A video game can change the brain, may improve empathy in middle schoolers

This fantastical scenario is the premise of a video game developed for middle schoolers by University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers to study whether video games can boost kids’ empathy, and to understand how learning such skills can change neural connections in the brain.

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Can plants and trees change the weather?

By this time next year, an army of towers will be keeping watch over a plot of land in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest of northern Wisconsin. They will be joined by a turbo-prop plane, an ultralight aircraft, a state-owned Cessna, ground-based atmospheric instruments, and a troop of students and scientists, each playing a role in helping to understand how plants and trees contribute to weather patterns on a local scale.

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Study suggests buried internet infrastructure at risk as sea levels rise

Thousands of miles of buried fiber optic cable in densely populated coastal regions of the United States may soon be inundated by rising seas, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Oregon.

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Solving the mystery of cosmic rays

Since cosmic rays were discovered in 1912, scientists have sought the origins of these mysterious particles. In September 2017, a flash of blue light in the ice deep beneath the South Pole set researchers on a path to resolving this century-old riddle.

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In On Wisconsin Magazine: The pregnancy puzzle

After a UW scientist and his wife lost two pregnancies, he sought answers. Why are these losses so common, and do other living things face the same struggle his family did?

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“Ring around bathtub” at giant volcano field shows movement of subterranean magma

The Laguna del Maule volcanic complex in Chile is a large, complicated and explosive landscape that, oddly, lacks the classic cone seen on many volcanoes, including Fuego, the Guatemalan volcano that killed hundreds in a June 3 eruption.

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Muir Woods research works to understand how plants have sex

Sain is studying how — and why — different plants have sex. Her main research subject is the ubiquitous early meadow-rue, a low-lying perennial plant found across the eastern half of the United States.

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Study finds “hidden harvest” in world’s inland fisheries

A new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says we are dramatically underestimating the role inland fisheries play in global food security.

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Heavier rains and manure mean more algae blooms

On June 6, 2018, the Center for Limnology reported that a toxic algae bloom had begun to spread across Lake Mendota. It quickly led to the closure of beaches around Madison’s largest lake.

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