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UW In The News

  • How the Great Depression shaped people’s DNA

    Nature | November 22, 2022

    The work, published on 8 November in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1, adds to a cache of studies indicating that exposure to hardship such as stress and starvation during the earliest stages of development can shape human health for decades. The findings highlight how social programmes designed to help pregnant people could be a tool for fighting health disparities in children, says co-author Lauren Schmitz, an economist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

  • RSV surge raises questions about repeat cases: Can you or child get it again?

    Fox News | November 21, 2022

    But these patients only account for a third of hospitalizations, said Dr. James H. Conway, pediatric infectious disease physician and medical director of the immunization program at UW Health Kids in Madison, Wisconsin.”About two-thirds of the kids who get admitted with RSV are actually healthy, normal kids,” said Conway, who’s also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

  • Fact-checking 19 claims from Trump’s speech announcing his 2024 run

    The Washington Post | November 17, 2022

    Trump is exaggerating how many people illegally cross the border. Moreover, most independent research contradicts the idea that illegal immigrants bring more crime. A 2018 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Criminology, led by Michael Light, a criminologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, examined whether places with higher percentages of undocumented immigrants have higher rates of violent crime such as murder or rape. The answer: States with larger shares of undocumented immigrants tended to have lower crime rates than states with smaller shares in the years 1990 through 2014.

  • FTX’s Bankruptcy Will Take Lawyers Down a Crypto Rabbit Hole

    MarketWatch | November 17, 2022

    “The value of crypto assets varies so much, day to day,” says University of Wisconsin law professor Megan McDermott. “How you value them—and at what point in time—will really affect what customers and creditors can recover.”

  • Tyson Says Its Nurses Help Workers. Critics Charge They Stymie OSHA.

    Civil Eats | November 17, 2022

    Alexia Kulwiec, associate professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, teaches labor and employment law and is an expert in national labor policy and workers’ compensation. She said of the on-site health clinics at Tyson, “Their whole goal is not to find serious health problems and to keep costs down. . . .  It is really circumventing the whole purpose of worker’s compensation to start with.”

  • Fact check: False claim that John Fetterman’s lawsuit is proof of cheating in Pennsylvania election

    USA Today | November 16, 2022

    Barry Burden, an American politics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, agreed. “It is not ’cheating and stealing’ but rather a request to reverse the Supreme Court decision on the grounds that it violates federal civil rights law,” Burden said in an email to USA TODAY.

  • Rising food costs take a bite out of Thanksgiving dinner

    Washington Post | November 16, 2022

    The good news? Not every item on holiday shopping lists is significantly more expensive. Cranberries had a good harvest and prices were up less than 5% between the end of September and the beginning of November, said Paul Mitchell, an agricultural economist and professor at the University of Wisconsin. Green beans cost just 2 cents more per pound in the second week of November, according to the USDA.

  • How the global donkey skin trade risks spreading deadly diseases

    National Geographic | November 15, 2022

    “The report draws attention to a form of international trade and movement that most people don’t know about,” says Tony Goldberg, an epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was not involved in the research. “It’s becoming increasingly apparent that globalization is not only a problem for human diseases but also animal diseases.”

  • Brains of Black Americans age faster, study finds

    STAT | November 15, 2022

    “It’s an exemplar,” said Andrea Gilmore-Bykovskyi, an Alzheimer’s researcher and associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Wisconsin who was not involved with the study. “These are populations we need to be studying.”

  • Why you shouldn’t ‘set and forget’ your retirement accounts

    MarketWatch | November 15, 2022

    “I think there’s a fair bit of lack of knowledge around required minimum distributions and retirement account rollovers, both of which contribute to our measured abandonment,” Anita Mukherjee, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Business and co-author of the paper, wrote in an email.

  • Republicans tout benefits of fossil fuels at climate talks

    AP | November 14, 2022

    Andrea Dutton, a professor of geoscience and MacArthur Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that’s not possible.“Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases that are causing temperatures to rise rapidly, and this is the major contributor to the global warming we are experiencing,” she said in an email. “This is not a matter of belief but rather a matter of scientific evidence.”

