Arizona Science Desk

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The big question about abortion is who defines life of the mother
Abortion, for the most part, is now illegal in Arizona. The only exception, according to the territorial law that was implemented in 1864 and codified in 1901, is for the life of the mother. But that language is vague.
Taking cues from COVID, experts call for modernized syphilis screening
Arizona currently faces an outbreak of syphilis among females and newborns. This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reiterated its 2016 call to screen at-risk persons with or without symptoms. But some say it’s time to modernize the process.
5 hours ago
As treatment improves, long COVID answers remain elusive
Two-and-a-half years after long COVID-19 sufferers coined the term, experts are still trying to wrap their brains around this variable and complex syndrome. What needs to be done to move the needle?
5 hours ago
Study: Planting trees won’t save planet from climate change
As climate change looms and carbon-emissions targets appear less and less achievable, some have suggested locking up carbon by planting trees in drylands. But new research throws some shade on the idea.
Sep. 23, 2022
ASU announces new School of Ocean Futures
ASU has added a fourth school to its College of Global Futures, one it says will bring together ocean scientists and teachers from across the globe.
Sep. 23, 2022
EPA says metro Phoenix ozone pollution has gotten worse
The EPA has reclassified Maricopa County to a more severe status for ozone pollution, moving the region from “marginal” up to a label of “moderate.”
Sep. 23, 2022
For health care worker exhaustion, prognosis still grim
In May, KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk described the emotional distress wearing down health care workers and hindering efforts to bounce back after COVID-19. New research gives a glimpse of how those workers are faring.
Sep. 22, 2022
AI can help people write their wills
A team at the University of Arizona hopes people can skip the lawyer's office and write their wills with artificial intelligence.
Sep. 22, 2022
A plan to share the pain of water scarcity divides farmers in this rural Nevada community
Sharing the pain of scarcity goes against Western water law – but this Nevada farm community is trying it anyway.
Sep. 22, 2022
Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff hosts viewings as Jupiter swings closest since 1951
Jupiter is making its closest approach to Earth in 70 years, and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff is offering the public the chance to view the gas giant through several of its telescopes, including the historic 24-inch Clark Refractor.
Sep. 21, 2022
Lack of key rules for concealed carry permits tied to greater gun violence
Arizona is known for its loose concealed carry laws. This year, the state Senate voted to allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to bring their weapon into most government buildings. New research shows a strong uptick in gun violence in states with relaxed restrictions.
Sep. 21, 2022
Are enough Arizonans getting latest COVID-19 booster?
A new COVID-19 booster is available. At the same time, flu season is approaching. To learn about both vaccines and best practices, The Show spoke with Dr. Nick Staab.
Sep. 21, 2022
Lots of people have stopped masking. How the issue has evolved
Over the last couple of years, masks have been political symbols, but also social ones. To learn about that aspect of masking, The Show spoke with Markus Kemmelmeier, a professor of social psychology and sociology at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Sep. 21, 2022
Experts say it’s time to think beyond battling wildfires — and find a way to live with them
Wildfires are growing more frequent and severe, and wildfire season has lengthened by almost three months since the late-1970s. Experts say it’s time to think beyond battling these inevitable blazes and find a way to live with them.
More Arizona science news
Sep. 20, 2022
Reporter glad readers care enough to send hate mail
As the Arizona Republic's climate news and storytelling reporter, Joan Meiners gets a lot of hate mail. But through scientifically analyzing it, she found the harsh words might actually offer some hope.
Sep. 20, 2022
Gila County leads AZ in non-fatal opioid overdoses. Heres how officials are responding
More than 2,000 Arizonans died last year due to opioid overdoses; fentanyl was a leading cause. Those are among the findings in the state health department’s latest Opioid Overdoses Surveillance Report.
Sep. 20, 2022
Daily multivitamin could slow cognitive decline, study shows
Taking a daily multivitamin could slow cognitive decline among adults 65 and older. That’s according to a three year study of more than 2,000 people.
Sep. 19, 2022
Nikola CEO testifies companys founder misstated facts
Nikola Corp.’s top executive testified at the trial of the truckmaker’s founder on Monday, saying he repeatedly tried without success to rein in a man prone to exaggeration and misstating facts while trying to elevate his company's share price with promises he couldn't keep.
Sep. 20, 2022
As the Colorado River shrinks, water managers see promise in recycling sewage
In the parched Colorado River basin, water managers are turning over every stone looking for ways to keep the taps flowing. Now, they’re finding more water in some unusual places — shower drains and toilet flushes.
Sep. 20, 2022
Anti-trans rhetoric harms young people, drives up hate crimes
Gender identity and transitioning feature prominently in Arizona politics, from restricting youth access to gender-affirming care to adding LGBTQ+ status to city anti-discrimination ordinances. Studies show the heated rhetoric can hurt those most affected.
Sep. 19, 2022
Regulators need more data, more consistent standards on cannabis contaminants
As Arizona approaches the two-year anniversary of marijuana legalization in November, many health and safety questions about cannabis as a consumer product remain unanswered. A new study reiterates the old motto: Let the buyer beware.
Sep. 16, 2022