Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about what’s in the dirt beneath our feet. That’s not the case for University of Wisconsin-Green Bay students studying soil samples to discover previously unknown bacteria, which could lead to the development of new antibiotics.The students are part of the Tiny Earth project, a global network of educators who teach a research course aimed at discovering new antibiotics that started at UW-Madison in 2018. The course provides students with the opportunity for original thinking and scientific discovery and can inspire them to pursue STEM careers. About 10,000 students are enrolled in some version of the Tiny Earth course throughout 45 U.S. states and 15 countries.“The students get their own soil sample to test. They isolate bacteria, conduct gene sequencing and do a lot of other interesting things,” says UW-Green Bay biology professor Brian Merkel. “The students realize they are part of something that’s bigger than them and they’re contributing to an international effort.”The program’s global reach and goal of discovering new antibiotics caught the eye of Microsoft. The Seattle-based company provided UW-Green Bay’s Tiny Earth project with an AI for Earth grant that places Microsoft’s cloud and AI tools into the hands of students, says Michelle Schuler, manager of Microsoft TechSpark Wisconsin.
Barbara Hauxhurst Cofrin Prof. of Natural Sciences Mike Draney participated in the America Arachnological Society’s virtual Forum on Effects of Racism on Arachnology at the (virtual) Annual Meeting of the American Arachnological Society, and was invited to moderate one of the breakout groups on “Addressing feelings of social isolation among POC in academia.” Ideas and suggestions resulting from these breakout sessions will be forwarded to the AAS Advisory Board for consideration and implementation.
For two decades, UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus Prof. Richard Hein (Biology) has committed to finding a permanent home for every rat his students study—way ahead of 2019 federal regulations that allow for lab animal adoption. He’s even continued to carry on adoptions through the Covid-19 pandemic via socially-distanced hand-offs.
The Lisa Show is heard nationwide on Sirius XM channel 143. She invited UW-Green Bay Prof. Richard Hein (Biology) on her ROCKSTAR segment to talk about how he has been helping lab rats find homes after their tenure in anatomy classes. The two-hour talk show focuses on helping others find hope, optimism, and a healthy life perspective and covers a wide variety of topics such as breaking news, science, technology, business, family, relationships, self-help, art, and creativity. Listen to the segment.
Ayla Mollen, a graduating senior at Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua who will attend UW-Green Bay in the fall, is the first-place winner in Wisconsin YES!, a statewide youth business plan contest for students in middle and high school.
Ayla’s company, Seninaturals, is dog treat line that provides neurological health benefits to dogs. She is an aspiring veterinarian who has worked in kennels and clinics, is a National Honors Society student and has taken part in the UW-Madison’s Information Technology Academy for three years.
Students submitted their ideas in a 250-word online summary to compete in Phase 1 of the contest. Professionals from across the state served as judges, provided feedback and scored the ideas. Nearly 20 entries were selected to move on to Phase 2, where they submitted 1,000-word executive summaries covering company overview; product or service description; customer definition; market description, size and sales strategy; competition; management team; financials; and capital needs.
Those looking to get outside and away from COVID-19 restrictions as temperatures warm up will likely find conditions a little more buggy. That’s because a combination of warmer, humid weather and recent heavy rains are expected to generate a mosquito population boom. While there are propane-fueled mosquito traps and insect zappers, Prof. Mike Draney, a UW-Green Bay biology instructor, says some simple steps can help you better contend with the bugs.
Rats often get a bum rap. That’s why a lot of students enter his labs feeling a little nervous, said Prof. Richard Hein of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus. Hein uses the animals to teach first- and second-year introductory biology, and human anatomy and physiology students all sorts of lessons.The students measure how factors like temperature, exercise or even music can affect the animals’ metabolisms. Rats are also used to study the effects of hormones and even human reproduction. Biology major Stevie VanderBloomen, who just finished her second year, said she appreciated getting the opportunity to do hands-on science early in her college career. “It’s such a great way to expand your knowledge,” she said.
They’ve arrived in the United States with a scary nickname and they look even scarier .Vespa Mandarina murder hornet Credit: Filippo Turetta/Wikimedia But according to experts, there’s a good chance Wisconsin will never be home to the so-called “murder hornet.” Native to Asia, but recently found in the Pacific Northwest, Asian giant hornets, also known as murder hornets, are about two inches long. They are vicious predators. “They will attack honeybees and they can destroy thousands of individuals. They basically bite their heads off and then carry their bodies back to feed their babies,” says UW-Green BayProfessor Michael Draney (Natural and Applied Sciences).
There’s an insect generating some buzz in the U.S. but one local biology professor says we don’t have to worry about it coming to Wisconsin. UW-Green Bay Biology Prof. Michael Draney joined Good Day Wisconsin to discuss “murder hornets.” Or so what some are calling them. It’s real name is the Asian Giant Hornet.
UW-Green Bay Prof. Michael Draney (Biology) recently discussed insect decline, what it could mean and how it could bring some possible good news. Watch the interview via Local professor talks about insect decline | Fox 11.