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Category Archives: Hubble Telescope

Hubble telescope spots doomed star that is the ‘Rosetta stone’ of supernovas – Space.com

Posted: October 28, 2021 at 9:11 am

A new supernova captured by the Hubble Space Telescope may act as a decoder for other star explosions.

Given that the telescope caught the star so early in its "cataclysmic demise," as NASA called it, astronomers say the research may eventually help them formulate an early warning system for other stars that might be about to explode.

Scientists are dubbing the event, known as SN 2020fqv, as the "Rosetta Stone of supernovas." That's a reference to the Rosetta Stone, which has the same text written in three different scripts, allowing historians to read Egyptian hieroglyphs. (The stone was inscribed in ancient Greek, which was well-known to scholars, as well as two forms of Egyptian script, which were then poorly understood.)

The actual stone, dating from about 2,200 years ago, was found by accident in 1799 by soldiers in Napoleon's army campaigning in Egypt; you can see it today in the British Museum in London. Investigators for the Hubble discovery admitted the term "Rosetta Stone" is used often as a metaphor for deciphering information, but noted the term is an apt description for the importance of this new cosmic work.

Related: The best Hubble Space Telescope images of all time!

"This is the first time we've been able to verify the mass with these three different methods for one supernova, and all of them are consistent," lead author Samaporn Tinyanont, a graduate student in astronomy at California Institute of Technology, said in a NASA statement.

"Now we can push forward using these different methods and combining them, because there are a lot of other supernovaswhere we have masses from one method but not another."

SN 2020fqv was found amid the Butterfly galaxies, a pair of spiral galaxies located roughly 60 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo. The supernova was first discovered in April 2020 by the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego, California.

Coincidentally, the supernova was also in the view of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), whose primary mission is to search for relatively nearby planets outside of our solar system. Soon, Hubble and several ground-based telescopes joined the multinational observatory star party.

Hubble's sharp eyes allowed the observatory to look at the material close by the star, known as circumstellar material, only a few hours after the explosion occurred. Because the material clung onto the star until the last year of its life, astronomers say studying this stuff allows further research into what the star was doing before it died.

"We rarely get to examine this very close-in circumstellar material since it is only visible for a very short time, and we usually don't start observing a supernova until at least a few days after the explosion," Tinyanont said. "For this supernova, we were able to make ultra-rapid observations with Hubble, giving unprecedented coverage of the region right next to the star that exploded."

Helpfully, Hubble also has an archive of observations of this star dating to the 1990s. Astronomers probed the image series and added TESS observations of the system every 30 minutes in the days before the explosion, as well as during the explosion itself and for a few more weeks (before, we assume, the standard schedule of TESS shifted the telescope to gaze at another spot in the sky.)

Scientists then calculated the mass of the exploding star using three different methods: comparing observations with theoretical models, using information from a 1997 archival image of Hubble (this was to rule out higher-mass stars in the model), and measuring the amount of oxygen in the supernova, which is a proxy for mass. All three methods produced consistent results, with an estimate of 14 to 15 times the mass of our own sun.

One of the more famous unstable stars is Betelgeuse, a red supergiant that is late in its life and put up some antics in the last year or so. Co-author Ryan Foley, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said he doesn't believe Betelgeuse itself is about to explode, but added that SN 2020fqv will help in building our database of stars to watch.

"This could be a warning system," Foley said of the explosion behavior Hubble and other observatories noted. "So if you see a star start to shake around a bit, start acting up, then maybe we should pay more attention and really try to understand what's going on there before it explodes. As we find more and more of these supernovaewith this sort of excellent data set, we'll be able to understand better what's happening in the last few years of a star's life."

A paper based on the research was published Thursday (Oct. 21) in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Hubble telescope spots a pair of ‘squabbling’ galaxies locked in cosmic dance – Space.com

Posted: October 24, 2021 at 11:05 am

The Hubble Space Telescope caught a pair of "squabbling" galaxies in action, according to the European Space Agency.

The pair of objects is known as Arp 86 and includes two galaxies roughly 220 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. They are known individually as NGC 7753 and the much smaller companion NGC 7752.

