

Every startup should have an origin story. Apple and its essential garage. The Wright brothers: two bicycle mechanics who invented one incredible flying machine. The genesis of the nontoxic Buckthorn Baggie starts with trees that refused to die. The common …

Yeast knockouts peel back secrets of cell protein function

Proteins are the hammers and tongs of life, with fundamental roles in most of what happens in biology. But biologists still don’t know what thousands of proteins do, and how their presence or absence affects the cell. The intellectual black …

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 …