Arizona Science Desk

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Women gain ground in U.S. scientific academies
Women and girls are widely underrepresented in the STEM fields, and studies show they face unequal access to pay, positions, publications and credit. But new research suggests positive trends in one area of acknowledgment: acceptance into American scientific academies.
Pediatric cancer care access in U.S. good overall, but not everywhere
Facilities equipped to handle cancer treatment in young people tend to occur in urban areas. Because longer trips can mean shorter and less frequent visits, mistimed treatments and a higher financial burden, researchers wanted to know: How far do rural kids have to travel to get care?
Jan. 27, 2023
Some viral illnesses could increase chances of developing Alzheimer’s
A new study found that there could be some viral illnesses that might increase a person’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The strongest association was between viral encephalitis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Jan. 27, 2023
Study: Sleep problems linked to suicidal thoughts
Sleep plays a critical role in mental health. And a new study led by University of Arizona researchers has found a link in sleep problems and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Jan. 27, 2023
Key clue to amphibian evolution found in Petrified Forest
For years, debate has raged about where a group of snakelike animals fit in the amphibian family tree. Now, analysis of fossils from Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park may hold the answer.
Jan. 27, 2023
Conservationists urge SRP to give up its gas plant fight
Earlier this week, a judge upheld the Arizona Corporation Commission’s ruling against a proposed gas power plant near Coolidge. Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter, joined The Show to talk about the ruling.
Jan. 26, 2023
Legal experts: Title 42 illegal, ineffective and dangerous
Prior to March 2020, the U.S. had never invoked Title 42, which grants federal authorities the power to deny entry into the U.S. to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Since then, officials have used it more than 2.5 million times to send away asylum seekers and migrants. Now, two legal experts say enough is enough.
Jan. 25, 2023
CDC: COVID-19 boosters offer added protection, even against newer subvariants
Despite recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizonans — including many long-term care staff and residents — are largely skipping the COVID-19 bivalent booster. But the shot does provide extra protection, even against some of the latest variants.
Jan. 25, 2023
Maricopa County reports seasons 1st pediatric flu death
The Maricopa County Department of Public Health is reporting its first pediatric flu death this season.
Jan. 24, 2023
The future is electric: Electric vehicle landscape is quickly changing
One of the biggest hurdles that’s stopping people from buying an electric vehicle is just where you can charge up — and how long it takes to do it. And that’s exactly what a new plan from the Arizona Department of Transportation is attempting to address using a big chunk of federal money.
Jan. 24, 2023
Psilocybin mushrooms could be a game changer — especially for vets
A bipartisan bill making its way through the Arizona Legislature aims to fund research into the benefits of psilocybin, otherwise known as magic mushrooms.
Jan. 24, 2023
Frigid temperatures expected in the Valley
The Valley of the Sun is being met with uncharacteristically frigid temperatures this week.
Jan. 23, 2023
Honeybees today live half as long as 50 years ago
Honeybee colonies have been collapsing at alarming rates since 2006, and experts still aren’t completely sure why. New research suggests one possibility: Honeybee life spans today are half what they were 50 years ago.
Jan. 19, 2023
As maternity deserts expand, some experts endorse turning to midwives
The U.S. has the highest maternal death rate among high-income countries. The concerning trend disproportionately affects Black women, and it’s growing. Yet childbearing services are withering away nationwide. What can states do about it?
Jan. 20, 2023
Global citizen science project finds alarming rate of light pollution growth
In growing areas of the planet, sundown no longer brings night and stars, but rather an artificial dusk caused by human light sources. To track light pollution’s global spread, researchers looked beyond space technology and asked citizen scientists to provide some ground truth.
Jan. 20, 2023
New planet discovered by James Webb Space Telescope team
The James Webb Space Telescope has uncovered a new world outside our solar system. The exoplanet LHS 475 is 41-light years away and has almost exactly the same diameter as Earth.
Jan. 20, 2023
Young adults rise in anxiety, depression predates COVID
Anxiety and depression have been on the rise in young adults since before the pandemic, isolating teens, tweens and 20-somethings at vital junctures of social development. Experts recently discussed what researchers are calling “the loneliest generation.”
Jan. 19, 2023
Arizona COVID-19 cases are down, but a new variant is on its way
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 2,751 cases this week, after more than 7,300 last week. But at the same time, the number of deaths reported in the state remains fairly high: 128 this week and 192 last week.
Jan. 19, 2023
Chandler data center ordinance changes zoning code
The city of Chandler’s new data-center ordinance went into effect Jan. 5 and includes a change to the city’s zoning code.
Jan. 18, 2023
Plant store owners backyard an homage to Phoenixs past
Xeriscaping has been a thing for a while now, but Michael Lanier is taking that concept to a whole new level. Lanier is the owner of Pueblo, a plant store on Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix that’s known for its well-informed staff and hip aesthetic.
Jan. 18, 2023
Arizonas surprisingly wet winter is actually helping the drought
For the last week, we’ve seen heavy rains in the Valley and mountains of snow in the high country. But will it help alleviate drought conditions?
Jan. 18, 2023