UA News Science & Technology
Updated: 15 hours 19 min ago
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.
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 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.
Leading a UA research effort that has brought in almost $8 million in funding, UA Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department Head Jeff Jacobs conducts fundamental research in fluid instability and provides experimental data to help national laboratories validate their simulations of nuclear arms safety and efficacy.
Famed UA astrophotographer Adam Block has again captured a striking image of the cosmos. The glowing red region in the constellation Serpens, which means snake, "gives this vista an eerie feeling" while its contrasting regions bring to mind to duality of heaven and hell, Block says.
UA researchers have discovered a surprisingly diverse ecosystem of microbes in a limestone cave near Tucson, Arizona, eking out a living from not much more than drip water, rock and air. The discovery not only expands our understanding of how microbes manage to colonize every niche on the planet but also could lead to applications ranging from environmental cleanup solutions to drug development.
A National Sciences Foundation-funded exhibit, "Journey into the World of Microbes," is now open in the Discovery Center at Kartchner Caverns, offering the public a closer look at the microscopic organisms that live in the caves. The kiosk was created to educate the public about these cave microbes, including some that are being studied by UA researchers.
The UA's McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship was named Innovator of the Year in academia during the Governor's Celebration of Innovation gala. All finalists for the award were from the UA, representing innovative programs in agriculture, the biological sciences and environmental science.
FireScape is a comprehensive effort to manage fires and ecosystems in Arizona's sky island region. The project brings together representatives from the UA, the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and other southeastern Arizona land managers. Firescape researchers collect extensive data for each mountain range and build interactive maps to allow for a scientifically driven approach to managing fires.
Larry Peterson, a preeminent researcher in the areas of computer networks and distributed systems, says the current trend toward cloud computing and more reliance on network-based services is a tremendous opportunity for new breakthroughs in computing. "The cloud is changing the way computing is done and the way that networks are going to be built. We're trying to help it happen in a way that keeps the opportunities for innovation open," he said.
UA doctoral degree candidate Jay Sanguinetti has authored a new study, published online in the journal Psychological Science, that indicates that the brain processes and understands visual input that we may never consciously perceive. The finding challenges currently accepted models about how the brain processes visual information.
Two UA researchers contributed to a special issue of the scientific journal Climatic Change dedicated to the impacts of climate change on indigenous communities. While tribal communities are especially vulnerable to climate change, they also have unique strengths that make them resilient, especially in combination with strategic collaborations with outside partners.
UA computer science faculty members Saumya Debray and Richard Snodgrass collaborated with TLA’s Wheelhouse Arizona in the formation of Dataware Ventures as a new startup company.
The city of Tucson has chosen local product and business developer Aztera to lead operations of the Commercialization Network Alliance, which is a partnership between the UA and the city to nurture start-up companies born from UA research activities, with the goal of new jobs and economic growth for Tucson and the region.
The world's largest database of minerals, developed and housed at the UA, enables NASA to identify the minerals that make up the soil on Mars. Some of those minerals are the same as you'd find on a beach in Hawaii. UA graduate student Shaunna Morrison, a member of the science team for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, is helping to uncover the secrets of the Red Planet.
UA researchers Joanna Masel and Noah Whiteman, each have received a grant from the John Templeton Foundation for research projects in evolutionary biology. The results of their studies could shed light on the origin of new genes and the diversity of life on Earth.
A team of researchers co-led by UA Regents' Professor Nick Strausfeld has discovered the earliest known complete nervous system, exquisitely preserved in the fossilized remains of a never-before described creature that crawled or swam in the ocean 520 million years ago. Described in the current issue of the journal Nature, the specimen belongs to an extinct group of marine arthropods known as megacheirans, Greek for "large claws."
Are we alone in the universe? This is the central question posed by a new book edited by UA scientists. "Encountering Life in the Universe: Ethical Foundations and Social Implications of Astrobiology" is a compilation of works by authors ranging from philosophers and theologians to astronomers and astrobiologists. The book explores the ethical and societal implications of finding life elsewhere in the universe.
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.