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Monster black hole discovered at cosmic dawn

February 27, 2015 8:33 am | by Daniel Stolte, Univ. of Arizona Communications | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered the brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time. The discovery of this quasar, named SDSS J0100+2802, marks an important step in understanding how quasars, the most powerful objects in the universe, have evolved from the earliest epoch, only 900 million years after the Big Bang, which is thought to have happened 13.7 billion years ago.

Sea level spiked for two years along northeastern North America

February 24, 2015 11:32 am | by Mari N. Jensen, Univ. of Arizona | News | Comments

Sea levels from New York to Newfoundland jumped up about four inches in 2009 and 2010 because...

Engineering discovery brings invisibility closer to reality

January 26, 2015 8:01 am | by Pete Brown, UA College of Engineering | News | Comments

Since the beginning of recorded time, humans have used materials found in nature to improve...

Baby photos of a scaled-up solar system

November 11, 2014 8:46 am | by Daniel Stolte, Univ. Relations - Communications, Univ. of Arizona | News | Comments

Scientists at the Univ. of Arizona have discovered what might be the closest thing to "baby...

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Laser “lightning rods” channel electricity through thin air

August 19, 2014 8:49 am | News | Comments

By zapping the air with a pair of powerful laser bursts, researchers at the Univ. of Arizona have created highly focused pathways that can channel electricity through the atmosphere. The new technique can potentially direct an electrical discharge up to 10 m away or more, shattering previous distance records for transmitting electricity through air. It also raises the intriguing possibility of one day channeling lightning with laser power.

Playing pool with carbon atoms

May 1, 2014 8:14 am | by Daniel Stolte, Univ. of Arizona Relations | News | Comments

A Univ. of Arizona-led team of physicists has discovered how to change the crystal structure of graphene with an electric field, an important step toward the possible use of graphene in microprocessors that would be smaller and faster than current, silicon-based technology.

Pomegranate-inspired design solves problems for lithium-ion batteries

February 18, 2014 8:46 am | News | Comments

An electrode designed like a pomegranate—with silicon nanoparticles clustered like seeds in a tough carbon rind—overcomes several remaining obstacles to using silicon for a new generation of lithium-ion batteries, say its inventors at Stanford Univ. and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.


Engineer, cardiologist team up to make implanted devices “sticky”

November 27, 2013 9:24 am | by Eric Swedlund, Univ. of Arizona | News | Comments

Univ. of Arizona agricultural and biosystems engineering associate professor Jeong-Yeol Yoon and cardiology professor Dr. Marvin Slepian are testing nanotextured surfaces to improve how cardiovascular implant devices are attached in the body. The goal is to create a selectively sticky surface, favoring endothelial cell attachment, without favoring platelet attachment.

A blast from the past

November 12, 2013 8:12 am | News | Comments

The first solids to form in the solar system contain unusual isotopic signatures that show a nearby supernova injected material within ~100,000 years of their formation. That supernova, caused from the cataclysmic death of a star, could have even triggered the birth of the sun.

Breakthrough in retinal implants expected to restore sight to the blind

November 8, 2013 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Retinal implants have not lived up to their potential, argues a joint University of Arizona-German research team, until now.                                             

Flawed diamonds: Gems for new technology

October 8, 2013 4:26 pm | News | Comments

Using ultra-fast laser pulses, a team of researchers led by the Univ. of Arizona has made the first detailed observation of how energy travels through diamonds containing nitrogen-vacancy centers—promising candidates for a variety of technological advances such as quantum computing.

How neurons get wired

August 15, 2013 1:02 pm | by Daniel Stolte, Univ. of Arizona Communications | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered an unknown mechanism that establishes polarity in developing nerve cells. According to the research at Univ. of Arizona, two different versions of the same signaling protein tell a nerve cell which end is which. The findings could help improve therapies for spinal injuries and neurodegenerative diseases.


Models from big molecules captured in a flash

May 28, 2013 8:08 am | News | Comments

The structures of most of the two million proteins in the human body are still unknown. A new algorithm developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists solves the convoluted shapes of large molecules by using images of numerous individual samples, all caught simultaneously in a split-second flash of X-rays from a free-electron laser.

Better batteries from waste sulfur

April 15, 2013 8:17 am | News | Comments

A new chemical process can transform waste sulfur into a lightweight plastic that may improve batteries for electric cars, reports a University of Arizona-led team. The new plastic has other potential uses, including optical uses. The team has successfully used the new plastic to make lithium-sulfur batteries.

Single-celled algae shed light on social lives of microbes

January 21, 2013 4:58 pm | News | Comments

Cheating is a behavior not limited to humans, animals and plants. Even microscopically small, single-celled algae do it, a team of University of Arizona researchers has discovered. Their research adds to the emerging view that microbes often have active social lives. Unlocking the secrets of those lives could help control serious threats to ecological or human health.

