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University of Wisconsin to reprise controversial monkey studies

An infant monkey plays at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. Infant monkeys in psychiatrist Dr. Ned Kalin’s study will be exposed to adversity to study its effect on young brains.

UW-Madison psychiatry professor Ned Kalin received approval to conduct the first experiment on campus in more than 30 years that will intentionally deprive newborn monkeys of their mothers, a practice designed to impact a primate’s psychological well-being. The protocol drew unusual debate from oversight committees, and it has raised questions about the degree of suffering acceptable in an experimental design with uncertain outcomes. Continue Reading

Center’s Ron Seely wins national environmental reporting award

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s Ron Seely has been selected as winner of the Sierra Club’s 2014 national reporting award. Seely, a reporter, editor and student mentor for the Center, will receive the David R. Brower Award for outstanding environmental coverage, the national Sierra Club announced this week. The award is named after the first executive director of the Sierra Club. Ellen Davis, chairwoman of the honors and awards committee for the Sierra Club, said Seely was chosen for his high-quality reporting on environmental issues spanning more than two decades, including coverage of the environmental effects of large farming operations and the proposed Gogebic Taconite mine in northern Wisconsin. “It was really for his entire career rather than a particular story,” Davis said. Continue Reading

Frac sand news roundup: ‘I don’t care if the trucks are hauling frac sand, frozen pizzas or water. The volume of trucks is just unacceptable’

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The latest in Wisconsin frac sand. See our in-depth stories since 2011 on our frac sand project page. Eleven minor earthquakes in Oklahoma over the course of one weekend renewed concerns that hydraulic fracturing is to blame. RT July 14

New numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show U.S. natural gas output at a record high, due mainly to more hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale. Bloomberg Businessweek July 15

Pennsylvania-based Preferred Sands is planning to open a new frac sand facility in 2015 that will “extend our current geographic reach to service every major basin in North America,” according to president and CEO Michael O’Neill. Continue Reading