"The diminutive companion galaxy almost appears attached to NGC 7753, and it is this peculiarity that has earned the designation 'Arp 86' signifying that the galaxy pair appears in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies compiled by the astronomer Halton Arp in 1966," ESA officials wrote in a statement about the new research.

"The gravitational dance between the two galaxies will eventually result in NGC 7752 being tossed out into intergalactic space or entirely engulfed by its much larger neighbor," the added.

Related: The best Hubble Space Telescope images of all time!

The Hubble Space Telescope observations were meant to shed light on how cold gas in the area contributes to the formation of young stars observed in the image. The observatory examined star clusters, gas clouds and dust clouds in several environments in the neighborhood, including other galaxies outside of Arp 86, ESA stated.

The space telescope's work was combined with measurements from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a set of telescopes in the Chilean Andes optimized to peer through galactic dust in young systems. Between ALMA and Hubble, the research team is seeking more information about how stars are formed.

The research will also assist with future work by the James Webb Space Telescope, which is set to launch late in 2021 to explore the origins of the universe. One of Webb's research projects will be to look at dusty galaxies (such as Arp 86) to learn more about star evolution, ESA stated.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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How NASAs Hubble Space Telescope gave America eyes above the atmosphere – Fox Business

Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:22 pm

This episode of American Built shows how NASA astronauts embarked on a mission and created the Hubble Telescope.

For ages, scientists, astronomers and human lifeforms alike have all begged to ask the big question: Are we alone in the Universe?

But exploring outer space from the ground didnt help with an answer until the construction of the Hubble Space Telescope took the quest above our atmosphere.

Former Lockheed Martin vice president Jim Crocker described studying the stars from the ground like studying birds from the bottom of a pond on the newest episode of FOX Business "American Built."

"By getting the telescope up above that few hundred miles of atmosphere, we can see clearly again," he said.

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In 1946, Dr. Lymann Spitzer, an astronomer and physicist at Princeton University, first pitched the idea to construct a large telescope in space but soon realized the technology to see the project through would be generations away. But after the launch of the Explorer 1 satellite in 1958, NASAs simultaneous development of the space shuttle and an in-space telescope became more of a reality.

Engineers explain how the telescope malfunctioned even after billions of dollars spent on the project on 'American Built'.

As the project developed, NASA's first chief astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, known as the "mother of Hubble," became one of the biggest advocates for launching a telescope in orbit.

In 1970, Roman pitched the concept for an in-space telescope to Congress and was able to explain its importance for space exploration. The plan would be to fit the school-bus-sized spacecraft inside the space shuttles cargo bay to then release the telescope and watch it unfurl.

The telescopes functionality included the ability to send updates back to Earth and accessibility for astronauts. The most crucial feature of the telescope was its massive mirrors which required precise engineering in order to operate a project Congress worried was a waste of government spending.

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As the cost kept rising, the operation came to a halt when the Challenger shuttle exploded upon takeoff in 1986. Hubble was forced to be stored until the end of the decade once the shuttle was ready to launch once again.

On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery rose 340 miles above the Earth and began the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope. But as the telescope left the bounds of the shuttle, the solar arrays suddenly seized up, threatening the $4.7 billion contraption from gaining any power.

Luckily, the astronauts were able to manually complete Hubbles deployment and ten minutes later, the telescope locked onto the suns power and the crew returned safely to Earth.

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"Science has been revolutionized by Hubble with discoveries that were made of things no one even imagined until Hubble was in orbit," Crocker said. "A thousand years from now, the images from Hubble will be in the minds and memories of a world that remembers what this country did with the first great observatory in space."

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NASA and ESA tech geeks posted an ‘unboxing’ of the Hubble telescope’s successor – Mashable

Posted: October 17, 2021 at 5:22 pm

Is there anything more relatable to the tech-lovers of the internet than the thrill of tearing open the packaging on the latest, shiniest gadget? NASA and the European Space Agency get it.

On Friday, the Twitter account for Ariane 5, an ESA launch vehicle, shared a series of "unboxing" photos for the James Webb Space Telescope. For those who might not know, that's the powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been peering into the furthest reaches of space since 1990.

