Spiders and scorpions have co-opted leg genes to build their heads

New research shows that the common house spider and its arachnid relatives have dispensed with a gene involved in creating segmented heads, instead recycling leg genes to accomplish the task.

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Decades of research identify source of galaxy-sized stream of gas

With colleagues at the Space Telescope Science Institute and other institutions, astronomers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison used the Hubble Space Telescope to analyze the stream of gas. By identifying the chemical makeup of the gas, known as the Leading Arm of the Magellanic Stream, the researchers identified one branch as coming from the Small Magellanic Cloud.

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Hilldale Award winners recognized for their contributions

One scholar from each of four faculty divisions — Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences — is selected to receive the Hilldale Award. L&S faculty members received three of the four awards. 

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L&S wins nine of twelve UW-Madison Distinguished Teaching Awards

Twelve faculty members - nine of them from the College of Letters & Science - have been chosen to receive this year’s Distinguished Teaching Awards, an honor given out since 1953 to recognize the university’s finest educators.

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Sebastian Heinz on WPR: Groundbreaking physicist Stephen Hawking dies at 76

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died early Wednesday morning at the age of 76. Hawking was best known for his theories of black holes and became a household name following the publication of his book, A Brief History of Time in 1988. WPR speaks with Sebastian Heinz, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about the life and legacy of Stephen Hawking.  

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In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: A mastodon and a meteor older than Earth are highlights of the UW Geology Museum

If you want to touch a hunk of roughly 4.56-billion-year-old meteorite that predates Earth, view fossilized bones from two mastodons that wandered western Wisconsin during the Ice Age or learn more about the universe, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Geology Museum is well worth a visit.

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Former UW-Madison Chancellor Irving Shain dies at 92

Irving Shain, a chemistry professor and UW–Madison chancellor emeritus who advanced the university’s interests in China and established University Research Park, died peacefully Tuesday, March 6, in Madison after a brief illness. He was 92.

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Green spaces in cities help control floods, store carbon

A new study finds that urban green spaces like backyards, city parks and golf courses contribute substantially to the ecological fabric of our cities — and the wider landscape — and should be included in ecological data.

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In the New York Times: A secret superpower, right in your backyard

As the verdant hills of Wakanda are secretly enriched with the fictional metal vibranium in “Black Panther,” your average backyard also has hidden superpowers: Its soil can absorb and store a significant amount of carbon from the air, unexpectedly making such green spaces an important asset in the battle against climate change.

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