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Why vultures matter – and what we lose if they’re gone

Vultures. Cartoon characters in parched deserts often wish them to disappear, since circling vultures are a stereotypical harbinger of death. But, joking aside, vultures in some parts of the world are in danger of disappearing. And according to a new report from University of Utah biologists, such a loss would have serious consequences for ecosystems and human populations alike.

The primary threat to vultures, according to the report published today in … Read more

James Ehleringer, 2016 Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence recipient.

James Ehleringer receives 2016 Rosenblatt Prize

James Ehleringer, distinguished professor of biology at the University of Utah, was honored with the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, the U’s most prestigious faculty award. The $40,000 gift is presented annually to a faculty member who displays excellence in teaching, research and administrative efforts.

The Rosenblatt Prize Committee, a group of distinguished faculty members, recommends selected candidates for the award. University President David W. Pershing made the final selection.

“Jim has dedicated … Read more

Portrait of crying baby

Infants much less likely to get the flu if moms are vaccinated while pregnant

Babies whose moms get flu vaccinations while pregnant have a significantly reduced risk of acquiring influenza during their first six months of life, a new study shows, leading the authors to declare that the need for getting more pregnant women immunized is a public health priority.

In a study published May 3, 2016, in Pediatrics online, University of Utah School of Medicine researchers reported that infants 6 months and younger whose … Read more

Students in the University of Utah class of 2016 come from 23 Utah counties, all 50 states and 92 countries.

University of Utah to graduate 8,291 students May 5

The general commencement ceremony at the University of Utah will be held Thursday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

This year’s graduating class of 8,291 students represents 23 Utah counties, all 50 U.S. states and 92 countries. These numbers are based on data available prior to graduation and are subject to change.

“It is our top priority to help students succeed and find meaningful careers and futures,” … Read more

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Ecologist James Ehleringer elected to National Academy of Sciences

Distinguished professor of biology James R. Ehleringer, who has pioneered applications of stable isotopes, was elected May 3 as a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ehleringer is among 84 U.S. scientist-scholars and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries elected at the Academy’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. He joins more than 20 other current University of Utah researchers who’ve been elected to one of the three National Academies, which also … Read more

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Speedy bridge repair

 

In just 30 seconds, a devastating earthquake like the ones that struck Japan and Ecuador can render a city helpless. With roadways split and bridges severely damaged, residents and emergency personnel could be prevented from moving around to rebuild.

Normally, it takes weeks to repair the cracking or spalling of columns on just one bridge damaged in an earthquake. But a team of researchers led by University of Utah civil and … Read more

A crab-eating macaque, one of the many mammals that can be found on Luzon Island.

Natural History Museum of Utah to showcase new book The Mammals of Luzon Island

Based on more than a century of accumulated data and 15 years of intensive field work, The Mammals of Luzon Island is part field guide and part general reference book for all those interested in the mammals of Luzon, the largest of the Philippine Islands and fifteenth largest island in the world. On Wednesday, April 27, the Natural History Museum of Utah will host a lecture and book signing with … Read more

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Military Sexual Trauma Associated With Higher Risk for Veteran Homelessness

(SALT LAKE CITY)–The devastating consequences of sexual trauma in the military reported by 25 percent of female and 1 percent of male veterans who served in the U.S. armed forces don’t end with psychological and physical trauma, but are associated with a much higher risk for homelessness, a study led by Utah researchers has found.

An examination of the records of 601,892 veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan found that … Read more

Trembling aspen trees killed by severe drought near Grand Junction, Colorado, August 2010.

Which trees face death in drought?

 

Two hundred-twenty-five million trees dead in the southwest in a 2002 drought. Three hundred million trees in Texas in 2011. Twelve million this past year in California.  Throughout the world, large numbers of trees are dying in extreme heat and drought events. Because mass die-offs can have critical consequences for the future of forests and the future of Earth’s climate, scientists are trying to understand how a warming climate could … Read more

A view of the University of Utah physics laboratory where researchers showed that a phenomenon named the inverse spin Hall effect works in several organic semiconductors when pulsed microwaves are applied to the materials. The effect converts so-called spin current to electric current and may find use in future generations of batteries, solar cells and electronic devices.

A new way to get electricity from magnetism

By showing that a phenomenon dubbed the “inverse spin Hall effect” works in several organic semiconductors – including carbon-60 buckyballs – University of Utah physicists changed magnetic “spin current” into electric current. The efficiency of this new power conversion method isn’t yet known, but it might find use in future electronic devices including batteries, solar cells and computers.

“This paper is the first to demonstrate the inverse spin Hall effect in … Read more