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Updated: 14 hours 21 min ago

A Small Step Toward Discovering Habitable Earths

Tue, 2014-03-04 00:00
For the first time, UA astronomers have used the same imaging technology found in a digital camera to take a picture of a planet far from our solar system with an Earth-based telescope. The accomplishment is a small step toward the technology astronomers will need in order to characterize planets suitable for harboring life.
Categories: Science News

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

Thu, 2014-02-27 00:00
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.
Categories: Science News

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

Wed, 2014-02-26 00:02
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.
Categories: Science News

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

Mon, 2014-02-24 00:01
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.
Categories: Science News

$1.3M Given to UA for Mining Safety Research

Mon, 2014-02-24 00:01
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.
Categories: Science News

UA Scientists Help Decipher Origin of Flowers

Thu, 2014-02-20 00:02
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.
Categories: Science News

New Look Inside Cell Nucleus Could Improve Cancer Diagnostics

Wed, 2014-02-19 00:00
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.
Categories: Science News

The Virus That Makes a Disposable Syringe

Sun, 2014-02-16 00:02
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.
Categories: Science News

How to Find the Rarest of the Rare in Southern Skies

Fri, 2014-02-14 00:02
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.
Categories: Science News

The Sound of Destruction

Fri, 2014-02-14 00:02
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.
Categories: Science News

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

Thu, 2014-02-13 00:00
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.
Categories: Science News

UA HiRISE Mars Camera Reveals a More Dynamic Red Planet

Tue, 2014-02-11 00:02
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.
Categories: Science News

Countdown Starts for UA-led Asteroid Mission

Sun, 2014-02-09 00:02
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.
Categories: Science News

20 Tons of Glass, Fresh from the Oven

Fri, 2014-02-07 00:01
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.
Categories: Science News

Three UA Professors Elected as AAAS Fellows

Thu, 2014-02-06 00:00
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.
Categories: Science News

UA Astronomers Discover Planet That Shouldn't Be There

Mon, 2014-02-03 00:02
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.
Categories: Science News