Wednesday Nite @ the Lab

A Brave New (Online) World: Emerging Technologies

Dietram Scheufele, Professor, Dept. of Life Sciences Communication, UW-Madison, explores the future of societal debates about controversial science in our current polarized environment. Scheufele discusses how to present information to an online world which includes misinformation and opinion presented as fact.

The Science of IceCube: Beyond Neutrinos

Paolo Desiati, Researcher, Wisconsin Particle Astrophysics Center, talks about ongoing research at IceCube. Located at the geographic South Pole, it’s the largest observatory devoted to the detection of neutrinos. Observation and research findings are providing connections to Particle Physics, Heliospheric Physics, Atmospheric Physics, Glaciology and Earth Science.

Conserving Tropical Orchids

Joe Meisel, Vice President, Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, discusses his work to conserve tropical orchids in Ecuador. Meisel explains the threats to the habitat, explores the locations where there is optimal orchid diversity.

The History and Science of Meat

Jeff Sindelar, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, UW-Madison, carves into the history of meat processing from ancient Roman times to present day, highlighting ways the industry developed in Wisconsin over the past 150 years.

Managing Your Lawn the Wisconsin Way

Doug Soldat, Associate Professor, Dept of Soil Science, UW-Madison, discusses how to grow a functional lawn while reducing the environmental impact. Soldat explains how to choose the best type of grass for your site and how to improve your soil. He also explores ways to help your lawn recover from the extreme heat and drought of 2012.

Issues in Genetic Engineering & Food

Tom Zinnen, Biotechnology Specialist, UW-Madison & UW-Extension, discusses how genetic engineering can create disease-resistant crops. Zinnen talks about citrus greening, a disease that is ravaging orange orchards around the world, and how genetic engineering is providing ways to control it, and genetically engineered Golden Rice, which by adding Vitamin A, can help to reduce cases of blindness.

Computer Simulation and Engineers

Dan Negrut, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UW-Madison, explores ways that computers are being used by mechanical engineers to understand the behavior of complex systems by using computer simulations.

Sinkholes

David Hart, hydrogeologist and geophysicist for the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, explores Wisconsin’s relatively small sinkholes; how they form, why they occur and how to deal with them.

Sustainability Via Synthetic Biology

Brain Pfleger, UW-Madison Associate Professor of Biological and Chemical Engineering investigates sustainable synthetic alternatives for petrochemicals. He touches on identifying, understanding and engineering chemical building blocks to convert organic compounds into a sustainable energy source.

Microbes and Diet, Digestion, and Disease

Greg Richards, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, UW-Parkside, discusses the countless ways microbes help us thrive and survive. Beneficial microorganisms ferment foods such as cheese and yogurt, help with the digestive system by synthesizing vitamins and helping with the absorption of nutrients, and aid our immune systems to fight off diseases.

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