The pyrophilic primate

April 12, 2016

Fire, a tool broadly used for cooking, constructing, hunting and even communicating, was arguably one of the earliest discoveries in human history. But when, how and why it came to be used is hotly debated among scientists. A new scenario crafted by University of Utah anthropologists proposes that human ancestors became dependent on fire as […]

How to survive extinction: live fast, die young

April 1, 2016

Two hundred and fifty-two million years ago, a series of Siberian volcanoes erupted and sent the Earth into the greatest mass extinction of all time. As a result of this mass extinction, known as the Permo-Triassic Mass Extinction, billions of tons of carbon were propelled into the atmosphere, radically altering the Earth’s climate. Yet, some […]

How the brain detects short sounds

March 14, 2016

For humans to understand speech and for other animals to know each other’s calls, the brain must distinguish short sounds from longer sounds. By studying frogs, University of Utah researchers figured out how certain brain cells compute the length of sounds and detect short ones. In addition to pitch and loudness, “sound duration is of […]

Engineering material magic

February 12, 2016

University of Utah engineers have discovered a new kind of 2D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier computers and smartphones that also consume a lot less power. The semiconductor, made of the elements tin and oxygen, or tin monoxide (SnO), is a layer of 2D material only one atom thick, […]

Statewide undergraduate research conference to be held at the University of Utah

February 12, 2016

Undergraduate students across the state of Utah, including 123 students from the University of Utah, will present at the 10th Annual Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR) on Friday, Feb. 19 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Utah’s A. Ray Olpin Union Building. This will be the first time since 2007 […]

Mommy and me

February 11, 2016

Poverty, lack of education and exposure to violence can undeniably impact a child’s life trajectory significantly. But how can a mother’s exposure and potentially depressive reactions to these stressors impact a child before his/her life even begins? A depressed mother’s response to stress can pass through the placenta to negatively impact the fetus in ways […]

New lens ready for its close-up

February 9, 2016

Imagine digital cameras or smartphones without the bulky lenses or eyeglasses with lenses that are paper thin. Researchers have always thought that flat, ultrathin optical lenses for cameras or other devices were impossible because of the way all the colors of light must bend through them. Consequently, photographers have had to put up with more […]

Urban sprawl stunts upward mobility, U study finds

January 26, 2016

A recent study by University of Utah Department of City & Metropolitan Planning professor Reid Ewing and his colleagues in Utah, Texas and Louisiana, tested the relationship between urban sprawl and upward mobility for metropolitan areas in the United States. The study was recently published online in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning. The study […]

U students to present research on Capitol Hill

January 21, 2016

Undergraduate students at the University of Utah and Utah State University will showcase their research for Utah lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 26 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the rotunda of the Utah State Capitol. Research on Capitol Hill, now in its 16th year, gives lawmakers and the public a glimpse of the intensive […]

Poison warmed over

January 12, 2016

University of Utah lab experiments found that when temperatures get warmer, woodrats suffer a reduced ability to live on their normal diet of toxic creosote – suggesting that global warming may hurt plant-eating animals. “This study adds to our understanding of how climate change may affect mammals, in that their ability to consume dietary toxins […]