  • From Ian to Nicole: The Five Worst Hurricanes of 2022 So Far, Ranked

    Newsweek | November 14, 2022

    “The season is not yet over, which means 2 things: 1) there might yet be additional damaging storms (see Hurricane Nicole right now!) and 2) it takes time for the full economic and noneconomic losses for big storms to become apparent,” Daniel B. Wright, a civil and environmental engineer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Hydroclimate Extremes Research Group, told Newsweek in written comments.

  • Wisconsin Democrats Appear to Have Prevented a GOP Supermajority in State Legislature

    Wall Street Journal | November 11, 2022

    The Wisconsin legislature has been controlled by Republicans for several election cycles, after they were able to redraw legislative maps that put them firmly in control of legislative districts, even though Democrats tend to hold their own in statewide races, said Michael W. Wagner, a professor in the University of Wisconsin Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

  • A Day in the Life Used to Be 17 Hours

    Eos | November 10, 2022

    To determine the distance of the Moon, scientists studied rhythmic patterns in Earth’s orbit and axis called Milankovitch cycles, explained Margriet Lantink, a geologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and lead author of the new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

  • Midterm elections 2022: 3 factors driving the return of ticket-splitting 

    Vox | November 9, 2022

    “It reached its height in the mid to late ’80s, especially at the federal level, [with] people voting [differently] for president and Congress,” Barry C. Burden, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Vox. But as political polarization, the decline of local news, and the nationalization of local politics have increased in the past two decades, split-ticket voting has been dying a slow death.

    “Very few states [have] senators of different parties, and they’re even elected in different years,” Burden, who co-wrote a book on this history, said. “Even the number of split Senate delegations, where senators are from different parties, is now at a relative low.”

  • Video shows Wisconsin poll worker, not ‘cheating’ in Philly

    AP | November 9, 2022

    Barry Burden, a University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor and the director of the Elections Research Project, agreed that the video showed standard procedures for poll workers in Madison.

  • U.S. democracy slides toward ‘competitive authoritarianism’

    The Washington Post | November 8, 2022

    Seeing all this, Democrats, including President Biden, have made desperate appeals to voters to take to the electoral ramparts and protect the nation’s democracy. But these entreaties may prove insufficient, suggested Mark Copelovitch, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, at a time when Republican messaging about gas prices and economic pressures have consumed the conversation. “There’s an ‘in your face’ aspect to this that is much more tangible than ‘democracy is about to collapse’ or ‘Wisconsin’s electoral and legislative institutions no longer meet basic criteria of democracy,’” he wrote to me in an email.

  • How the Traditions of Childhood Get Passed Down

    The Atlantic | November 8, 2022

    If you ask a kid where a particular game or rhyme came from, they’ll likely tell you they invented it, Rebekah Willett, a professor at the Information School at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who has studied childlore, told me: “They cannot trace it, and they have no investment in tracing it.”

  • Ghostly Neutrino Particles Provide a Peek at Heart of Nearby Galaxy

    Wall Street Journal | November 4, 2022

    Dr. Taboada said he thinks IceCube will continue to get more neutrinos originating from this galaxy. Those future detections could not only help parse out additional details about Messier 77’s supermassive black hole, but could help answer the “oldest question in astronomy,” according to Francis Halzen, a University of Wisconsin-Madison physicist and principal investigator of IceCube.

  • Spiral galaxy is source of far-flung neutrinos

    Popular Science | November 4, 2022

    “We discovered neutrinos reaching us from the cosmos in 2013,” says Francis Halzen, a physicist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and part of the IceCube collaboration who authored the paper, “which raised the question of where they originate.”

