In The News

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University of Arizona researchers have begun using a test that can detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus in a person who has no obvious symptoms and possibly determine whether someone was once infected with COVID-19. By studying the antibodies present in a person's blood, the two lead researchers, UA immunologists Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya and Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich, hope to answer questions such as what unique antibodies are important to fight the novel coronavirus, how much of the population already had it and recovered or showed no symptoms, and whether it's possible to get reinfected with the virus.
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Copper can kill viruses and other germs by disrupting the protective layers of the organisms and interfering with its vital processes. Believe it or not, the use of copper for health purposes dates all the way back to Ancient Egypt, and scientists today including UArizona Immunobiology assistant professor BIO5 faculty Dr. Michael D L Johnson, and are still learning about the amazing benefits of copper.
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UArizona researchers and staff at all levels are working to assemble COVID-19 collection kits. Led by Dr. David T Harris, Arizona Health Sciences Biorepository executive director, UArizona Department of Immunobiology professor, and BIO5 faculty member, research staff had begun producing the kits over the weekend, ultimately assembling more than 1,600 kits. Dr. Harris said that while assembling the collection kits is fairly easy, it's finding the materials for those kits that's the difficult part. Despite already making nearly 2,000 of these collection kits over the weekend, Dr. Harris said staff aim to assemble 10,000 over the next two weeks.
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Dr. Felicia Goodrum Sterling, Immunobiology professor with UArizona College of Medicine-Tucson and BIO5 faculty, discusses the COVID -19 epidemic including our ability and responsibility to protect our community and those most vulnerable. Relatively simple non-pharmaceutical interventions have been effective in limiting infectious disease. These include: washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick, disinfecting common areas and surfaces, and social distancing (e.g. avoiding handshakes).
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A UArizona physicist is hoping a $1.1 million award will allow him to modify an already sophisticated microscope that will enable him to photograph electrons in motion, something no one has ever done. Dr. Mohammed Hassan, UArizona assistant professor of physics, optical sciences, and BIO5 member, was recently awarded the grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, based in Los Angeles.
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NASA recently funded two UArizona teams to search for water and grow food in space.  Led by researchers in the College of Engineering and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the missions focus on harvesting water from the lunar surface and improving techniques for microgravity crop producti

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The Science City lineup is designed to ignite the senses and inspire the minds of tens of thousands of visitors from across the United States. Organized into thematic neighborhoods and interactive spaces, Science City immerses guests in the wonder of science through over 100 hands-on learning activities, laboratory tours, and exciting science demonstrations, as well as public friendly talks by renowned science authors and researchers. The Tucson Festival of Books (TFOB) is the third largest book festival in the country, and the only one with a focus on science
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Dr. Betül Kaçar is an astrobiologist and molecular biologist with research interests in the origins of life, ancient biological innovations, and finding life on other planets. She speaks to the importance of science, and how it provides her with a means to chase her dreams. Dr. Kaçar has been recently admitted to NASA’s team exploring traces of life in the Universe.
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The UArizona College of Pharmacy’s new Arizona Center for Drug Discovery (ACDD) is co-Directed by Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology professor and BIO5 researcher, Dr. Wei Wang. Dr. Wang promises to energize the drug discovery process across campus by helping UArizona drug researchers with drug discovery — early-stage efforts to narrow down candidate drug compounds — and connecting them with partners in the pharmaceutical industry.
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As climate change calls the future of the world’s forests into question, UArizona researchers are in a race against the clock to preserve and characterize thousands of species of endangered fungi, which they believe may hold the key to understanding how forests will survive and adapt to a hotter, drier future. Dr. Jana U’Ren, a UArizona professor of ecosystem genomics and BIO5 member, spoke about this issue and the role her research plays in these characterizations.
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UArizona Pharmacology professor and BIO5 member Dr. Rajesh Khanna was named a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for his work with Regulonix. Dr. Khanna co-founded and serves as the chief scientific officer of Regulonix. The company is in the process of developing non-opioid therapies for chronic pain relief and management.
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Dr. Donna Zhang, a UArizona professor ofPharmacology and Toxicology and BIO5 member, has been formally vested as the Musil Family Endowed Chair For Drug Discovery. Dr. Zhang is an internationally recognized researcher who has spent her career focusing on the transcription factor that regulates the expression of antioxidant proteins, where she has made a number of profound contributions.
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Scientists are developing new ways of collecting and analyzing biomarkers in sweat. UArizona BIO5 faculty members Dr. Erin Ratcliff and Dr. Esther Sternberg from the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine-Tucson, respectively, are leading research that could allow physicians to use patient sweat samples as a less invasive approach to establishing and monitoring health.
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Dr. Jeffrey Burgess, a UArizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health researcher and BIO5 member has spent decades researching the connection between firefighters and chemical exposures that can lead to cancer. Dr. Burgess and a team of researchers throughout the U.S. are looking into the genetic changes caused by a firefighter's exposure to chemicals present at fires and different methods that can be used to quickly clear their bodies of these toxins.
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BIO5 director and UArizona Biomedical Engineering professor Dr. Jennifer Barton recently spoke with SPIE - the international society for optics and photonics, where she serves at the co-chair for their BiOS program. During their conversation, Dr. Barton gave a conceptual tour of the labs of Drs. Clara Curiel, Philipp Gutruf, D.K. Kang, and Judy Su, and discussed how their research is impacting bioscience fields.
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UArizona Health, Campus Health, Banner Health and the Pima County Health Department held a panel discussion to provide preventative measures and information on the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak. Panelists, including UArizona Distinguished Professor, Confucius Institute Director, and BIO5 member Dr. Zhao Chen, encouraged the public to spread facts, not fear; practice compassion; and wash their hands.
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A team of researchers, including UArizona Biomedical Engineering professor and BIO5 member Dr. Philipp Gutruf, have developed a device that could provide unique insight into the mechanisms of pain, depression, addiction and certain diseases. The ultra-small, wireless, battery-free device uses light to record individual neurons so neuroscientists can see how the brain is working.
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UArizona College of Medicine - Tucson professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and BIO5 member Dr. Donata Vercelli, sat down with the Daily Wildcat to discuss her research, the impact of the microbiome, and how different microbes can affect arthritis and treatment progression. Dr. Vercelli believes that educating the public about microbiomes is important, because microbes have an invasive effect on many things including our immune responses, blood pressure, and moods.