In December, Ariane 5 will carry the new space telescope into orbit where it will bring its fancier optical technology to bear on the same kinds of tasks that Hubble once handled on its own. While it's a big moment for space research, the future satellite has been dogged by controversy due to its connection to Webb, a former NASA administrator who presided over the federal agency in the '50s and '60s when gay and lesbian employees faced discrimination there.

That controversy hasn't slowed down the launch plans, or led to a name change. But the concerns some have voiced continue to loom large as the Dec. 18 launch approaches. One NASA adviser even quit over their dissatisfaction with the agency's handling of naming concerns.

These photos nonetheless offer a fascinating look behind the scenes at how a massive and wildly expensive piece of space tech like this is transported. At roughly the size of a tractor trailer, the $10 billion satellite isn't exactly the easiest thing to ship.

The James Webb Space Telescope is currently set for its one-way trip to outer space to launch on Dec. 18, 2021. Although construction was completed in 2016, the launch has been delayed multiple times, first for further testing and later as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, all indications are that the December launch will proceed as planned, barring any of the usual temporary weather hiccups that often disrupt space launch plans.

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NASA and ESA tech geeks posted an 'unboxing' of the Hubble telescope's successor - Mashable

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NASA shared a video of the amazing scene in space, and this post went viral on social media – The Press Stories

Posted: at 5:22 pm

The US space agency NASA frequently shares amazing pictures and videos of space on its social media account, while people love all of NASAs recordings. NASA recently shared a rare record. Hubble Telescope has released a spectacular video clip of neighboring star Andromeda on its social media site Instagram. The video is very nice to watch and many stars are seen together, which will surprise you a lot.

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In the title that comes with the post, NASA wrote that the Andromeda Galaxy is the largest galaxy in a nearby local group. The Hubble Space Telescope has captured millions of stars in a part of the Andromeda Galaxy. The video shows Hubbles view of a part of Andromeda that reveals millions of stars. Old red stars and blue stars were seen in a sky. While crediting the video, NASA wrote, NASA, ESA, J. Talcanton (University of Washington), Ph.D. Group, and R. Universal Production Music.

This video has received over 1 lakh likes since its release. People are very surprised to see this video, while many netizens can see their reactions in the video.

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James Webb Space Telescope To Give Cosmic Views of Outer Space – My Modern Met

Posted: September 29, 2021 at 7:41 am

An artist's impression of the James Webb Space Telescope, successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, after its launch. (Photo: ESA)

A new dawn is emerging in the realm of space exploration and discovery. Ushering in that progress is a new joint NASA, ESA, and CSA space telescope: the James Webb Space Telescope, named after former NASA administrator James E. Webb. Scheduled to launch from the shores of French Guiana in December, it will be the largest and most powerful telescope ever put into space. With a primary mirror covered in gold and measuring 21 feet across, Webb is said to be 100 times more powerful than even the Hubble Space Telescope.

For generations, Hubble Telescope pictures have regaled us with spectacular cosmic landscapes that have allowed us to better understand some of the farthest reaches of our solar system and beyond. And its celestial images have since become iconic. Theyve allowed us a clearer view of space than what was previously possible from below Earths atmosphere, which can distort the light traveling from distant stars and planets.

Now, with the help of the James Webb Telescope, well be able to see even further into the corners of the universe. Thought by some to be a replacement for its well-known predecessor, scientists view the new telescope instead as more of a successor, intended to augment and expand upon the discoveries of the Hubble. As their missions overlap, they will jointly provide bewitching views of the cosmos.

Will Webb images look as gorgeous as Hubble images? muses Jane Rigby, a NASA astrophysicist on the James Webb team. Will we love them not just as scientifically valuable, but are they gonna knock our socks off? I'm pretty sure they are.

Optimized to see near- and mid-infrared lightunlike the Hubble which can primarily detect light visible to the human eyeWebb will be able to view older and colder objects in space. This also allows it to see through dust, which can often obscure stars and other objects in Hubble images. Located about one million miles from earthmore than four times further away than the moonthe powerful telescope will be able to see light that has been traveling for nearly the entire history of the universe.

Due to its massive size, Webb cannot fit into a rocket fully assembled. As a result, its folding 18-segment mirror and tennis court-sized sun shield will need to be unfurled and set up over a period of six months once it arrives at its destination. If these complicated maneuvers go according to plan, then its first images should arrive by sometime next summer. And, according to Rigby, the first images released to the public are intended to be jaw-droppingly beautiful, powerful, both visually and scientifically.

