Chuck Quirmbach

Innovation Reporter

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018 as Innovation Reporter, covering developments in science, health and business.

Prior to that, he worked for Wisconsin Public Radio in Milwaukee and Madison, covering the environment, energy, and Milwaukee news of statewide interest.

He is a graduate of the UW-Madison.

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin says she'll try to provide additional help in Congress for water technology firms.

Language sponsored by Baldwin that provides incentives for innovative drinking water technology was included in a federal water resources bill Congress passed last year. Baldwin says the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan may have helped.

Chuck Quirmbach

A "tech bash" aimed at growing Milwaukee's technology culture in a party setting will be held Tuesday night on the city's near south side. 

Milwaukee is no Silicon Valley, of course. But the region is having some success incorporating more technology into business practices and adding to the tech workforce.

starkytang / stock.adobe.com

The battle over stronger gun laws has resumed in Wisconsin. A Milwaukee state senator and other Democratic legislators have introduced a bill requiring background checks for more gun sales. But it's unclear if the Republican-controlled Legislature will allow the bill to move.   

Recent mass shootings in Texas, Ohio, and other states have again prompted calls for tighter controls on gun purchases.

Chuck Quirmbach

A bi-partisan bill before the Wisconsin Legislature would set up a Palliative Care Council within the state Department of Health Services. The measure would also require the state to establish an education program on palliative care.

The growing field of palliative care treats patients with life-limiting illnesses. It's not for the end of life.

Chuck Quirmbach

A traveling exhibit aiming to get people to sign up for a huge medical research program is making its way around the Milwaukee area. It’s an outreach initiative for the effort known as All of Us.

All of Us is a National Institutes of Health program that began during the Obama administration. It's trying to recruit 1 million people nationwide to allow a body measurement, blood pressure reading, and give blood and urine samples that can be privately analyzed to accelerate health research.

Chuck Quirmbach

On Wednesday, hundreds of members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) became the latest religious group to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies. They marched to the offices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in downtown Milwaukee. 

The ELCA is holding its annual Churchwide Assembly at the Wisconsin Center this week.

Chuck Quirmbach

People with physical disabilities may now be better able to use the Bublr bike-share system in the Milwaukee area. A pilot program announced Tuesday will add some adaptive cycles to the mix of bikes available.

Shirin Cabraal had polio as a child and now as an older adult can only walk with the aid of a walker. She's very happy that one of the new Bublr adaptive bikes is a two-person side-by-side tricycle. With the aid of another rider, Cabraal says she hopes to go exploring.

Screenshot / Milwaukee County's Interactive GIS & Land Information Map

A national lawn care company that's now in the Milwaukee-area is one of the latest businesses to use satellite images to get a close look at potential customers. And use of "eye in the sky" photos and other images has been growing.   

Courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin

One of the fastest-growing areas of health care is what's known as precision medicine. It uses a person’s DNA and other factors to develop personalized therapies for patients.

The director of the Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa, Dr. Raul Urrutia, has been running the center for two years. He says a health care "revolution" is underway.

Courtesy of American Lung Association

The American Lung Association (ALA) says lung cancer death rates are down nearly 12% in the last five years. Despite that, lung cancer remains the number one type of cancer that causes deaths.   

There are both life-saving developments and remaining challenges.

The Lung Association estimates that in Wisconsin, 4,150 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year — and nearly 2,800 will pass away.

Smoking is the top cause of the disease. But there are other potential triggers as well, like air pollution.

Chuck Quirmbach

A city of Milwaukee panel has declared an order to tear down the former Northridge Mall is "reasonable." But the Chinese firm that owns the huge property on the northwest side says its fight to keep the buildings intact may not be over.

The Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services issued what's called a raze order against the mall three months ago, saying the long-closed complex is dilapidated, frequently vandalized, and meets a raze order standard of needing repairs that exceed half the assessed value of the property.

NASA History Office and the NASA JSC Media Services Center / NASA

The 50th anniversary of the first astronaut moon landing comes as NASA is talking of another trip to the moon within five years, and of taking people to Mars by the mid-2030s.

Astronomers, engineers, and human health experts across Wisconsin have been tracking the discussion. And some are working on projects potentially tied to more space travel.

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bill that could speed the introduction of faster wireless service known as 5G to the state. The industry promises that 5G would mean things like better cell phone connections and faster movie downloads.

But there are concerns that 5G, which stands for fifth generation, could bring health problems like cancer to local communities. 

For WUWM's Beats Me series, we received a question about when the Milwaukee area will get 5G. 

arcyto / stock.adobe.com

Doctors at the Medical College of Wisconsin are reporting progress in treating two kinds of cancer affecting women — ovarian and cervical cancers. But those researchers say many challenges remain.  

Chuck Quirmbach

Boats without on-board pilots or drivers are starting to make their way onto the world's waters. You won't find so-called autonomous boats on the Great Lakes just yet. But that could change over the next decade, at least for universities doing research. 

During a recent demonstration in Milwaukee's harbor near Discovery World , a diesel-powered yellow boat about 18 feet long went back and forth on the water. 

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