Science & Technology


Making a new pitch for coal

October 26, 2016

Oct. 26, 2016 — As U.S. coal production declines due to the rise of natural gas and alternative energies, the question remains: What will happen to those communities of coal workers? The answer may lie in a derivative of coal called “pitch,” which can be used to produce a carbon-fiber material utilized in items from […]


A complete waste of energy

October 25, 2016

According to the National Resource Defense Council, Americans waste up to $19 billion annually in electricity costs due to “vampire appliances,” always-on digital devices in the home that suck power even when they are turned off. But University of Utah electrical and computer engineering professor Massood Tabib-Azar and his team of engineers have come up […]

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“That pizza was #delish!” What Do Tweets Say About Our Health?

October 18, 2016

(SALT LAKE CITY) – “Coffee” was the most tweeted food in the continental U.S. between mid-2014 to mid-2015 followed by “beer” then “pizza”. Besides hinting at which foods are popular, tweets may reveal something about our health. Communities that expressed positive sentiments about healthy foods were more likely to be healthier overall. Scientists at the […]

Sickle hemoglobin polymerizes under low oxygen tensions in the tissues and the red blood cell deforms, which leads to obstruction in the capillaries and painful episodes for the patients

Genome Engineering Paves the Way for Sickle Cell Cure

October 12, 2016

A team of physicians and laboratory scientists has taken a key step toward a cure for sickle cell disease, using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to fix the mutated gene responsible for the disease in stem cells from the blood of affected patients. For the first time, they have corrected the mutation in a proportion of stem […]

The monitoring team during the study.

Resonance in Rainbow Bridge

September 21, 2016

Utah’s iconic Rainbow Bridge hums with natural and man-made vibrations, according to a new University of Utah study, published September 21 in Geophysical Research Letters. The study characterizes the different ways the bridge vibrates and what frequencies and energy sources cause the rock structure to resonate. The vibrations are small, according to geology and geophysics […]

Hippos in Queen Elizabeth National Park, 2009.

Hippo teeth reveal environmental change

September 8, 2016

Sept. 12, 2016— Loss of megaherbivores such as elephants and hippos can allow woody plants and non-grassy herbs and flowering plants to encroach on grasslands in African national parks, according to a new University of Utah study, published September 12 in Scientific Reports. The study used isotopes in hippopotamus teeth to find a shift in […]

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Snails’ speedy insulin

September 6, 2016

University of Utah researchers have found that the structure of an insulin molecule produced by predatory cone snails may be an improvement over current fast-acting therapeutic insulin. The finding suggests that the cone snail insulin, produced by the snails to stun their prey, could begin working in as few as five minutes, compared with 15 […]

Fully controlled by eye movement, HealtheX forces the lazy eye to move around the screen.

Video game created by U students helps combat lazy eye in kids

August 16, 2016

A leading cause of vision loss in children is amblyopia, or lazy eye, and video game developers from the University of Utah have come up with a way to not only diagnose but to treat the disorder. In 2015, U students Ahmad Alsaleem, Ahmad Nassari and Daniel Blair from Entertainment Arts & Engineering won a […]

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Ecology on the runway

August 10, 2016

University of Utah ecologist Nalini Nadkarni is no fashion mogul. But she is a scientist actively engaged in public outreach, working to bring the wonder and curiosity of the natural world to people, even those who may have no interest in natural history museums, nature documentaries or natural history magazines. Those people probably care about […]

University of Utah anthropologists Brian Codding (left) and Elic Weitzel.

Population boom preceded early farming

July 28, 2016

University of Utah anthropologists counted the number of carbon-dated artifacts at archaeological sites and concluded that a population boom and scarce food explain why people in eastern North America domesticated plants for the first time on the continent about 5,000 years ago. “Domesticated plants and animals are part of our everyday lives, so much so […]