Quick Takes

Six hundred million collisions per second is cause for celebration by UW scientists playing central roles in a massive experiment to solve the biggest mysteries in physics. The Large Hadron Collider, featured in the Fall 2008 issue of On Wisconsin, is up and running three hundred feet below the French-Swiss border, allowing a broad range of experiments to begin.

UW leads the Big Ten — at number fourteen — in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranking of the best values among public universities. The magazine reviews data from more than five hundred public four-year colleges and universities and bases rankings on academic measures, including graduation rates and costs.

Erin Conrad ’09 is the UW’s first Marshall Scholar in ten years, winning the chance to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics of health at University College London. Conrad, who plans to combine a medical degree with her policy training to become a medical ethicist, is one of thirty-five talented American students selected for the honor.

Badger Yearbook staffers roundly rejected the idea of producing a digital edition for their 125th anniversary. Instead, they’ll produce a familiar cardinal-and-white hard copy that students can hold in their hands, with a theme based on the centennial of the UW’s fight song, “On, Wisconsin!”

The work of UW flu researcher Yoshi Kawaoka may speed the delivery of influenza vaccines in the future. FluGen, a Madison-based start-up, is using Kawaoka’s research to develop a new method for producing vaccines. Traditional production relies on chicken eggs and is time-consuming — one reason for H1N1 vaccine shortages in 2009. FluGen’s process uses hamster cells, and proponents say cell- culture production will be faster than egg-based production.

A PBS science program airing in January featured UW research into happiness. A three-episode series titled This Emotional Life included the work of psychology professor Seth Pollack (on childhood experience and brain development) and psychology and psychiatry professor Richard Davidson (on the neurology of happiness).

Bratwurst is a part of Wisconsin culture (especially at football tailgating parties), and now the UW is doing its part to make Wisconsin brats better. This spring, the university is developing a master meat-crafter training program as part of a state-sponsored specialty meat development center. The program will teach people to make artisanal sausage and cured meats. Yum.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture selected the UW’s Institute for Research on Poverty to host a Center for National Food and Nutrition Assistance Research.

Published in the Spring 2010 issue

Tags: Health and medicine, Research, Science

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