Science/Nature

The Origin of Life

Paul Davies, Professor, Department of Physics, Arizona State University, looks at the causes of epidemics through the lens of mayflies and parasitic worms. In this ecological drama that takes place beneath in bubbling mountain streams, does the parasitic worm affect the relationship between mayflies and trout?

Prevalence Trends and Risk Factors for Autism

Maureen Durkin, Professor, Population Health Sciences & Pediatrics, UW-Madison, presents an update on trends in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder. Durkin looks at risk factors including pregnancy complications, parental age, birth order, gene mutations, socioeconomic status and comorbid disabilities.

The Search for Life on Other Planets

Margaret Turnbull, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison, joins University Place Presents host Norman Gilliland to discuss searching for signs of life, including intelligent civilizations, on planets orbiting nearby stars.

Children with Down Syndrome in Preschool Programs

Joan Ershler, Director, Waisman Early Childhood Program, UW-Madison, discusses strategies focusing on the needs of Down Syndrome children in early education programs. Ershler offers research based suggestions for meaningful inclusion and good teaching practices for young children.

Anticipation, Uncertainty, and Anxiety

Jack Nitschke, Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Psychology, UW-Madison, explores using brain imaging to better understand anxiety and how to treat it. Nitschke introduces the Uncertainty and Anticipation Model of Anxiety (UAMA), and presents data for a range of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

How Vitamin Research Uncovered Essential Minerals

Roger A. Sunde, Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, UW-Madison, explains that copper and zinc, essential elements, were discovered in food while using the bioassay approach (feeding studies with rats) while searching for vitamins. Both vitamins and trace essential minerals were present in levels so low as to evade detection by analytical means, and had to be teased out using bioassay.

Celestial Navigation in the South Pacific

James Campbell, Author and Journalist, joins University Place Presents host Norman Gilliland to discuss his adventure in a 56 foot long, traditional Hawaiian sailing canoe, using only the stars as a navigational tool. Campbell and a photographer sailed 2500 miles across the central Pacific with sailors from the island of Satawal.

The Animal Research Controversy

Harold Herzog, Professor, Department of Psychology, Western Carolina University, discusses the controversial use of animals in biomedical research. Herzog explores the pro and cons of this ethically and emotionally charged topic.

Orange Maize Provides Vitamin A

Sherry Tanumihardjo, Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, UW-Madison, discusses the advantages to eating Orange Maize. This variety of corn provides a significant amount of Vitamin A which, if it became a staple of their diet, could help to decrease the occurrence of blindness in the world’s poorest children.

Solar Astrophysics in the Lab

David Weisberg, Research Assistant, Department of Physics, UW-Madison, explores the unknown physics surrounding the center of our solar system, the sun. Research at the Madison Plasma Dynamo Experiment attempts to reproduce the basic mechanism of magnetic field generation theorized to occur in the sun.

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