  • Tiny neutrinos deliver message from a hidden supermassive black hole

    Axios | November 4, 2022

    “A pattern emerged but we weren’t sure whether we were seeing fluctuations in the data or if this was real,” says Francis Halzen, principal investigator of IceCube and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Underground Antarctic Observatory Unlocks New Era of Ghost Particle Astronomy

    CNET | November 4, 2022

    These ghosts, as Justin Vandenbroucke of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an IceCube team member put it, are fit to solve two major mysteries in astronomy. First off, a wealth of galaxies in our universe boast gravitationally monstrous voids at their centers, black holes reaching masses millions to billions of times greater than our sun’s. And these black holes, when active, blast jets of light from their guts — emitting enough illumination to outshine every single star in the galaxy itself. “We don’t understand how that happens,” Vandenbrouke simply summarizes.

  • When destitute small towns mean dangerous tap water

    AP | November 4, 2022

    “Mostly what regulators have is moral appeal and they’ll wag their finger,” said Manny Teodoro, a professor at the University of Wisconsin who focuses on public policy and water.

  • Whatever happened to the common cold vaccine?

    Popular Science | November 3, 2022

    “Considering there are more than 100 types of A and B rhinoviruses,” notes Yury Bochkov, a respiratory virus specialist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, “you would have to put all 100 types in one vial of vaccine in order to enable protection” against just A and B rhinoviruses. Add in all the C rhinovirus types (more than 50), then cram in RSV’s virus types (more than 40), and that same vaccine would have to be packed with more than 200 strains. Even then, it would only offer protection against about two-thirds of all common colds. “That was considered the major obstacle in development of those vaccines,” Bochkov says.

  • Save Countless Human Lives. Vaccinate Birds.

    Rolling Stone | November 3, 2022

    The trick is to develop a bird vaccine that works for a long time even as the virus mutates. Adel Talaat, a professor of pathobiological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is developing a so-called “nanovaccine” that blends tiny particles of several different bird flu strains.

  • FDA panel asks for improvements in pulse oximeters

    STAT | November 2, 2022

    “The sample size seems concerningly small for devices that affect the health of millions of patients,” said David Sterken, a hospitalist at the University of Wisconsin who spoke before the panel, which met virtually for eight hours.

  • Fox Host Larry Kudlow Keeps Shamelessly Promoting His Own MAGA ‘White House in Waiting’

    The Daily Beast | November 1, 2022

    However, Kathleen Culver, director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that while “this would clearly be a conflict of interest for a business or financial reporter, I doubt Kudlow’s audience views him as that and I don’t recall his laying claim to being a journalist.” She added that Kudlow is clearly a “commentator and is being transparent with his audience about an entanglement that could be seen as a conflict.”

  • What happens if a ballot is damaged or improperly marked?

    The Washington Post | October 31, 2022

    In many cases, it’s done by bipartisan teams of poll workers, said Barry Burden, a political science professor and director of the Elections Research Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison. That’s not the case everywhere, though it’s common that it’s performed by at least two people — even two staff members — said Jennifer Morrell, a partner at The Elections Group, which works with election officials to improve processes.

  • Here’s How You Would Die on Each Planet of the Solar System

    Newsweek | October 31, 2022

    As an added bonus, humans would also die on all the moons of the Solar System. Betül Kaçar, a professor and lead scientist at the NASA Center for Early Life and Evolution at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, told Newsweek that, aside from not being able to breathe, people could experience being “bathed in irradiation as you pass through Jupiter’s magnetic field lines” on Europa, being “flash-frozen in a lake of methane and ethane” on Titan, or being “blasted out into space in an icy geyser” on Enceladus.

  • The flaw in ranked-choice voting: rewarding extremists

    The Hill | October 31, 2022

    When there are more than two candidates, it is not just about counting votes accurately. How you determine a winner from the tallied votes matters too. Given our current polarized political environment, Alaska and the other states that have adopted ranked-choice voting are doing it wrong.

    -Nathan Atkinson is an assistant professor at University of Wisconsin Law School. Scott C. Ganz is an associate teaching professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and a research fellow in economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

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