The James Webb Space Telescope is currently scheduled to launch from Guiana Space Centre (aka Europe's Spaceport) on December 18, 2021.

Two views of the Eagle Nebulas Pillars of Creation, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in visible and infrared light. (Photo: NASA,ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team)

Two views of the same detailed area in the star-forming nebula NGC 2174 from the Hubble Space Telescope. (Photo: NASAandESA)

Two images of a pillar of star birth taken in visible and infrared light by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, revealing dramatically different and complementary views of the object. (Photo: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI))

An artist's impression of the James Webb Space Telescope as it transits in front of the Milky Way. (Photo:ESA)

James Webb Space Telescope: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTubeh/t: [NPR]

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Canada helping NASA launch Webb, the largest space telescope in history | Venture – Daily Hive

Posted: at 7:41 am

NASA, in partnership with the European and Canadian Space Agency (CSA), is set to launch the James Webb Space Telescope, which is 100 times more powerful than Hubble and will be the largest space telescope in history.

Considered the next generation of space telescopes, Webb is set to become the premier space observatory for astronomers worldwide, according to NASA.

The launch of Webb is expected to take place on December 21, 2021, the first day of winter.

NASA isnt calling the Webb a successor to the Hubble telescope, but rather an extension of what it has accomplished.

While Hubble orbits the Earth at 570 km above our home planet, Webb will sit at the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million km away.

NASA

According to NASA, Webb will reveal new and unexpected discoveries, and help humankind understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.

NASA/Chris Gunn

Construction of the telescope was a massive undertaking.

NASA/Chris Gunn

Webb is an exemplary mission that signifies the epitome of perseverance, said Gregory L. Robinson, Webbs program director at NASA Headquarters in Washington, in a statement.

The CSA contributed a scientific instrument and a guidance sensor, and Canadian scientists will take part in missions related to Webb once it becomes active.

Webb, the man, was an American government official and the second appointed administrator of NASA in the 1960s.

Webb will be launched from Europes Spaceport in French Guiana.

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Hubble telescope finds six dead galaxies of the early universe – Market Research Telecast

Posted: September 27, 2021 at 6:05 pm

Astronomy experts note that when the universe was about 3 billion years old, it experienced the most prolific star birth in its long history. However the Hubble Space Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array (ALMA) located in northern Chile, in the Atacama Desert, observed cosmic objects from that period and found true rarities: six galaxies of the early universe, massive and dead. Despite belonging to a time with a lot of activity, these galaxies ran out of cold hydrogen, the fuel with which stars are created.

Those galaxies are believed to have expanded since then, not through the creation of stars but by merging with other smaller pairs and gas.

Hubble and ALMA found these strange galaxies increasing their capabilities, by taking advantage of a natural lensOf space that is created by massive galaxy clusters in the foreground. As explained by scientists in the study published in the journal Nature, the gravity of these clusters stretches and amplifies the light of the background galaxies, allowing researchers to use them as magnifying glasses and thus study their characteristics in detail.

At that time in our universe, all galaxies should be forming many stars. It is the time of maximum formation , commented astronomer Kate Whitaker, lead author of the study. By using strong gravitational lenses like natural telescopes, we can find the distant, most massive galaxies and the first to stop star formation, Whitaker added.

As NASA, one of the main responsible for the Hubble project, notes, approximately 11,000 million years later, in the current universe, these previously compact galaxies are believed to have evolved to be larger, but they are still dead in terms of any new star formation .

The six galaxies found had short lives, creating their stars in a short time. According to the US space agency, the reason why star formation abruptly ceased (that is, the loss of cold hydrogen) is a puzzle.

Whitaker establishes some hypotheses in this regard. Did a supermassive black hole create in the center of the galaxy and heat up all the gas? If so, the gas might still be there, but it would be hot now. Or it could have been kicked out and is now preventing it from accumulating back into the galaxy. Or did the galaxy just use it all up and the supply was cut off? These are some of the open questions that we will continue to explore with new observations in the future, said the specialist.

The Hubble Space Telescope is an international cooperation project between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and not edited by our team.

