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Tag Index  /  Showing 1 - 3 of 3 results for “University of Wisconsin”

Manufacturing

Programming Trees to Self-Destruct Could Save Energy

Mother Earth could benefit from the degradation of, oddly enough, one of her own, as scientists search for ways to deteriorate trees in order to improve industrial processes. New research shows that by weakening the walls of plant cells we can render them more susceptible to deconstruction during industrial processing, making procedures like pulping, paper-making, and biofuel production less wasteful and more energy efficient. To degrade plant structures, researchers redesigned the polymer that fortifies plant cell walls, lignin, using high heat and alkaline treatments to weaken bonds between molecules.   More

Bio & Life Sciences

DNA Diagnosis Works, But It’s Not Likely to Cure You Soon

At a recent scientific meeting for researchers working with DNA sequencing tools, Joe DeRisi from the University of California, San Francisco, gave a riveting presentation about the medical case of a young boy with acute encephalitis. The talk offered a glimpse into the tremendous clinical potential for DNA sequencing—and simultaneously highlighted just how far this technology still is from the mainstream. DeRisi is known for a major coup in 2003 when he led the first American team to identify SARS. At the time, the coronavirus was still an unknown terror sweeping across Asia. His lab focuses on identifying pathogens, which is how DeRisi got involved in the case of the young boy with encephalitis.   More

Bio & Life Sciences

How Graphene Could Transform DNA Sequencing and Cancer Research

In 2004, two UK scientists used a piece of Scotch tape to isolate single layers of graphene from a block of graphite, or pencil lead. Ever since, physicists and materials scientists have been trying to take advantage of the nanomaterial’s unique properties to use it in the construction of transistors, capacitors, and solar cells. The UK researchers, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work, which extended well beyond the tape trick of course. In recent years, graphene has come to the attention of biomedical researchers, who think its malleability makes it ideal for biological applications, ranging from disinfecting hospitals to detecting tumors to delivering drugs to sequencing DNA.   More