Category Archives: Computing

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation

Beneath Downtown Phoenix, More Hohokam Finds

Photo courtesy City of Phoenix.

Archaeologists have uncovered more remains of a Hohokam settlement at the site of the next CityScape development in downtown Phoenix.

The site sits in the heart of downtown, near Chase Field and Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Hohokam Farm Found On Site of Future Phoenix Fry’s

Amazon’s Alexa is Belle of the CES 2017 Ball

You can do better. Photo by kirillt.

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas brought another bumper crop of tech for geeks and gearheads alike.

As usual, this year’s show was more about evolution than revolution. That, and the proliferation of sensors in everything from hairbrushes to toothbrushes. But one technology was clearly the belle of the geek prom: Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Amazon’s Alexa Shines At CES 2017

Study Sequences Record Amount of Human microRNA

Discovered  in the nematode c. elegans, miRNA were once thought to be leftovers of an era when RNA ruled life processes on Earth (image by Bob Goldstein, UNC Chapel Hill).

An Arizona State University team has used a unique high-throughput screening system to complete the largest-ever analysis of microRNAs (miRNA), the puzzling little cousins of RNA that help regulate gene expression.

Their findings offer a new explanation for why groups of similar miRNA sequences, called miRNA families, are so plentiful in higher species of animals, including humans.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Completes Largest-Ever microRNA Study

Brain Activity Patterns Set Young Runners Apart from Healthy Peers

Spatial maps for (from top) the default mode network, frontoparietal network and motor network  (image courtesy Gene Alexander of University of Arizona).

The book The Runner’s Brain told runners how their minds could change their running. Now a University of Arizona study says the reverse might be true as well.

Using functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI), they found significant differences in areas that are active when the brain is at rest. Possibly, such networks could play a key role in the effects of aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Arizona Study: Brains Of Young Adult Runners Differ From Those Of Healthy Peers