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The Morning After: Already hyping the iPhone 14 – Engadget

Posted: at 6:05 pm

Is this a record? No sooner has the iPhone 13 hit store shelves than the rumor mill is already up and churning about the next one. Rumors from the weekend suggest the iPhone 14 will be a complete redesign, but the details are thin gruel at this point. Hold not these rumors close to your chest in hope, my friends, lest they disappear into a puff of whimsy.

This complete redesign will reportedly see the 14 look a lot more like the iPhone 4, with a band running around the outside of the device. That makes sense given how beloved the 4s design was, and how those square edges have recently returned to Apples design language. The hints also suggest that, with a marginally thicker body, the camera lenses will be flush with the back.

Another rumor says the 14 may ditch the notch in favor of a hole-punch front camera, or maybe only for the Pro models. Plus, there are the usual rumor hits, including the launch of in-display TouchID and the end of the iPhone Mini. Just remember, were a year away from any of this being confirmed, so lets focus instead on all the delights of the 13 we have yet to discover.

Dan Cooper

Image processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

Astronomers using the Hubble telescope and Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) have found six dead galaxies. These are galaxies that have run out of the cold hydrogen necessary for star formation, despite being formed during the stellar equivalent of a baby boom. The discovery of these galaxies is testament both to the enduring power of the Hubble and the ingenuity of the astronomers to pull these images from the heavens. But the question of what happened to those galaxies is one that will dog scientists from now until weve developed some pretty impressive faster-than-light travel.

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Valentina Palladino

If your brand new iPad Mini is operating a little weird, dont worry, you are not the only person in this particular predicament. There are multiple reports of users talking about jelly scrolling, where one side of the screen moves at a different rate to the other. Apple hasnt responded yet to the claims, but its probably already scrambling to work out the cause as we speak. At the same time, Apple has reportedly revealed that TV+ has fewer than 20 million subscribers in the US and Canada. The reason for the potentially embarrassing admission? The smaller size apparently means it can pay its film and TV crews lower rates compared to Netflix.

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NASA

To celebrate National Comic Book Day, NASA has published a graphic novel, First Woman, to tell the story of the first woman to walk on the moon. The (currently fictional) tale is designed to spark the publics interest in the Artemis missions and encourage more people to sign up as astronauts. Download the app for Android or iOS, and you can also explore the Orion spacecraft and tour the lunar surface in AR.

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Researchers at Harvard and engineers at Samsung believe they can create better artificial intelligences if the chips used to make them mirror the structures of our own brains. The teams are proposing a method to copy the way our neurons are wired on to a 3D neuromorphic chip. Dont worry if that sounds like a lot because its not likely to happen in the real world for a while at the very least. The human brain has more than 100 billion neurons and a thousand times more synapses, so its not as if anyone could just build one of these in their garage.

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Century of discoveries: Interconnected tale of UW’s most innovative research epiphanies – UW Badger Herald

Posted: September 22, 2021 at 3:02 am

The beginning of a legacy

The Babcock name is renowned among Union dwellers and ice cream enthusiasts, but far beyond frozen treats, Stephen Babcock represents the start of an enduring tradition of scientific innovation at the University of Wisconsin.

In 1890, Babcock, an agricultural chemist at UW, developed the Babcock butterfat test. This test, which measures the fat content of milk, allowed the dairy industry to differentiate prices based on quality, incentivizing farmers to invest in improvements of their product.

In addition to revolutionizing the dairy industry, Babcocks test set a precedent for UW researchers to be at the forefront of their fields and translate scientific discoveries into improvement of peoples lives.

Every major breakthrough at UW built off of previous research, and without that collaboration, some of the scientific worlds most significant developments would never have been realized. From the fundamental discovery of vitamins, to collecting images in outer space, and even to the pressing issues of COVID-19 research today, UW has been involved in every facet of the developments which are still affecting our lives today.

Vital vitamins

It was 1907 when E.V. McCollum joined the UW agricultural chemistry department. While working on a nutrition experiment designed by Babcock, he observed stark differences in the appearance and physiology of cows fed different diets. McCollum became driven to discover the unknown factor he hypothesized was causing discrepancies.

