Updated: 23 hours 16 min ago
UA undergraduate researcher Sarah Schwenck and postdoctoral associate Jennifer Brum are investigating phages, viruses that infect bacteria, to understand how portions of the world's oceans function without oxygen. Having taken measurements while on a research cruise to Mexico, they will sequence the DNA of the viruses and analyze how much of a role differences in viruses plays at different spots in the ocean.
A UA-led group of astronomers has completed the largest-ever survey of dense gas clouds in the Milky Way – pockets shrouded in gas and dust where new stars are being born. Cataloging and mapping more than 6,000 gas clouds, the survey allows astronomers to better understand the earliest phases of star formation.
An alien world believed to be the first-known planet to consist largely of diamond now appears less likely to be of such precious nature, according to a new analysis led by UA graduate student Johanna Teske. The new research will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.
For her master's project at the UA, Sara Sillars studied and designed a wildlife corridor project for Interstate 10 east of Tucson. The project has since been adopted by the Arizona Department of Transportation. Sillars, now a geographic information systems analyst for Pacific Gas and Electric, says the UA's Masters of Science in GIS Technology program gave her valuable real-world experience.
A team of researchers led by UA assistant professor Vanessa Huxter has made the first detailed observation of how energy travels through diamonds that contain nitrogen-vacancy centers. The unexpected and attractive properties of these "flawed" diamonds put them in the spotlight as promising candidates for a variety of technological advances.
The UA is the lead institution for the Regional Algal Feedstock Testbed partnership, which was recently awarded $8 million over four years by the Department of Energy to research how algae can be grown year-round outdoors in open ponds in different climates. The UA's Kimberly Ogden and others are looking at algae as a potential means to fuel the future.
UA entomology professor Molly Hunter has received a $520,000 National Science Foundation grant to explore bacterial manipulation of insect reproduction. In the three-year study, Hunter and her team will research the genomic and cytological mechanisms used by the bacterium Cardinium to manipulate reproduction of parasitic wasps that attack whiteflies, a growing agricultural pest concern.
During a public forum, a panel of UA climate experts commented on the latest United Nations report on climate change and explained what the findings likely mean for Arizona and the Southwest. Arizona is warming faster than any of the other lower 48 states and water will become a more pressing issue as precipitation patterns change and conditions become hotter and drier.
Toxicologist and pediatrician Dr. Leslie Boyer, founding director of the UA's VIPER Institute, has been named the 2013 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year by the Arizona Bioindustry Association. Boyer was lead investigator for a scorpion antivenom clinical trials program that resulted in FDA approval of the antivenom Anascorp.
UA aerospace and mechanical engineering professor Erdogan Madenci, working with assistant professor of materials science and engineering Robert Erdmann, will head a new $7.5 million multidisciplinary university research initiative to predict damage and failure of materials used in applications ranging from microchips to spaceships. The project will be based on the emerging theory of peridynamics, which enables modeling of material fracture and failure.
Max Li, a UA doctoral student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is testing mechanisms that determine why some plant species dominate in nature while others stably coexist. His research in the Southern Arizona desert could help inform policies to curb the spread of invasive species.
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $3.9 million to an international collaboration led by UA ecologists Scott Saleska and Virginia Rich. The researchers are studying how microbes release greenhouse gases as they access nutrients in permafrost soils that are thawing under the influence of a warmer climate.
On a study abroad trip in India, two UA students came up with the idea for a mobile app that makes it faster and easier for people to connect with each other via multiple social media sites simultaneously. SociaLink, developed by Michael Jacobs and Hector Rosales, is now available for download at the Apple Store.
The National Science Foundation has awarded $50 million to a multi-institution collaborative headquartered at the UA's BIO5 Institute to create a national cyberinfrastructure for the biological sciences. The renewal grant for the iPlant Collaborative will allow scientists around the world to collaborate and use proven computational tools to analyze and manage massive biological datasets to address questions of scientific, national and global importance.
Rabies cases in humans are rare, but people can still contract the disease. UA undergraduate researcher Robert Clark, who conducted an investigation into animal cases of rabies in Pima County, is now working to enhance public education around rabies prevention. With World Rabies Day approaching, he already has begun informing school nurses and educators about how to protect against the disease.
Researchers in the UA's Eller College of Management have been awarded two grants from the National Science Foundation, totaling $5.4 million, for projects that will address significant cybersecurity research and education challenges facing the U.S. and the world.
A UA engineering faculty member has developed an app designed to help users navigate traffic and cut down on travel time. Smartrek, set to launch this month in the Los Angeles and Phoenix metro areas, uses advanced traffic prediction and vehicle routing technology, combined with user rewards, to give drivers the best suggestions for avoiding traffic while helping reduce traffic congestion.
The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project, led by UA geoscientist Andrew S. Cohen, has been awarded $4.78 million from the National Science Foundation to continue and expand its research on human evolution and climate. Researchers anticipate their findings will transform our understanding of how environmental and climate change affected the evolution of our ancestors and have implications for humans today.
The UA is leading the new multi-university Broadband Wireless Access & Applications Center, which unites collaborators from universities and industry who are focused on developing the next generation of reliable and sustainable broadband wireless technologies. The center is backed by National Science Foundation funding of nearly $1.6 million over the next five years and industry support of about $4 million.
With 2 million irreplaceable specimens, the UA Insect Collection holds great importance for both researchers and members of the general public. Through National Science Foundation grants, a new endowment from Schlinger Foundation and other support, the collection is being renovated, with plans to make materials more accessible online. The UA's annual Insect Festival will be held Sept. 15.