Science/Nature

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.

The Great Peshtigo Fire

Scott Knickelbine, author of “The Great Peshtigo Fire: Stories and Science from America’s Deadliest Fire”, shares the history and relevance of the Great Peshtigo fire. The forestry and agriculture in Peshtigo, together with unusual environmental factors in 1817, come together to create this Wisconsin disaster.

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.

The Scientist and the Lindbergh Kidnapping

Adam Schrager, author of " The Sixteenth Rail: The Evidence, The Scientist, and the Lindbergh Kidnapping," tells the story of Arthur Koehler, a forensic scientist with the Wisconsin Forest Product’s Lab. Koehler helped to solve the mystery of the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s son by examining the ladder used to enter the home.

Building a Weather-Ready Nation

Louis Uccellini, Director, National Weather Service, explores the urgency of becoming a weather-ready nation in the wake of the 2012 Superstorm Sandy. Uccellini discusses ways to empower people from community managers and first responders to the general public to make fast, smart decisions in weather emergencies.

Where Will Neurotechnologies Take Us?

Clark Miller, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Arizona State University, and co-author of “Nanotechnology, the Brain and the Future,“ discusses medical advances in neurotechnology and its ability to ‘fix’ human flaws or to enhance human abilities. Miller points out pitfalls in current public policy.

Carrots and Vitamin A

Philipp Simon, Professor, Department of Horticulture, UW-Madison, explores the genetics and biochemistry that drive the culinary and nutritive factors in carrots and garlic. Simon discusses ways that terpenoids and sugars flavor and protect these two leading root crops.

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