Category Archives: Science

Researchers Pinpoint Protein at Heart of ALS Communication Breakdown

MRI of ALS patient. Image courtesy Frank Gaillard.

No cure exists for Lou Gehrig’s disease, a fatal neuromuscular illness affecting tens of thousands of Americans. But scientists may have found how a key protein helps drive its degenerative progress.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
UA, Barrow Researchers Explain ALS Key Protein Breakdown

Energy-Efficient Lights Could be Making Light Pollution Worse

Earth’s city lights. Image by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon/NASA GSFC.

City lights drive back the night a little more each year, disrupting ecological cycles, and the switch from orange-yellow sodium lights to bluish-white LEDs might be making the problem worse.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Artificial Light Pollution On The Rise Globally, LEDs Might Be Making It Worse

Arizona Fireball Captures Regional Attention

Phoenix CityCam caught the flash of light around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 14, 2017. Image courtesy Phoenix.gov/CityCam.

Arizonans were treated to an unusual spectacle Tuesday night as a fireball flashed across the sky around 8:30 p.m.

The American Meteor Society received reports from six states describing the object, which flashed brighter than the full moon before quickly fizzling out.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Arizona Fireball Visible Across 6 States

Gila River Indian Community to Drive Back Salt Cedar

The upper Gila River. Photo by James Hatten, USGS.

The Gila River Indian Community Council in September approved plans to reclaim an 80- to 100-square-mile section of the Gila River and floodplain from invasive salt cedar, or tamarisk.

Removing invasive salt cedar reduces the risk of wildfires, but it also offers a chance to restore native plants and wildlife.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Gila River Indian Community to Restore River Habitat

The Prickly Business of Cactus Classification

Photo by J. Wallner, NPS.

Researchers have found a genetic pattern in the saguaro and its cousins that could explain why many cactus species resist simple classification.

Plants like the cactus are tricky. Distant relatives can look like twins or evolve similar traits, thanks to phenomena like parallel and convergent evolution, both of which entail species evolving the same traits independently of one another.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Saguaro Genome Shows Why Many Cactus Species Are Hard To Classify