UP: James Thomson. The UW stem cell researcher wins the 2008 Massry Prize. The award commends Thomson for discovering how to isolate and grow embryonic stem cells, and for learning to create cells almost identical to stem cells, without using an embryo. Eight previous recipients of the Massry Prize have gone on to win Nobel prizes.
DOWN: Dane County. For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency includes Dane County on a list of counties in violation of federal air-quality standards. The county has high levels of fine particle pollution, which comes from coal plants and motor vehicles. If the county's air quality does not improve, it could lose federal funding for road construction and face stricter pollution controls for new businesses.