Campus Science & Tech News

Syndicate content
Updated: 1 hour 14 min ago

7 Questions for Dante Lauretta, Leader of UA's Biggest Space Mission

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 4:09pm
Dante Lauretta, a professor in the UA's Department of Planetary Sciences, is leading the biggest NASA mission the UA has ever undertaken. Scheduled to launch in September 2016, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will rendezvous with asteroid Bennu, scoop up a sample and bring it back to Earth. Here, Lauretta talks about what it takes to reach an asteroid and why an electric guitar plays an essential part in the OSIRIS-REx mission.

UA-Developed Avatar is Helping to Screen New Arrivals at Bucharest Airport

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 10:14am
A kiosk-based screening system being developed at the UA uses a virtual border agent to interview travelers while also monitoring their behavior for the tell-tale signs of someone who's lying. The AVATAR system has been tested along the U.S.-Mexico border and is now being tested at a Romanian airport.

Prefer Dry Heat to Arctic Chill? Genetics Might Be the Reason

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 1:54pm
As record-setting cold temperatures hit the East Coast, the Midwest and parts of the South, UA researchers weigh in on how our genes affect our ability to deal with extreme weather – hot or cold. A person's adaptability can be determined by his or her ability to sweat, skin pigmentation, heart strength and even how close blood vessels are to the surface of the skin.

$1.3M Given to UA for Mining Safety Research

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 1:54pm
Recognized for offering programs in the full range of disciplines related to mineral resources, the UA has earned a risk management and training effectiveness grants to aid in improving mining safety. All told, the grant funding amounts to more than $1.3 million from the Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health.

UA Scientists Help Decipher Origin of Flowers

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 2:47pm
Researchers have deciphered the DNA of the earliest ancestor of flowering plants, providing long-awaited insight into the evolution of the amazing diversity of the more than 300,000 flowering plant species we enjoy today.

New Look Inside Cell Nucleus Could Improve Cancer Diagnostics

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 9:32am
Researchers, including a team from the UA's BIO5 Institute, have successfully isolated and sequenced the entire messenger RNA, or the "genetic photocopies," contained in the nucleus of a single cell – a long-anticipated step forward that could help detect cancer sooner and more accurately.

The Virus That Makes a Disposable Syringe

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 11:42pm
For decades, no one knew how a virus that preys on bacteria transfers its DNA into the host cells because it appeared to lack the structures other viruses use for that process. Now researchers have discovered how the virus does it - using a structure that might hold applications for nanotechnology.

How to Find the Rarest of the Rare in Southern Skies

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 7:54pm
An interdisciplinary UA team has received over $700,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop a computer program that will sort through between 1 and 10 million alerts of astronomical objects each night from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which will begin operations in Chile in 2022.

The Sound of Destruction

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 7:54pm
What do kidney stones, a shrimp’s lunch, and firefighting foam have in common? The answer lies in the destructive power of sound waves, which UA researchers are investigating as a means of eliminating toxic chemicals. Manish Keswani, an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Reyes Sierra, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, have been awarded a U.S. Air Force contract to destroy firefighting chemicals using a novel sonochemical process, which uses sound waves to break down complex and toxic molecules.

No Matter the Continent, the World's Frogs Have a Lot in Common, UA Biologist Finds

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 5:03am
After studying frogs on three continents, a UA biologist has come to the conclusion that frog species have striking similarities no matter where thet make their homes. In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, ecology and evolutionary biology professor John Wiens and collaborators suggest that the similarity in frog species across continents has two explanations.

UA HiRISE Mars Camera Reveals a More Dynamic Red Planet

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 5:30pm
New scientific data obtained from images taken with UA's HiRISE Mars camera suggest salty water may be flowing at certain times of the year in Mars' equatorial region, which had long thought to be free of water or ice. HiRISE principal investigator Alfred McEwen presented the findings at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Countdown Starts for UA-led Asteroid Mission

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 11:16am
The countdown clock officially started on Dec. 9, with 999 days remaining until the projected launch of the first NASA mission to bring back a sample from a pristine, primitive asteroid. The event also marked the launch of an engaging social media and public outreach campaign to share the excitement of the mission's progress across the world.

20 Tons of Glass, Fresh from the Oven

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 10:03am
The Giant Magellan Telescope’s third primary mirror was unveiled at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory Mirror Lab on Friday. The UA is producing a total of seven mirrors. They'll be combined into a light-gathering surface 80 feet in diameter - creating the largest telescope ever built.

Three UA Professors Elected as AAAS Fellows

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 8:59pm
UA faculty members Malcolm Hughes, Katrina Marie Miranda and Diana E. Wheeler have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The honor is only bestowed upon those individuals who maintain a proven record of advancing knowledge and applications determined to be scientifically or socially distinguished.

UA Astronomers Discover Planet That Shouldn't Be There

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 7:52am
An international team of astronomers, led by a University of Arizona graduate student, has discovered the most distantly orbiting planet found to date around a single, sun-like star. Weighing in at 11 times Jupiter’s mass and orbiting its star at 650 times the average Earth-Sun distance, planet HD 106906 b is unlike anything in our own Solar System and defies current planet formation theories.

Growing Hydroponic Strawberries in the Desert

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 7:52am
Chieri Kubota came to the UA from Japan with many goals, including growing strawberries hydroponically in the desert Southwest. Her focus is flavor over shelf life. Her goal is to test varieties and high-tech growing methods – then work with greenhouse growers to cultivate strawberries in the winter for local farmers markets, grocers and restaurants. Little did she know that in the 1890s Arizona was famous for its luscious off-season strawberry crop.

Pinning Down Aerosols to Shed Light on Visibility, Clouds, Climate Change

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:45pm
UA researcher Armin Sorooshian and his research team recently conducted two aircraft field studies to investigate haze, dust and smoke – those little-understood ubiquitous aerosol particles. In studying the properties of such particles in the atmosphere, the team is working to help scientists to better understand aerosol-cloud interactions and predict climate change.

UA Ag and Cardiology Profs Team Up to Make Implanted Devices 'Sticky'

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 11:07pm
UA researchers are testing nanotechnology to improve how cardiovascular implant devices are attached in the body. The goal is to make the surface sticky so they adhere better to the body's tissues, reducing the chances of being dislodged by blood flow.