SPIE/OSA student chapter hosts Saturday Science exploration station at WID

SPIE/OSA Student Chapter leaders Kirby Campbell, graduate research assistant in Biomedical Engineering in the Campagnola Laboratory and Biomedical Engineering Fellow Andrew Khalil participate in Saturday Science at Discovery.

The UW-Madison student chapter of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers and Optical Society of America brings students interested in optics, photonics, and instrumentation together to promote optical engineering awareness on campus through organized seminars and outreach activities.

The SPIE/OSA student chapter participates in monthly science demonstrations for the general public at Saturday Sciences at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (WID), the Wisconsin Science Expeditions in the Spring, and the Wisconsin Science Festival in the Fall. For these events, they organize and host hands-on exploration stations, and strive to foster greater understanding in optics and microscopy. The SPIE/OSA student chapter also participates in two week-long science camps for rural, underrepresented Wisconsin high school students at the WID and develops laboratory exercises to promote interest and understanding of microscopy and medical imaging in biomedical research. 

Several officers also participate in the Madison Middle School Science Symposium through the Adult Role Models in Science (ARMS) program. SPIE/OSA student officers spend the spring semester mentoring middle school students to develop and carry out a science project. The goal of the symposium is to support early interests expressed by these students in sciences, and to help them gain a sound understanding of the scientific method. These students then present their projects in a city-wide symposium hosted at the WID.

On April 22nd at 12:00 pm the SPIE/OSA chapter will host a seminar by Adam Wax -- a renowned expert in optical spectroscopy for early cancer detection at Duke University in Room 1153 Mechanical Engineering for the engagement of the UW-Madison community. 


The Why Files hosts fourth annual Cool Science Image Contest









2014 Winner Rat Brain Cortex by Brian Jenkins, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry

The Why Files was created at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the auspices of National Institute for Science Education with support from the National Science Foundation. It is currently funded through the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each week, we bring you a new story on the science behind the news.

trdevitt [at] wisc [dot] edu (Terry Devitt), editor

Terry Devitt is a co-founder and editor of The Why Files. He also directs Research Communications for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. An experienced science writer, his by-line has appeared in such venues as Astronomy, Orion, Electronic Learning, the children’s magazine Muse, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, The Bulletin of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Wisconsin Academy Review.

Read more about the competition.


Cryo-electron microscopy at UW-Madison

The ESCRT-III subunit Vps32/CHMP4B assembles into spiral-shaped polymers, shown above in The Journal of Cell Biology cover image. This micrograph was acquired on the Tecnai TF-30 300 kV located in the Materials Science Center.

Findings in the laboratory of Jon Audhya featured on the cover of The Journal of Cell Biology suggest a new mechanism for membrane remodeling. Components of a protein complex (ESCRT-III) assemble into spiral filaments to help cells bend and reseal membranes during many fundamental processes, including cell division, membrane transport, and organelle synthesis.

 Negatively stained and vitrified recombinant proteins were examined by cryo-electron microscopy and electron tomography using Xplore3D software.


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