Zika virus in the United States

January 29, 2016

As the mosquito-borne Zika virus spreads through the Caribbean and Central and South America, the World Health Organization has advised that the virus eventually may reach most nations in the Americas. Symptoms of infection are similar to mild dengue fever, but a possible connection with birth defects in affected countries raises concerns about wider virus impacts. What are the risks to the United States? U biology professor and entomologist Jack Longino and infectious disease expert and physician Andy Pavia are available to comment on this emerging disease.

Jack Longino, office 801-587-5683,

To reach Andy Pavia, contact Julie Kiefer, office 801-587-1293, cell 801-597-4258,

Millions for biomedical computing

August 14, 2015

The U’s Center for Integrative Biomedical Computing just landed a $6.1 million grant renewal from the National Institutes of Health. The center produces open-source software for image-based modeling, simulation and visualization of biomedical data. Tens of thousands of scientists have downloaded the center’s software tools and data sets, and more than 200 papers published by scientists outside the center reference its software or computing infrastructure. The NIH grant has a five-year term. The principal investigators are bioengineering professor Rob MacLeod, computer science professor Ross Whitaker, and computer science professor Christopher Johnson, who directs the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute. Johnson can talk about the future of biomedical computing and next steps at the U.
Phone: 801-581-7705 | Email:

Thinking of installing synthetic grass? Don’t do it.

July 27, 2015

Dry California is seeing a trend among homeowners who are installing artificial lawns to achieve the quintessential green lawn without using the limited water supply. While this might sound like a sustainable option, U city and metropolitan planning professor Sarah Hinners says it’s a bad idea. Natural grass has a cooling effect and filters water as it makes its way into the subsurface, while artificial turf gets hot and may even put pollutants into the groundwater. With more than three-quarters of Salt Lake City’s water use attributed to residential areas, single-family homes, collectively, are the largest water users. Therefore, it is important to find ways for homeowners to have beautiful landscapes that use less water. Hinners has been studying landscape designs that fulfill this need.
Phone: 801-585-1026 | Email: