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  • Biotech firm has plans to grow in Tucson
    Friday, August 17, 2012

    A Denver company is moving to Tucson with ambitious growth plans and hopes of creating a biotech hub to attract scientists and engineers.

    Accelr8 Technology Corp. said Thursday that the presence of biotech firms such as Ventana Medical Systems and Sanofi was part of the lure.

    "This region will have a critical mass in biotech to attract more companies like us to the region," said Lawrence Mehren, president and CEO of Accelr8.

    Accelr8 will fill 65 positions...

  • Needed: A Global Bioinformatics System
    Monday, August 6, 2012

    A global information infrastructure is critical to making intelligent decisions about the grand challenge of rapid shifts occurring in the environment and life on Earth.

    At the University of Arizona, P. Bryan Heidorn is working with a team of researchers around the world to help plan and develop this information system and, this fall, will be disseminating ideas to United Nations organizations.


  • UA Mars Camera Helped Find Landing Spot, Snaps Photo of Rover
    Monday, August 6, 2012

    In a carefully choreographed maneuver high in the sky above Mars, two man-made spacecraft zipped past each other as NASA scientists and engineers stared at screens inside Mission Control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, anxiously enduring the "7 minutes of terror" - the time it would take the Curiosity...

  • Taking a Robotic Geologist to Mars
    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    On Aug. 5, at about 10:30 p.m., an already busy summer will kick into overdrive for University of Arizona geosciences professor Bob Downs and one of his graduate students, Shaunna Morrison. At that time – provided everything goes as planned – Curiosity, the most sophisticated exploration vehicle ever...

  • Celebrating the Landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover
    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    The Curiosity Rover, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, is prepped to land on the Red Planet on Aug. 5, and the UA and Tucson communities are coming together to celebrate.

    In advance of the landing, Science Downtown will present “Tucson Lands on Mars" on Aug. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The general public...

  • Earth Keeps Sucking Up Greenhouse Gases
    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    To the planet's benefit, Earth's oceans, plants, and soils suck up about half of the carbon dioxide we humans put into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. Without these carbon sinks operating at their usual pace, the additional greenhouse gas would make global warming even stronger. But the warming itself could be throwing a monkey wrench into the works—by stressing land plants and slowing their uptake of carbon dioxide, for example. Some researchers have in fact reported a...

  • Many herbs are natural landscaping tools in times of drought, or in problem sites
    Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    Cacti or succulents are the usual go-to plants when xeriscaping, or dry-land gardening, but herbs are an attractive alternative.
    Many herbs have Mediterranean origins, and can grow well where the soil is sandy and water is scarce.
    “All plants need water, but that varies with the variety and the setting,” said Debbie Boutelier, president of The Herb Society of America. “Herbs are a good choice if you’re experiencing a drought, have high, hot sun or problem...

  • Prominent skeptic on board with warming
    Monday, July 30, 2012

    The verdict is in: Global warming is real and greenhouse-gas emissions from human activity are the main cause.
    This, according to Richard A. Muller, professor of physics at the University of California-Berkeley, a MacArthur fellow and co-founder of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project.
    The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and hundreds of other climatologists around the world came to such conclusions years ago, but the difference now is the source...

  • Cienega Creek, other S. AZ. streams, increasingly dry
    Sunday, July 29, 2012

    CIENEGA CREEK NATURAL PRESERVE - The stately cottonwoods still tower 50 feet or higher.

    The vermillion flycatchers still flash their reddish breasts as they flit from one bare branch to another.

    The mule deer still dart into the brush if they sense a human presence.

    But some cottonwoods have toppled or their leaves have turned brown, even in a wet July. The streambed here far southeast of Tucson near Vail, four miles upstream from where Cienega Creek merges with Davidson...

  • Biosphere 2 was marvel when built, keeps yielding good science
    Sunday, July 29, 2012

    Some people can't look past the aura of cultishness surrounding those 1991 photos of jump-suited Biospherians.

    But let's face it: The building of the 3.14-acre glass, steel and concrete enclosure outside Oracle was a scientific feat in itself - the largest enclosed experiment ever built, conceived by John Allen and constructed by a group called Space Biospheres Ventures, with capital supplied by Fort Worth, Texas, billionaire Edward P. Bass.

    A lot of engineering and...