Forgetting: What It Is and Why It Helps Us Remember; On The Trails of Malaria and Covid; Making Movies of Molecule: The Emerging Science of Powerful X-ray Lasers

Explore the Unknown!   
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WN@TL begins at 7:00pm Central
A Happy Note:  WN@TL returns with in-person presentations beginning on September 8 with a special event at the Discovery Building featuring Uwe Bergmann of Physics (more information below).
For August 25, 2021
Hi WN@TL Fans,
I am a reader of memorials and monuments, of brass plaques and bronze tablets, of lintels and pedestals.  Statues are splendid, but give me the Second Inaugural carved in stone at the Lincoln Memorial and my spine tingles, my jaw clenches, and my heart wrenches.
At a cultural level, from the Lascaux Caves to the Pyramids of Giza, the sweat and treasure that humans invest in remembering underscore how vested we are in recalling our past, in massaging the message, in lifting some people up and putting some people down or striking some out altogether.  Lest We Forget, indeed.
At the personal level, to remember is at the heart of learning, it is the bedrock of cognition, it is the framework of reason.  Humans who strain to improve their brain are often concentrating on improving their memory and speeding their recall.  It is no wonder that humans measure their computers in large part by the size of the machines’ memories and the speed of their processing.
So the title of Haley Vlach’s talk this week presents an astonishing paradox:  forgetting is vital to remembering.  Sure, sifting separates the grain from the chaff, and pruning the vines enhances the grapes and the wines, but to think that forgetting is a critical part of remembering?
It gives me hope.
On August 25 Haley Vlach of Educational Psychology will speak on “Forgetting:  What It Is and Why It Helps Us Remember.”
Description: This talk will provide an overview of a critical process of human memory: forgetting. I will explain what forgetting is, why we study forgetting, and what scientists have discovered from the science of forgetting. While most of us see forgetting as a process that impairs our ability to remember, research has revealed that forgetting is one of our most powerful learning mechanisms. That is, forgetting is a good thing!
Bio: Dr. Haley Vlach is a faculty member in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Director of the Learning, Cognition, & Development Lab. Her research examines the mechanisms underlying children’s learning to (a) understand cognition and how cognition develops, and (b) build an empirical base for the design of successful learning interventions and educational curricula.  Her research has been funded by NIH, NSF, WARF, WCER, and the Australian Research Council. Dr. Vlach has received several awards for her work, recognizing her as an early pioneer in the fields of cognitive science and developmental psychology. For instance, she has received the SRCD Early Career Contribution Award, APA Boyd McCandless Award, William Chase Award, and James S. McDonnell Foundation Human Cognition Scholar Award. She holds doctorate and master’s degrees in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.

Explore More:

On September 1 Christina Carlson of the Malaria Molecular Surveillance & Diagnostics Team at the Centers for Disease Control will share her work tracking malaria and covid across the country and around the world.
Read Jori Skalitzky’s story on Christina Carlson’s work here:
On September 8 we have two big reasons to celebrate!  WN@TL returns to live in-person presentations (supplemented by a live stream) with a special presentation at the Discovery Building by Uwe Bergmann of the Department of Physics with a talk entitled Making Movies of Molecules – The Emerging Science of Powerful X-ray Lasers.
Description:  On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Rӧntgen discovered a new invisible form of rays. He called them ‘X-Strahlen’ or X-rays. Since that day, X-rays have revolutionized medical imaging and science. Starting in the 1970s, powerful accelerator rings — the so-called synchrotrons — have dramatically advanced the scientific use of X-rays, by producing intense and highly-focused X-ray beams. Another quantum leap occurred in the late 2000s, when X-ray free-electron lasers came to light. These X-ray lasers produce ultra-short pulses with a brightness over one billion times larger than even the most powerful synchrotron sources. For the first time, scientists can study matter not just at the length scale of atoms and molecules, but also at the femtosecond (10-15 s) timescale of molecular motion. The dream of making molecular movies of a chemical reaction or a biological function in real time is becoming reality. We will describe these machines and present some of the most exciting examples of recent X-ray laser research.
Bio:  Uwe Bergmann is the Martin L. Perl Professor in Ultrafast X-ray Science in the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He got his PhD in Physics from Stony Brook University and did his graduate research at the National Synchrotron Light Source. He has since worked at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, the Linac Coherent Light Source, and the Stanford PULSE Institute at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
His research activities focus on the development and application of novel synchrotron and X-ray laser techniques. His scientific interests include studies of the structure of water and aqueous solution, active centers in metalloproteins in particular the photosynthetic splitting of water, hydrocarbons and fossil fuels, functional 2D materials, and imaging of ancient documents and fossils.
On September 15 we return to the Auditorium, Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, with a presentation celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the IceCUBE Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole.
From Boys Choir, Dixon High School, 1971:
The more you study the more you know
the more you know the more you forget
the more you forget the less you know
So why study?
The less you study the less you know
the less you know the less you forget
the less your forget the more you know
So why study? 
Remember, we continue to meet through September 1 by Zoom, since we can’t gather all in one room.
Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab!
Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H