Robert Schlaberg, MD, Dr Med, MPH, ARUP Medical Director. Dr. Schlaberg co-developed Taxonomer; this technology can simultaneously detect pathogens quickly and accurately.

Metagenomics Pathogen Detection Tool Could Change How Infectious Diseases Are Diagnosed

Scientists at the University of Utah, ARUP Laboratories, and IDbyDNA, Inc., have developed ultra-fast, meta-genomics analysis software called Taxonomer that dramatically improves the accuracy and speed of pathogen detection. In a paper published today in Genome Biology, the collaborators demonstrated the ability of Taxonomer to analyze the sequences of all nucleic acids in a clinical specimen (DNA and RNA) and to detect pathogens, as well as profile the patient’s gene … Read more

This view of Zion Canyon in Utah’s Zion National Park shows the flat valley floor created when part of the peak named the Sentinel collapsed in a gigantic landslide, creating a dam and forming a lake, which eventually filled in with sediment. A new University of Utah study provides the first direct date for the landslide, determining it happened 4,800 years ago and showing it was so large that it would have covered New York City’s Central Park with 275 feet of debris. This photo is the cover image for the June issue of the Geological Society America’s journal GSA Today, which is publishing the Utah study.

How a huge landslide shaped Zion National Park


A Utah mountainside collapsed 4,800 years ago in a gargantuan landslide known as a “rock avalanche,” creating the flat floor of what is now Zion National Park by damming the Virgin River to create a lake that existed for 700 years.

Those are key conclusions of a new University of Utah study that provides the first definitive date for the landslide and estimates its size and dynamics, including a speed likely … Read more


Spring snow a no-go?

Spring snowpack, relied on by ski resorts and water managers throughout the Western United States, may be more vulnerable to a warming climate in coming decades, according to a new University of Utah study.

The study, accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, models the year-to-year variability in precipitation and temperature in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and other ranges in the West. Jason Scalzitti, a graduate student in atmospheric sciences, and professors … Read more

Sarah Hargus Ferguson is an associate professor of communication science and disorders at the University of Utah. She led a series of studies with her students that were presented at the national meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Salt Lake City. The studies dealt with how British accents can confuse older people with hearing impairments, how fast talking can impair intelligibility, and how listeners perceive gender and anger in people’s voices.

Brit accents vex U.S. hearing-impaired elderly


Older Americans with some hearing loss shouldn’t feel alone if they have trouble understanding British TV sagas like “Downton Abbey.” A small study from the University of Utah suggests hearing-impaired senior citizens have more trouble than young people comprehending British accents when there is background noise.

“The older hearing-impaired had just a little more trouble understanding British accents than American accents when they were in quiet surroundings,” says Sarah Hargus Ferguson, … Read more

women talk more than men_feature

Language myth buster

Women talk more than men, texting makes you dumb, sign language is pantomime. These are just a few of the myths Abby Kaplan, professor of linguistics at the University of Utah, debunks in her recently published book, “Women Talk More Than Men…And Other Myths about Language Explained.”

Published by Cambridge University Press, Kaplan uses research, case studies, examples and facts to explain why popular and widely believed myths about language just … Read more

Caregiver holding elderly patients hand at home

Study Contradicts Belief that Cancer Protects against Alzheimer’s

Despite studies that claim people with cancer are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease–raising the possibility that what triggers cancer also prevents the neurodegenerative disorder–a new investigation finds a more somber explanation. Many cancer patients don’t live long enough to get Alzheimer’s. The research, led by investigators at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, was published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B.

“Diagnosis of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, … Read more

Darryl Butt, Engineering, lab, for Explore, Carrie Quinney

University of Utah names new dean for the College of Mines and Earth Sciences

Darryl P. Butt, associate director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls, Idaho and distinguished professor of materials science and engineering at Boise State University will be the next dean of the College of Mines and Earth Sciences at the University of Utah.

“Dr. Darryl Butt has a remarkable record of achievement, as a scientist studying materials processing and performance in extreme conditions, as an educator and mentor, … Read more

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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