MON AM News: Researchers develop method for diagnosing prostate cancer; AFL-CIO applauds Starbucks workers for unionizing

— WARF is seeking commercial partners for a new imaging-based method for diagnosing prostate cancer. 

Researchers at UW-Madison have developed a way to detect prostate cancer by analyzing a prostate tissue sample for certain physical factors linked to the presence of cancer, according to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. 

These changes, occurring in cancerous prostates “in regions away from the tumor sites,” have been found to be “statistically significantly different … between men with and without clinically significant cancer elsewhere in the prostate.” 

The WARF site shows current clinical practice for prostate cancer screening uses a prostate specific antigen, or PSA, test. 

But this method also detects “non-significant cancers, leading to an estimated 50% of over-diagnosis.” And sampling errors can lead to several sample biopsies being required for a diagnosis, or cancers being missed altogether, WARF says. 

The new image analysis method is touted as “simple, rapid and quantitative,” and requires resources that are “widely used by every hospital pathology laboratory,” the site shows. WARF says researchers have tested it on tissue samples from more than 100 patients.

David Jarrard, a professor in the university’s Department of Urology and the associate director of the UW Carbone Cancer Center, is listed as the method’s inventor. 

See further details here: 

See more on his lab’s work: 

— The Wisconsin AFL-CIO is applauding Starbucks workers at locations in Oak Creek and Plover for becoming the first to be unionized in the state. 

According to a release from the state chapter of the labor group, employees at these two Starbucks voted to unionize in National Labor Relations Board elections and will be represented by Workers United International Union. 

Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Stephanie Bloomingdale said in a statement these workers have “made the history books” and “claimed their seat at the table at one of the most powerful companies in the world.” 

“It is through collective bargaining that workers can best address workplace issues like scheduling, safety, turnover, and fair wages,” Bloomingdale said. “With solidarity and togetherness workers are joining together and winning union rights in order to make advances and improve workplaces for all.”

— Wisconsin specialty cheese production increased about 10 percent between 2020 and 2021, a USDA report shows. 

Making up a quarter of the state’s total cheese production with 877 million pounds last year, specialty cheese production rose by 82.5 million pounds from 2020. 

The report shows 88 of Wisconsin’s 115 cheese plants produced at least one type of specialty cheese last year. That includes asiago, cheddar, feta, gouda, havarti and others. Nearly every type of specialty cheese saw production increases over the year, except for farmer’s cheese which declined 13 percent. 

See the report: 

— State officials have identified more cases of the deadly strain of avian influenza in the state, bringing the total number of counties with confirmed cases to 11. 

The latest cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, were identified in backyard flocks in Pierce and Sauk counties. 

The first flock in which HPAI was identified remains the largest of those listed at the DATCP site, with nearly 3 million birds in a commercial poultry operation in Jefferson County. While a number of cases have been found in small backyard flocks with several hundred birds at the most, others were identified in commercial flocks with thousands of birds. 

See the release: 

See DATCP’s HPAI page to track the virus in Wisconsin: 

See a recent related story: 

— Five meat processors are getting a total of $200,000 in grant funding, state officials announced. 

Recipients include: Nordik Meats of Viroqua, with $25,000; Paulie’s Chop Shop of Luxemburg, $50,000; JM Watkins of Plum City, $50,000; Crescent Meats of Cadott, $50,000; and Sort Farm Packing of Darien, $25,000. 

The grants will be used for expanding facility capacity, purchasing new equipment and installations and constructing new buildings, a release shows. 

See the release: 

— Dane County officials have selected engineering design firm HGA to conduct an energy assessment of county facilities. 

According to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, the assessment will help the county “identify the next set of opportunities to green our facilities, giving us a roadmap to our 2030 net-zero carbon goal.” That includes areas such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, electrification and water conservation, a release shows. 

The county says it currently gets about 45 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources. It’s shooting for 100 percent by 2024. 

See the release: 

— UW-Madison’s School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences has announced three new degree programs aimed at meeting rising demand for technology education. 

The new programs, launching in the fall, include two master’s degree programs in data science and data engineering and a bachelor’s degree program in information science. CDIS was launched in 2019 and houses the university’s “largest and fastest-growing degree programs,” a release shows. 

“What’s exciting about these new programs is that we’re creating more pathways for students,” Tom Erickson, founding director of CDIS, said in the release. “Not only will graduates be able to specialize in emerging fields, but we’ll also train undergraduates to apply digital skills to improve communities.”

See more details in the release: 

Listen to a podcast with Erickson from February: 

— The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a $10 million donation from Milwaukee-area philanthropists Linda and John Mellowes. 

In a release, MCW says it’s dedicating an existing research center as the Linda T. and John A. Mellowes Center for Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine to recognize the impact this gift will have on these fields of study. 

The donation is the largest philanthropic investment in genomics that MCW has received, the release shows. It will establish three new endowed chairs at the college in precision oncology, precision medicine, and bioinformatics and data analytics. 

Linda Mellowes, who has served on the MCW Board of Trustees and as board chair from 2008 and 2010, says the center’s efforts will “attract intellectual talent to our region and lead to medical breakthroughs and new treatments for patients and families.”

See the release: 

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# Case factory worker strike continues as union members fight for higher wages, COVID-19 protections

# Higher prices, slower economy don’t dampen Generac’s red-hot home standby generator sales: Jagdfeld

# Major efforts underway to address Madison’s lack of progress for minority-owned businesses



– Another record year for state’s specialty cheese production

– Julia Nunes reflects back on her years as ‘Alice’


– ‘They can bring so much’: Despite barriers, Afghan evacuees enrich Wisconsin’s workforce


– FarmFirst Dairy Co-op awards scholarships to students

– UW-Green Bay working to raise $20M to support financial aid, academic programs

– Marquette University anticipates largest freshman class in recent years

– UW-Madison chancellor finalist Marie Miranda backs financial flexibility, diversity efforts

– ‘Meeting the need’: Foundation provides supplies to Madison schools


– Walleyes, bluegills, pike, oh my! Wisconsin sport fishing season opens Saturday

– Wisconsin officials issue wildfire warnings across the state


– Carnitas Don Carlos is the Park Street taco spot you may not have spotted


– Medica paid $233 million to own 55% of Dean Health Plan

– Milwaukee County moves into the medium level of Covid-19 spread

– John A. and Linda Mellowes give $10 million to Medical College of Wisconsin


– Dane County Board probe of Vilas Zoo could trigger ‘nightmare scenario,’ county attorney says

– Fire at Wisconsin anti-abortion office investigated as arson

– Police investigating arson, vandalism at Wisconsin Family Action


– Hundreds gather for second day of protests against possible overturning of Roe v. Wade


– Ogden plans to replace mini-golf center on Layton with 257 apartments

– Ansay, Pat Connaughton’s group aim for fall start on big Saukville project

– Real estate developer to move its headquarters back to Wauwatosa

– Land for 131-unit Menomonee Falls subdivision expected to be for-sale to home builders


– Finalists announced for Summerfest Tech Pitch Competition


– Viking cruise ships will visit Bayfield on Great Lakes tour this summer

– Go on board Great Lakes cruise ship, Viking Octantis, as it visits Milwaukee

– See photos inside Viking Octantis as it completes its first trip to Milwaukee


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

Medical College of Wisconsin: Milwaukee-area family invests $10 million in genomic sciences and precision medicine research

UW-Stout: Faculty recognized for research in rehabilitation counseling, natural resource economics