The Impact of Salt on Wisconsin’s Freshwaters; What can Fruit Flies Teach Us About the Persistence of Memory?; Physical Therapy Management of Osteoarthritis in the Hip and Knee

Come Explore the Unknown!

By Zoom:  at  

In Person: Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison.

7pm Central


For 9 March 2022     

Hi WN@TL Fans,


Salt is ionic and iconic and ironic.  To be the salt of the Earth is to be good to the core, but to salt the Earth as at Carthage is to damn the soil to futility.  In “It’s a Wonderful Life” Mary Bailey welcomes new homeowners with bread, wine and salt–the lattermost that life will always know flavor;  but your cardiologist may wince and intone other advice.


When the snow fell Sunday night into Monday morning the landscape was a picturesque delight;  the roads, on the other hand, were a daymare of slippery glare beneath the white. I was thinking how much I would have liked a little salt on the concrete at the intersection of Spooner & Commonwealth as my Subaru was sliding hard into the curb as I was making a left turn from a dead stop.  After a wheel alignment Tuesday at Jensen’s, all is straightened out.


Much of the salt that we spread on the sidewalks and roads, and much of the salt we feed into our water softeners, ends up in our freshwater.  If we lived seaside, this wouldn’t pose a problem;  but here where we live over and alongside freshwater, our widespread slinging of salt creates a paradox, a puzzlement, a problem.  Tonight, we get to learn more about the impacts of NaCl on WI and its freshwaters.


On March 9 Hilary Dugan of the Center for Limnology will spread the news about “The Impact of Salt on Wisconsin’s Freshwaters.”


Description:  We will dive into salinization of Wisconsin’s freshwater environments, and probe how, why, and where

salinization is occurring–and what we can do to curtail current trends.


Bio: Dr. Hilary Dugan is an assistant professor at the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a

limnologist, Hilary studies how terrestrial and atmospheric changes, such as warming air temperatures or land use patterns,

alter biogeochemical fluxes and aquatic processes in lakes. Her research balances field-based programs, which rely heavily

on sensor networks, with the use and development of analytical models, and the application of geophysical and geospatial

tools. Her research focus is on temperate and polar lakes, with sites spanning from Wisconsin to Antarctica.


Explore More:


On March 16, in celebration of Brain Awareness Week, Jerry Yin of Genetics and Neurology in the School of Medicine and Public Health will speak on “What Can Fruit Flies Teach Us About the Persistence of Memory?”

Description:  It is now generally accepted that memories involve changing the efficiency of transmission between relevant neurons in specific parts of the brain. Molecules (metabolites, signaling molecules, etc.) and macromolecules (RNAs, proteins and lipids) mediate these processes.

One of the deep problems in neuroscience is how memories can persist for periods of time that far exceed the half-lives of almost all these molecules. This problem is central to an understanding of memory consolidation (the extended process of memory formation) occurs, and how our brain “works.” The hippocampus is a key memory/integration center in the mammalian brain. Hippocampal-dependent memories also require extended periods of time (weeks) to form, a process known as “systems consolidation.”

Both these temporal properties (duration and the time required for consolidation) are mysterious, especially given that the best known “memory molecules” (eg. CaM kinase, protein kinase A, PKMz, CREB, CPEB, Arc, BDNF etc.) need to be replenished, and require acute neuronal activity to catalyze their activation.

Long after training, how are these molecules replenished, and what activities catalyze their activation? In this talk, we will discuss new insights into this process using the Drosophila (fruit fly) model system. Oscillatory processes (which can persist forever) and their associated molecules are likely important for memory consolidation.


Bio: Jerry Yin is a professor in the departments of genetics and of neurology in the UW-Madison School of Medicine & Public Health.  He studied at Princeton University and then received his PhD in molecular biology from UW-Madison.  He was a post-doc at MIT and then at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he was promoted first to assistant professor and then to associate professor before coming to UW-Madison in 2004.  He is known for showing the transcription factor CREB is important for the formation of long-term memory.


Explore More: 

“Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior” by Jonathan Weiner (about Seymour Benzer)

“In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind” by Eric Kandel


On March 23, Jill Thein-Nissenbaum of the Physical Therapy Program will share her insights and techniques on Physical Therapy Management of Osteoarthritis in the Hip and Knee, a topic of interest to many of  with a lot of miles on the odometer, as well as to many athletes with many years ahead of them.   I am reminded that much depends on our joints, around which our primate motion pivots.


Bio:  Jill Thein-Nissenbaum, PT, DSc, SCS, ATC is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Iowa State University, her Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa, and her Doctorate of Science in Orthopaedic and Sports Science from Rocky Mountain University in Provo, Utah. In addition, Dr. Thein-Nissenbaum has been a board-certified Sports Clinical Specialist (SCS) through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties since 2001, and has been a certified athletic trainer since 1990.


Dr. Thein-Nissenbaum has served in numerous capacities since joining the DPT program faculty in 1995. In her current role, she teaches 2 5-credit courses in the musculoskeletal track and a 2-semester Sports PT elective. Dr. Thein-Nissenbaum’s clinical appointment is with the Department of Athletics as the staff physical therapist for Badger Sportsmedicine. She is the first physical therapist to be contracted into the athletic training room and is currently in her 14th season with the Badgers. She provides rehabilitation services and consultation for all 23 sports, working directly with the athletic trainers and team physicians. She was the first individual to perform dry needling in the athletic training room; today, it is a valued component in the care and rehabilitation of UW athletes. She has taken numerous dry needling courses and has spoken on the topic. She is actively involved in professional organizations, and serves as the treasurer of the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy (AASPT).


In addition, she hosts a monthly call-in show through Wisconsin Public Radio, where listeners can call in with musculoskeletal-related conditions and receive recommendations regarding treatment and/or management. Her co-host is her sister, Lori Thein Brody, PT, PhD, SCS, ATC. Her research interests include the adolescent female athlete, bone-related injury, dry needling and prevention of anterior cruciate ligament injuries. She has numerous presentation and publications related to these and other sports-related topics.


Remember, we’ve now shifted to Hybrid so we can both Zoom and gather in one Room—Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison WI.


Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab!


Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H



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UW-Madison:  5.9 million owners, one pretty good public land-grant teaching, research and extension university. 

Visit UW-Madison’s science outreach portal at for information on the people, places & programs on campus that welcome you to come experience science as exploring the unknown, all year round.


Here are the components of the WN@TL User’s Guide:

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  3. WN@TL on the University Placebroadcast channel of PBS Wisconsin
  4. WN@TL on the University Place website

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