McCollums unconventional rat-based experiments were only tolerated by the university due to Babcocks approval of the project, but they yielded tremendous results. Working with graduate Marguerite Davis, McCollums studies resulted in the discovery of a fat-soluble nutrient, which would later be named vitamin A. McCollum and Davis also discovered the presence of a water-soluble nutrient, called vitamin B.

Professor Harry Steenbock, a former lab assistant of McCollum, continued UWs legacy of groundbreaking biochemical nutrition-related research through the 1920s. Steenbock was the first to determine increased sunlight led to calcium retention. He discovered shining food with UV light had the same effect.

Through McCollums work, society was introduced to the idea of vitamins and the importance of a balanced diet Steenbock took this research one step further. Through patenting and implementing his irradiation technique, Steenbock effectively eradicated rickets, a disease in children caused by a vitamin D deficiency that softened and distorted bones, as a widespread disease.

In the process of independently patenting his methods and receiving commercial offers for their use, Steenbock saw the need for a separate entity to manage patents of UWs novel products and use the revenue to fund future research. In 1925, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation was founded.

Building a network

WARF was the worlds first technology transfer office, a center now common among universities, which helps take research developments and transfer them into the commercial marketplace. WARF aims to transfer ideas born on campus out into the world, said Kevin Walters, the public affairs analyst for WARF.

WARFs goal is to transfer ideas created on campus out into the world, Walters said. We want to be on the forefront of adapting, especially in such an uncertain time. With great challenges come great opportunities.

With catastrophically low share prices, the stock market crash of the 1930s was the ideal time to build an investment portfolio based on the royalties from Steenbocks patents, Walters said.

The key to WARFs funding is our investment portfolio, Walters said. With that we are able to give a consistent grant each year regardless of how much in royalties comes in.

Today, that portfolio has grown to $3.2 billion in funds, and over three billion dollars of grants have been awarded to UW through WARF.

WARFs largest investment to date came from biochemistry professor and former student of Steenbock himself Hector DeLuca. As the last graduate student to study under Steenbock, DeLuca recalled in an interview with The Badger Herald being very excited to receive an assistantship with him. DeLuca said Steenbocks work to enrich foods with vitamin D was legendary.

DeLuca arrived at UW in 1951 when he began his graduate studies. In that time, he developed nearly 2,000 patents for use of primarily vitamin D derivatives to treat various diseases.

DeLucas research provided therapies for osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and organ transplant rejection.

Walters said DeLucas invention Zemplar, an active form of vitamin D which is used to treat hormonal imbalance in patients with kidney failure, was WARFs largest investment. With three buildings named after him and a lifetime of dedicated work, DeLucas impact on UW research and campus can hardly be limited to any one development.

There are so many aspects to which Im very grateful I came here, DeLuca said of his time at UW. I couldnt have chosen a better place to come or person to work with.

UW and the Space Age

One of WARFs most vital scientific contributions on campus benefitted a very different field of research astronomy. Astronomy Professor Jim Lattis said UW built Pine Bluff Observatory in the midst of the 1950s to serve as a new site for research with more modern capabilities than the historic Washburn observatory, built in 1881. Pine Bluff was home to a plethora of key research developments and housed equipment for both the astronomy and physics departments.

In the field of astronomy, UWs most significant involvement was the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2. Launched in 1968, OAO-2 was in orbit for four years, during which time it helped collect data regarding a broad range of topics in space. Lattis said OAO-2 had two central contributors, the Smithsonian museums and UW. Researchers at UW spent decades developing photoelectric photometry instruments that could be adapted to use in space. Before their discovery, the only option available to collect images was photography.

OAO-2 was in a lot of ways the culmination of years of astronomical development, Lattis said. It was one of the reasons we were ever able to run the Hubble telescope, and it showed the possibility of operating an observatory in space.

The method of photometry was groundbreaking, as UW was one of the only locations studying the discipline at the time, Lattis said. UWs success with the instruments in OAO-2 would lead them to develop some of the original instruments for the Hubble telescope, which were also specialized photometry instruments.

Lattis said space research slowed since these 20th century projects, but UW is still involved in several telescope operations and many astrophysical research projects.

