Building on research that sent her biking across Tanzania a couple of summers ago to test remote water sources on the spot for bacteria, the UA's Linda Powers is moving into the diagnostic realm: developing fast, disposable blood tests for pathogens that cause diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
Describing the measurement of temperature across extremely tiny distances such as individual molecules, UA physicists have glimpsed a phenomenon mimicking the actions of Maxwell's Demon, a hypothetical figure in a thought experiment that seemingly defies the laws of thermodynamics. The research project and its unexpected results were several years in the making.
Three UA faculty members have been named Regents' Professors by the Arizona Board of Regents: Neal R. Armstrong in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, Hsinchun Chen in the Eller College of Management, and Xiaohui Fan in the department of astronomy. The title recognizes achievements of national or international distinction.
Applying newly developed analysis techniques to data obtained by NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1989, a team involving two UA planetary scientists discovered that weather phenomena on Uranus and Neptune are confined to the upper 680 miles of atmosphere instead of reaching deeper into the planets' interior as was previously thought.
NASA has granted final approval of the OSIRIS-REx sample return mission led by the UA. The target asteroid, uniquely interesting scientifically, is one of the most potentially hazardous objects known - it has a one-in-2,000 chance of colliding with Earth in the late 22nd century. The asteroid could hold clues to the origin of the solar system.
Taking before and after pictures of the Martian terrain, researchers with the UA-led HiRISE camera have identified nearly 250 fresh impact craters on the Red Planet. The results provide scientists with a better yardstick to estimate how frequently craters are blasted on Mars, allowing them to assess recently formed features with greater accuracy.
A new movement is under way to shift the way in which the UA engages its community partners in outreach initiatives funded by research grants. Where academics of the past sometimes limited their outreach projects, the move today is toward tailored, multi-year culturally responsive initiatives that serve a range of people throughout Arizona and beyond.
UA genomics experts have helped decipher the DNA of the carnivorous bladderwort. This genome is the smallest ever sequenced from a higher plant, and scientists say that nearly all of it - 97 percent - comprises genes that code for proteins, suggesting the majority of noncoding DNA may not be crucial for complex life.
The UA's Dennis Ray will lead the effort of breeding guayule, a rubber-producing plant suited for arid environments, to achieve higher yields and reduced harvest cycle time. Tech Launch Arizona, a technology commercialization center at the UA, assisted with the UA partnership with Yulex Corporation, which is providing the grant.
Using a DNA sequencing technique capable of deciphering all human genes at the same time, UA researchers have discovered genetic mutations underlying seizure disorders in previously undiagnosed children. Efforts are under way to establish a genomics diagnostic center at the UA and extend the capabilities to other areas such as cardiology, immunology and gastroenterology.