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January 2010
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UWM researcher's program helps predict stem cell fates

By Mark Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Feb. 7, 2010

A software program developed by a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researcher successfully has predicted the fate of stem cells, a key step toward better understanding the developmental process and perhaps one day controlling it.

The program, developed by UWM's Andrew R. Cohen and described in a paper published Sunday in the journal Nature Methods, uses sophisticated mathematical techniques to study the movements of stem cells and translate those observations into reliable predictions about the kinds of cells they will eventually become.

Stem cells travel a path from less specific to more specific, from the limitless possibilities of an embryonic stem cell to the finished product - a piece of heart, brain, bone or skin. By studying the subtle behaviors that lead a cell to move toward one of these end points as opposed to the others, scientists hope they will discover ways to guide cells toward a particular path - perhaps skin to replace some that has been lost.

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Researcher Creates Strongest Metal Foam Ever

by Bridgette Meinhold, 02/01/10

Spongy metal sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, but it’s actually a real material that is capable of absorbing large impacts without damage. Metal foams have been around for some time, but new research by Dr. Afsaneh Rabiei of North Carolina State University, has revealed the strongest metal foam ever. It can compress up to 80% of its original size under loading and still retain its original shape. The applications for this type of material are too numerous to fathom, but one of the most anticipated uses for the spongy metal is in automobiles to lessen the impact of crashes and protect the driver and passengers.

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