I think learning about astronomy is fundamental to answering some of these philosophical questions in life, like who are we and what is our place in the universe? Lattis said. One has to keep engaging in these things to keep a healthy society.

Lattis attributed the success of astronomy research during the Space Age to UWs willingness to take risks and fund novel projects. Lattis said the schools generally supportive attitude encourages researchers to pursue their interests.

The Biotron was another large investment in research advancement made by the university. The Biotron would prove to have immense payoffs and become a historic lab at UW. Dedicated in 1970, the Biotron allows researchers to recreate any terrestrial environment on earth by controlling temperature, lighting, humidity and plant-watering schedules.

The Biotrons unique capabilities allowed it to host several monumental research projects. In the realm of space research, NASA tested the Galileo probe at the Biotron before its launch. Food was first grown by LED lights in the Biotron in 1986. In the following months, astronauts in space used the same technique to grow their own food in space.

The chamber was also used to test products like Arctic drilling equipment and insulin pumps. Even the Babcock Dairy Stores cheese has been put to the test within the Biotrons walls.

After 50 years of housing research, the Biotron ended its role as a campus center March 31, 2021, however, its legacy and contributions to UW research will continue to be felt on campus for decades to come.

Medicinal breakthroughs

It is virtually impossible to mention research legacies at UW and not include a key medical development Warfarin. In 1933, School of Agriculture professor Karl Paul Link met with a distressed farmer whose livestock were inexplicably dying. After eight years of researching, Link was able to isolate a blood-thinning agent from the cows feed that was determined to be the cause of death.

The agent was patented by and named after WARF, and warfarin became one of the most widely prescribed blood thinners in the world. Today, warfarin is used to treat or prevent strokes, heart attacks or other blood clotting issues.

Another major medical innovation which emerged from UW was a surgical technique to remove skin cancer developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic Mohs. Mohs research, funded in part by WARF grants, led him to realize the value of using microscopy to treat skin cancer in order to ensure that cancerous cells not visible to the naked eye are removed.

Dr. Juliet Alyward of UW Health is an expert on Mohs surgery and has performed the procedure over 17,000 times. In 60% to 70% of skin cancer cases, Alyward said the spread of cancer cells is often much larger than the tumor that is immediately visible. Therefore, Alyward said a method beyond merely observing a tumor with the naked eye proves invaluable.

The procedure involves removing skin cancer using local anesthetic, then analyzing the removed tissue under a microscope. Multiple tissue removals can occur until the analysis shows the cancerous cells completely surrounded by healthy tissues, indicating the cancer has been entirely removed.

Mohs surgery continues to be a relevant practice for over almost 90 years, an impressive feat in a field as rapidly evolving as medicine. Alyward credits a remarkably high cure rate of 99% and high patient safety as factors for its endurance.

Monkeys and studying the mind

Harry Harlow conducted psychology research with rhesus monkeys from the 1930s to the 1970s, and his work, while controversial, is widely recognized to have changed societys understanding of mammalian development, especially regarding infant-mother relationships. Some of his most famous studies involved raising infant monkeys with either a wire or cloth mother, or completely socially isolating them in dark, sterile environments.

As a result of Harlows experiments, psychologists gained pivotal insights into human behavior the obvious detriment of being socially deprived demonstrates the value of social contact for emotional growth. Despite these outcomes, the studies have been heavily criticized for the developmental harm that resulted in the isolated monkeys.

Harlow alongside his wife and fellow psychologist Margaret Harlow helped to change the face of parenting to a more engaged, contact-heavy experience. Primate center outreach specialist, Jordana Lenon, said parenting was a hands-off endeavor, with parents setting children up with nannies instead, up until the 1950s.

Part of their legacy is that parents today are much more involved with their babies from birth, Lenon said. Frequently holding them, touching them, staying close by. Even babies smelling their parents, when combined with touch, promotes healthy brain development.

Harry Harlow was also the first director of the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center,then named the Wisconsin Regional Primate Center. He effectively founded primate research at UW, which grew to be one of the most influential research centers on campus.

The primate center facilitated major research breakthroughs, especially in the areas of stem cells and HIV treatments.