How Huygens landed on Titan

October 16, 2012 12:10 pm | by Jia-Rui Cook/JPL and Daniel Stolte/UANews | News | Comments

Scientists have pieced together the sequence of events of the farthest touchdown a man-made spacecraft has ever made on an alien world. Their work in tracking the bounces, wobbles, and skids the probe made before coming to rest on Titan reveals new clues about the Saturn moon’s surface and helps plan future missions to moons and planets.

Freezing electrons in flight

October 16, 2012 8:58 am | by Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona | News | Comments

Using the world’s fastest laser pulses, which can freeze the ultrafast motion of electrons and atoms, physicists have caught the action of molecules breaking apart and electrons getting knocked out of atoms. Their most recent accomplishment is a real-time series of snapshots documenting what happens to an oxygen molecule when it pops apart after absorbing too much energy to maintain the stable bond between its two atoms.


Climate scientists put predictions to the test

September 18, 2012 6:30 am | News | Comments

A new study has found that climate-prediction models are good at predicting long-term climate patterns on a global scale, but lose their edge when applied to time frames shorter than three decades and on sub-continental scales.

Aerospace materials used to build endless green pipeline

August 17, 2012 5:49 am | by Pete Brown, University of Arizona | News | Comments

Mo Ehsani, a University of Arizona professor of civil engineering, has designed a new, lightweight underground pipe he says could transform the pipeline construction industry. Instead of conventional concrete or steel, the new pipe consists of a central layer of lightweight plastic honeycomb, similar to that used in the aerospace industry, sandwiched between layers of resin-saturated carbon fiber fabric.

Engineers build 50 gigapixel camera

June 20, 2012 10:38 am | News | Comments

By synchronizing 98 tiny cameras in a single device, electrical engineers from Duke University and the University of Arizona have developed a prototype camera that can create images with unprecedented detail. The camera's resolution is five times better than 20/20 human vision over a 120 degree horizontal field.

Astronomers discover faintest distant galaxy

June 1, 2012 7:40 am | News | Comments

Astronomers at Arizona State University have found an exceptionally distant galaxy, ranked among the top 10 most distant objects currently known in space. Light from the recently detected galaxy left the object about 800 million years after the beginning of the universe, when the universe was in its infancy.

Microprocessors from pencil lead

March 30, 2012 5:53 am | by Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona | News | Comments

Graphite, more commonly known as pencil lead, could become the next big thing in the quest for smaller, less power-hungry electronics. University of Arizona physicists are making discoveries that may advance electronic circuit technology.

Brain memory mechanism revealed

March 9, 2012 10:53 am | News | Comments

Despite a century of research, memory storage in the brain has remained mysterious. Evidence points to synaptic connection strengths among brain neurons, but synaptic components are short-lived and yet memories can last lifetimes.Recent has demonstrated a plausible mechanism for encoding synaptic memory in microtubules, major components of the structural cytoskeleton within neurons.

Scientists gear up to take a picture of a black hole

January 13, 2012 1:17 pm | News | Comments

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, astronomers, physicists and scientists from related fields will convene in Tucson, Ariz. from across the world to discuss an endeavor that only a few years ago would have been regarded as nothing less than outrageous: the construction of a virtual telescope powerful enough to see to the center of our Milky Way.

Smarter toxins help crops fight resistant pests

October 10, 2011 6:20 am | News | Comments

A slight change in molecular structure introduced by genetic engineering gives crop-protecting proteins called Bt toxins a new edge in overcoming resistance of certain pests, a University of Arizona-led team of researchers reports.

More than a sign of sleepiness, yawning may cool the brain

September 22, 2011 5:40 am | by Morgan Kelly, Princeton University | News | Comments

A Princeton University-led study is the first involving humans to show that yawning frequency varies with the season, a disparity that indicates that yawning could serve as a method for regulating brain temperature.

Ocean rising may continue even after warming stops

July 18, 2011 12:48 pm | by Daniel Stolte | News | Comments

Researchers have found that melting ice sheets contributed much more to rising sea levels than thermal expansion of warming ocean waters during the Last Interglacial Period. The results further suggest that ocean levels continue to rise long after warming of the atmosphere levels off.

Putting a new spin on computing

June 22, 2011 4:20 am | News | Comments

Physicists at the Univ. of Arizona have proposed a way to translate the elusive magnetic spin of electrons into easily measurable electric signals. The finding is a key step in the development of computing based on spintronics, which doesn't rely on electron charge to digitize information.

Asteroid served up 'custom orders' of life's ingredients

June 10, 2011 5:16 am | News | Comments

Meteorites collected from a British Columbia meteoroid strike in British Columbia 11 years ago are among history’s best preserved. They reveal that asteroids not only hold the stuff of life, like carbon and amino acids—the building blocks of protein—they also are wildly different in the level of amino acids they have. And astronomers now have a theory as to why.

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