In The News

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The University of Arizona will require students who live in dorms or attend in-person classes on the main campus to be tested weekly for COVID-19 in the spring. The university also will begin offering a new swish-gargle PCR test in addition to nasal swab antigen and PCR testing in the spring. The new test developed by a team of UArizona researchers lead by Dr. Michael Worobey, UArizona EEB department head and BIO5 institute associate director, involves swishing and gargling a saline solution, then spitting into a tube. Results are usually available the same day.
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The University of Arizona College of Medicine has named Dr. Monica Kraft the new contact principal investigator for the University of Arizona’s Banner Health All of Us Research Program. Dr. Kraft will be responsible for leading the program’s efforts to ensure diverse populations are well represented in the national All of Us database. The program’s mission is to inform thousands of research studies that cover a wide variety of health conditions.
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COVID-19 cases are rapidly on the rise again in Arizona and health experts say staying home is more important than ever. Dr. Felicia Goodrum-Sterling, UArizona COM-T virologist and BIO5 member, explains the contagion period for the virus and the quarantine procedures you should take if you are exposed.
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The idea behind these rapid tests is to detect symptomatic, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic infectious people before they can spread the coronavirus. But despite massive distribution of these tests by federal officials – including to date over 40 million of 150 million rapid tests ordered from the medical company Abbott – COVID-19 transmission has been surging in every state since early November. For rapid tests to effectively limit spread of the coronavirus, experts suggest that they must be conducted with high frequency.
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People work hard to achieve the grades they earn, yet the key is to identify early on what tools will be most beneficial for you. As the semester comes to an end, many may be thinking about what they would have done better to receive the grade that they wanted in a course. Qualified professionals including UArizona CBC associate professor and BIO5 member Dr. John Jewett, gave feedback on how to prepare for certain types of challenges when studying.
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UArizona researchers are conducting a multiyear research study – Arizona CoVHORT – to compare health outcomes for Arizonans who tested positive for the novel coronavirus to those of Arizonans who were not infected. Led by Dr. Kristen Pogreba-Brown, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the UArizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and BIO5 member, researchers will collect information on preexisting conditions such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes, as well as basic data such as sex, race, ethnicity and occupation.
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The University of Arizona College of Engineering and its Department of Materials Science and Engineering are playing a key role in a $100 million award from the U.S. Department of Defense to establish a national University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics. Dr. Erica Corral, associate professor in the UArizona Department of Materials Science and Engineering and a member of the BIO5 Institute, is an expert in thermal protection systems, materials and manufacturing, also heads a consortium cross-functional team in manufacturing and serves as deputy director for industry and national laboratory engagement.Dr. Corral is serving on the initiative's governance board and technical leadership team.
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A $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation will support University of Arizona graduate students looking to work across scientific disciplines to take on the world's grand challenges, from global climate change to sustainable food production. The grant was awarded to researchers with the UArizona Ecosystem Genomics Initiative, which brings together researchers from a wide range of scientific fields to design new models to inform global climate policy, identify genes and genomic interactions that enhance crop yield, and prepare graduate students to join the national workforce in fields such as ecosystem management, medical genetics and food security.
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Dr. Brian Enquist teamed up with Nirav Merchant, CyVerse co-principal investigator and director of UArizona Data Science Institute, to lead an interdisciplinary collaboration of the nation's scientists aiming to harness the power of big data and cyberinfrastructure to predict global biodiversity changes under different climate outcome scenarios. The project was funded this year at $2.5 million under the National Science Foundation's Harnessing the Data Revolution program, with just over $966,000 awarded to UArizona. The grant stemmed from work done by the Bridging Biodiversity and Conservation Science group, a new interdisciplinary initiative at the University of Arizona.
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Dr. Michael Worobey, epidemiologist at the University of Arizona and BIO5 associate director, discusses how COVID-19 cases in the state are close to entering "crisis mode." Dr. Worobey also encourages Arizonans to modify their holiday plans to just their immediate households.
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Drs. Laura Meredith and Jana U’Ren pivoted their scheduled field work trip to Alaska to infer the impact of terrestrial carbon loss on climate change.
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College of Nursing faculty is comprised of both nurses and scientists from other fields, creating a rich environment for team science, bringing their expertise to enrich research and education. Dr. Judith Gordon the college’s associate dean for research and BIO5 member, uses her health care background in behavioral psychology, and backgrounds in IT and theater, to work with Nursing students. They studyed computer science, working together to create the See Me Serene mobile phone app to study guided meditation for stress reduction and smoking cessation.
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The world’s hottest rainforest is located not in the Amazon or anywhere else you might expect, but inside Biosphere 2, the experimental scientific research facility in the desert outside Tucson, Arizona. A recent study of tropical trees planted there in the early 1990s reported a surprising result: They have withstood temperatures higher than any likely to be experienced by tropical forests this century.
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Funding has been awarded to five student teams to develop inventions that benefit society. The Student Innovation Challenge organized by Tech Launch Arizona, the office that commercializes inventions stemming from University of Arizona research, is continuing its series of competitions to engage students in innovation and commercialization. A team of Eller College students including BIO5 public affairs assistant Lily Andress, is developing a gaming headband for the hearing impaired.
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New research from a UArizona Health Sciences team, co-lead by COM-T Division of Infectious Diseases chief and BIO5 member Dr. Elizabeth Connick, shows getting a good night’s sleep could be another tool to help people successfully quit smoking. The study is funded by a nearly $4 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and will initially focus on HIV positive patients.
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Dr. Eliot Herman, a professor of plant sciences, has dedicated his career studying why plants, such as the soybean plant, trigger allergic reactions and how to reduce the likelihood of them being triggered. By crossing a non-allergenic strain of soybeans with more commonly grown soybeans, Herman and his team were able to create a new, productive plant with reduced allergic sensitivity.
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The annual BIO5 Inspiring Women in STEM event empowers girls and young women with advice to help navigate a STEM career while pursuing a balanced life.
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UArizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine research director and BIO5 member, Dr Esther Sternberg shares different tips and tricks to help relieve stress and navigate anxiety. Dr. Sternberg says engaging in activities that help alleviate stress can not only help you feel better in the moment, but could combat the long-term negative effects chronic stress has on the body.