Science Utah

Utah Public Radio presents SCIENCE UTAH - the podcast home for all UPR science news. Come along as our intrepid reporters seek to understand such mysteries as gene editing, wildlife disease, and dog poop.

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Carlos Jared / Butantan Institute

Hikers in the mountainous west are often wary of snakes, knowing some are venomous, many of us may be less concerned about our amphibious friends, like frogs, toads and salamanders. While in tropical regions, there are poisonous amphibians, but a venomous amphibian – that’s something new.

Jeffrey M. Vinocur

It seems like SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests should be pretty simple. Tests consist of SARS-CoV-2 antigens on a plate. If a person has antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, their antibodies bind to the antigens, and the test reads as positive. However, it is possible to get a false positive if some other antibody can bind by coincidence to the antigen.

Raining Plastics In The American West

Jun 13, 2020
Janice Brahney / Utah State University

A new study from researchers at Utah State University finds tiny pieces of plastic are being transported atmospherically and deposited on western public lands in astounding annual quantities.

Shifting Habitats: Bird Migration And Climate Change

May 26, 2020
Frank Retes, Southern Arizona


The North American Breeding Bird Survey, a large-scale citizen science project started in 1966, is the basis of a newly-released study on migratory bird habitats and climate change. 

Images of Morrison's bumble bee, western cicada killer, and spider wasp by Dr. Joseph Wilson. Image of Asian giant hornet by Wikimedia.

Dr. Joseph Wilson knows a little something about Vespa mandarinia, the species commonly called the Asian giant hornet

NASA

Utah’s own Space Dynamics Laboratory is working with NASA to find clues that could give more insight into the big questions about where we come from.

New Mapping Of The Wasatch Fault Published Online

May 1, 2020
Wasatch fault zone, Salt Lake segment and West Valley fault zone.
Utah Geological Survey

While the recent Magna earthquake may have taken many Utahns by surprise, geologists at the Utah Geological Survey were hard at work finishing a four-year, fault-mapping study they hope will help reduce earthquake risks in the state. 

NASA

Utah’s Space Dynamics Laboratory recently delivered a test version of a satellite sub-unit to NASA that will measure the movements of microscopic creatures within Earth’s oceans from space. The Space Dynamics Laboratory is an affiliate lab to Utah State University and is working on a sub-unit of the PACE spacecraft, which NASA will launch into space in 2022. PACE stands for Plankton Aerosol Cloud Ocean Ecosystem.

Standard Examiner

The American Lung Association recently released their annual State of the Air report.

Will Barrett is the Director of Clean Air advocacy for the American Lung Association.

“Nearly half of Americans live in counties that have unhealthy ozone or particle pollution.  Unfortunately that includes about two and a half million people in the Salt Lake City region," Barrett said.

University of Utah

Scientists at the University of Utah recently received funding to contribute to the fight against the spread of Covid 19.

“This grant is studying mucus and it’s interactions with coronaviruses," said Dr. Jessica Kramer, and you heard right.  She is studying how coronaviruses interact with mucus.

Ashley Rohde

Spring is almost here and many Utahns will take advantage of the warmer weather to get in just a few more ski days.  However, experts at the Utah Avalanche Center say avalanche dangers will change along with the season.

Talk At USU Looks At How Bees Enrich Human Life

Feb 25, 2020
A green orchid bee on an orange tip of a plant.
Bob Peterson

The Science Unwrapped talk at Utah State University this month focused on bees and how they impact our lives through the foods we eat.

USU Presentation Highlights Reasons For Reducing Emissions

Feb 6, 2020
TaffyPuller1832

Utah State University President Noelle Cockett is reviewing the most recent plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the university’s campuses across the state. Last week a meeting was hosted to inform students and faculty about the efforts.

Betelgeuse Is Dimming

Feb 5, 2020
Blaine Dickey

 

 


No supernova has been observed in our Milky Way galaxy since the invention of the telescope in 1608. That may be about to change. 

 

Apogee SP-230 heated pyranometer (black sensor up high), and an Apogee Weighing Precipitation Gauge (white bucket).
Chris Madsen / Apogee Instruments

Cache Valley is considered the "Silicon Valley of Instrumentation," thanks to its high concentration of remote sensing companies.  The proximity to Utah State University may be what draws these companies into the area.

William C. Campbell / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Data from GPS collars on animals are used to determine crucial habitats and migration routes. Because of technological advances scientists can now collect animal locations in three dimensions as often as 32 times per second.  But this abundance of data comes with a downside.

Nathan Blaylock / Pixabay

As part of Utah State University's carbon neutrality goals, a report with recommendations for reducing carbon emissions is anticipated to be released this week.

Update On Plastic Recycling Changes In Logan

Jan 10, 2020

Seven months ago the city of Logan stopped accepting plastics number 3 through 7 for recycling. Emily Malik, Logan's Conservation Coordinator, said the change in the amount of plastic waste delivered to the Logan landfill since then is relatively insignificant.

New Utah Wildlife Crossings in the Works for 2020

Jan 3, 2020
Utah DWR

During the winter, animals like deer and elk are on the move— migrating to more favorable habitats. Unfortunately, migration routes often cross roads and highways, leading to conflict with humans. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources plans to build more wildlife crossings this year to mitigate these conflicts.

Popular Bicycle App May Change User Behavior

Dec 16, 2019
Tim Brink / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Strava is a fitness tracking app mountain bikers can use on their smartphones. It connects with their bike’s computer, allowing riders to track and record their activity and then create visuals of their progress. But it may be changing how people recreate.

Pixabay

Preliminary results from a new survey suggest that the majority of people think interruptions from technology are harmful to their family. Technoference occurs when technology interferes with human interactions and relationships.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Salt Lake City, the northern Wasatch Front, and the Uinta Basin all had high concentrations of ground-level ozone this year. When it occurs in the upper atmosphere, ozone is good for organisms because it blocks harmful UV rays. But when it occurs at ground level, ozone harms plants and animals by burning the tissues they use to breathe. 

https://www.cs.utah.edu/birth-of-the-internet/


When was the last time you thought about a time before internet? It wasn’t that long ago, only 50 years since the first message was sent between computers at the University of Califonia, Los Angeles and the Stanford Research Institute.

Soil Science / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Soil is the largest terrestrial carbon pool, accounting for over three times more carbon than all plants on earth. According to a researcher who specializes in environmental issues, this could make it a key tool in the fight against climate change.

  

Utah State University researchers have recently released a new online tool to help Utahns improve their mental health.

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