First, but not last, algae bloom spells danger for Madison swimmers, fish

Steve Carpenter couldn’t believe the view from his second-floor office on the shoreline of Lake Mendota. As far as he could see, the still water looked just like teal-blue paint.

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In The New York Times: The very hungry caterpillars that turned to cannibalism

If you’re a hungry caterpillar and you’ve got a choice between eating a plant or another caterpillar, which do you chose? You pick your fellow caterpillar, scientists have found — if the plant is noxious enough.

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In Popular Science: How scientists modeled a deadly tornado with an insanely powerful computer

Supercell thunderstorms are giant tempests with powerful rotating updrafts at their cores—and one out of every four or five spawn tornadoes. Most of these twisters are little, but some can grow fierce. To predict the rare killers, and thus give more targeted warnings, meteorologists need to better understand how tornadoes form. 

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Plants under attack can turn hungry caterpillars into cannibals

When does a (typically) vegetarian caterpillar become a cannibalistic caterpillar, even when there is still plenty of plant left to eat? When the tomato plant it’s feeding on makes cannibalism the best option

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Model organisms: Peculiar creatures, big discoveries

Many simple, surprising and even scary creatures have served as models for unraveling disease, unlocking mysteries and understanding evolution. From axolotls to zebrafish, this story explores some of science’s classic models, others more unusual, but all with potential for increasing our understanding of biology to improve human health.

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In Newsweek: Tomatoes can turn plant-eaters into cannibals, study shows

Plants are often seen as taking a passive role in their environments, just hanging out and soaking up the sunlight. But that impression is wrong—plants have many sophisticated ways of influencing their environment, and other plants and animals in it. And this includes leading herbivores down the garden path to cannibalism.

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In The Wisconsin State Journal: UW software aims to find and fix biased computer programs

UW-Madison researchers are trying to root out race bias and other unfairness that has surfaced in computer programs used increasingly by private companies and government offices to decide if you are hired, approved for a bank loan or sent to prison.

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UW-Madison researchers tackle bias in algorithms

Making algorithms more fair—and the outcomes that they reach more transparent—has become an urgent topic in the last few years.  University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty in the Department of Computer Sciences are at the forefront of this critical issue.

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In On Wisconsin Magazine: In search of the Lao Unicorn

Bill Robichaud (B.S.’83, Zoology) has devoted his career to saving the saola, a recently discovered mammal that may go extinct before scientists can even study it.

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