James Thomson was the head veterinary pathologist at the WNPRC in 1995, when he became the first in the world to successfully isolate and culture stem cells from a rhesus monkey embryo. Three years later he replicated the feat in a human embryo and made national headlines for the new field of research he had just unlocked. Since his discovery, multiple projects entered human clinical trials investigating treatments of diseases such as macular degeneration and Parkinsons.

One particular study from March of 2021 using rhesus monkeys showed implanting neurons developed from the monkeys own cells helped alleviate symptoms of Parkinsons disease by about 40%. Researchers are hopeful that after extensive clinical trials that are yet to be conducted, a similar process could potentially act as a Parkinsons treatment in human patients.

In the realm of HIV research, the WNPRC helped develop life-saving medications, new vaccine possibilities and gel designed to prevent HIV transmission from mothers to their newborns. Most recently, a study involving gene editing to prevent reception of the virus by the bodys cells suggested a treatment for HIV may be on the horizon.

Genes and vaccines: UW in the age of COVID-19 research

Early genetics work conducted at UW includes Howard Temins revolutionary discovery of reverse transcriptase in 1975, which earned him the Nobel Prize and was essential for understanding how retroviruses such as HIV hijack healthy cells. Without this understanding, the WNPRCs treatment research could not exist, because there would not be enough known about the virus mechanisms to intervene with them.

Prior to Temins work, Har Gobind Khorana uncovered the way in which genetic codes translate into amino acids in the 1960s. His discovery eventually led him to earn a Nobel Prize after he became the first known researcher to synthesize a gene. Both Khorana and Temins discoveries would prove to be vital in addressing the medical worlds most recent dilemma COVID-19.

Temins and Khoranas work with genetics paved the way for future researchers like Jon Wolff to work on delivering DNA or RNA into muscle cells. One of Wolffs most influential papers demonstrated that delivery of DNA or RNA into muscle could lead to the expression of proteins. This technology was part of the foundation in which the mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 were based.

Two of UWs own virologists, Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Gabriele Neumann, applied Wolffs work and developed a nasally-delivered COVID-19 vaccine that is currently in human trials. The technology regarding the vaccine was patented through WARF and involves genetic modification which likely wouldnt have been possible without the work of the UW researchers.

The WNPRC is currently working on COVID-19-related research as well. Lenon said the center built a coalition of scientists to help fight COVID-19. Working with the National Institute of Health, the coalition used primate models to study virus resistance, transmission routes and organs the virus attacks. Construction is also set to begin soon on a new UW Animal Bio-Safety Level 3 building that will allow researchers to study COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and transmission in a setting that cannot be safely done in a lower ABSL facility.

Lenon said WNPRC plans to continue researching pressing issues regarding COVID-19 including novel variants, and the mysterious long COVID-19, which involves patients experiencing prolonged symptoms of the virus months after testing positive.

Looking to the future

Lenon said the WNPRCs research efforts have been a collaboration with centers across campus and even other institutions.

Nothings done in a vacuum, Lenon said. Scientists from different areas and different disciplines collaborate to find new ways to treat and cure diseases, and I think thats amazing. What people dont always think about is that science takes time. Even all of the COVID-19 research that appeared to progress at lightning speed was based on decades of studying.

The same can be said for most breakthroughs at UW. Behind every new scientific discovery is a history of prior work each development building off of the next. Without Babcocks encouragement, McCollum would not have had access to the mechanism to discover vitamin A, and without Temin and Khoranas genetics work, the vaccines that now represent a solution to a global pandemic may not exist.

Even now there is an abundance of UW research in progress that elaborates on the discoveries of the past. DeLuca is continuing UWs renowned vitamin research, which may well be used to treat even more diseases in the future. Mohs surgery will likely continue to modernize, as Alyward listed multiple advancements in the works that would allow for even more precise removal of cancer cells. There is even an entire center dedicated to the stem cell research that was made possible by Thomsons work with the WNPRC, which has found possible treatments for burn injuries, blood disease and even blindness. These projects and many more currently in progress are taking past discoveries and translating that knowledge to the improvement of peoples lives.

With hundreds of projects in progress and WARFs consistent grant firmly in place, UWs research future looks promising, as it is a future built on a foundation of over a century of discovery.

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Century of discoveries: Interconnected tale of UW's most innovative research epiphanies - UW Badger Herald

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