Science & Technology

Following the lizard lung labyrinth

Take a deep breath in. Slowly let it out. You have just participated in one of the most profound evolutionary revolutions on Earth—breathing air on land. It’s unclear how the first vertebrates thrived after crawling out of the sea nearly 400 million years ago, but the lungs hold an important clue. Birds, reptiles, mammals and […]


A fragile crust protects from dust

The flat dry lakebed (also called a playa) surrounding Utah’s Great Salt Lake is more than 750 square miles—an area bigger than Houston. The wide-open landscape is surprisingly varied and is the realm of coyotes, bison, and a few hardy plants. It’s probably safe to say that no one knows the Great Salt Lake playa […]


Scientists Rank World’s Most Important, Most Threatened Mountain Water Towers

Scientists from around the world have assessed the planet’s 78 mountain glacier–based water systems and, for the first time, ranked them in order of their importance to adjacent lowland communities, as well as their vulnerability to future environmental and socioeconomic changes. These systems, known as mountain water towers, store and transport water via glaciers, snow […]


Spin on perovskite research advances potential for quantum computing

The next generation of information technology could take advantage of spintronics—electronics that use the minuscule magnetic fields emanating from spinning electrons as well as the electric charges of the electrons themselves—for faster, smaller electronic devices that use less energy. Newly published work by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of Utah […]


“Seeing others suffer is too stressful”: Why people buy, trade, donate medications on the black market

Altruism and a lack of access and affordability are three reasons why people with chronic illnesses turn to the “black market” for medicines and supplies, new research shows. Scientists at University of Utah Health and University of Colorado ran surveys to understand why individuals look beyond pharmacies and medical equipment companies to meet essential needs. […]


U chemist and pediatrician named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

University of Utah distinguished professor of chemistry Peter Stang and professor of pediatrics Anne Blaschke were two of 168 academic inventors named as Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors for 2019. Stang opened pathways in organic chemistry reactions and now explores ways to form molecules into self-assembled geometric shapes. Blaschke played key roles in […]


Forests face climate change tug of war

In a world of rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, plants should be happy, right? Experiments have shown that, yes, increased carbon dioxide does allow plants to photosynthesize more and use less water. But the other side of the coin is that warmer temperatures drive plants to use more water and photosynthesize less. So, which […]


U scientist and National Geographic partner influences STEM-positive Barbie dolls

Fifteen years ago, University of Utah forest ecologist Nalini Nadkarni wanted girls to have a Barbie doll that represented a career like hers, or at least one that wore rubber boots and carried a climbing rope and helmet. But with a lack of tree canopy field gear among the existing accoutrements for the doll, Nadkarni […]


One-third of reproductive-age women have health conditions that may complicate pregnancy

One in three women of reproductive age have at least one chronic condition that could compromise their health or lead to adverse outcomes during pregnancy, according to University of Utah Health scientists. Yet few of these women are using the most effective forms of contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancies. The researchers say this could be […]


Ant expert discovers newly emergent species in his backyard

Jack Longino is a global ant expert and has traveled the world documenting and discovering ant species. But for his latest discovery, he didn’t need to go any farther than his own backyard. In August 2018, just after dark, Longino caught a glimpse of four ants in his garden that really looked out of place. […]