Arizona Science Desk

The humpback chub is no longer an endangered species
The humpback chub, a rare fish found only in the Colorado River basin, has been brought back from the brink of extinction after decades of protection, though work must continue to ensure its survival, federal authorities said Monday in reclassifying the species from endangered to threatened status.
A new plane could help fight wildfires. But privacy advocates are worried
The skies over western Arizona have been serving as a testing ground for a new type of aircraft — one that boosters say has great potential in civil engineering and other uses, but that privacy advocates are worried about.
2 hours ago
Tuesdays COVID-19 cases and deaths were unusually high. Heres why
Arizona on Tuesday reported unusually high numbers of 5,660 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 174 more virus deaths as the state's dashboard caught up on reporting some pandemic metrics after a two-day hiatus for a system update.
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2 hours ago
Harris argues for Biden climate agenda at sinking Lake Mead
Vice President Kamala Harris stood before the record-low water levels of Nevada’s Lake Mead on Monday and made the case for the Biden administration’s climate change agenda by warning that “this is where we’re headed.”
3 hours ago
Leaders call for cooperation in Western drought hearing
Water is something we all need, but don’t necessarily always think about. Yet as the West continues on in a drought, more minds are starting to look into the future, and how to ensure H2O is a part of it.
Oct. 18, 2021
ASU sensor will help NASAs Lucy mission solve solar system riddle
On Saturday, NASA launched its Lucy mission to survey Jupiter’s Trojans — clumps of asteroids that precede and trail the gas giant as it orbits the Sun. An ASU-built sensor will help the mission settle an ongoing debate about the solar system’s origins.
Oct. 15, 2021
Climate change affects just about everything, even birds of prey
When the birds arrive they’re in pretty bad shape. Many are casualties of drought, arriving in late spring or early summer, when temperatures rise and waterholes go dry. The drought has been hard on Arizona’s raptors, and this year was no exception.
More climate change new
Oct. 7, 2021
White Sands footprints show human presence during N. America Ice Age
Footprints in the sand often only last as long as the next big wave or high tide. But footprints found in New Mexico’s White Sands National Park have lasted a lot longer than that.
Oct. 15, 2021
Expert panel dives deep into COVID-19’s murky origins
Almost two years after China reported the first known case of COVID-19, experts still cannot confirm how the pandemic began. The journal Science recently convened four experts who debated the likely scenarios.
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Oct. 12, 2021
Arizona has 2nd lowest rate of childhood obesity in U.S., according to a new report
The data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation show Arizona’s rate of obesity among 10- to 17-year-olds is 10.2%, compared to the national average of 16.2%. But those rates are generally higher among kids in lower-income families.
Oct. 14, 2021
Health expert: Pandemics end relies on everyones efforts
We are now nearing the two-year mark from when COVID-19 was first discovered. And new cases are beginning to wane nationwide. So are we beginning to reach a point, once again, where the end of the pandemic is finally in sight?
Oct. 14, 2021
AZ hospitals remain busy as COVID-19 slows
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are gradually slowing down in Arizona. But health care facilities remain extremely busy statewide.
Oct. 13, 2021
Scientists wonder why some galaxies stop forming stars
Why did some galaxies run out of the gas needed to make new stars, very early on in their existence? And what might that mean for other galaxies, including our own?
Oct. 13, 2021
Booster shots drive uptick in demand for vaccines in AZ
About half of doses administered in Maricopa County recently were booster shots. Meanwhile, county data shows demand for first doses has slowed.
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Oct. 12, 2021
How a cyber command center can protect AZ from digital threats
Policymakers and elected officials are paying more attention to cyber threats, but there are still concerns about a lack of focus and a lack of financial investment put toward improving the situation.
Oct. 12, 2021
A court annulled a Trump era water policy. It matters across AZ
The Navigable Waters Protection Rule was a boon to some farmers and ranchers, but worried environmental groups as it significantly cut back the scope of bodies of water that were subject to federal oversight. But now, an Arizona district court is turning back the clock on the Trump administration’s new rule.
More Arizona water news
Oct. 11, 2021
Boas: New irrigation tech could halve farmers water use
Even with one wet monsoon season, the extended drought affecting Arizona and the rest of the Southwest continues. That means the need to be more efficient with water use is becoming even more important.
Oct. 11, 2021
Q&AZ: Which cultural institutions require vaccinations?
Through our Q&AZ Project, a listener asked: What are the mask and vaccination requirements for Phoenix cultural institutions like the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Art Museum?
Oct. 10, 2021
These shell beads may tell us what it means to be human
Ever ponder the question: what makes us human? Is it the opposable thumbs? Our brains? The necessity for pumpkin spice? Well, the answer may lie with 150,000-year-old beads.
Oct. 8, 2021
Pfizer seeks emergency authorization for COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11
Pfizer is seeking emergency U.S. authorization for its COVID-19 vaccination for kids between the ages of 5 and 11. Dr. Shad Marvasti with the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix says if the vaccine is approved, it will be a game changer.
Oct. 8, 2021
For $50,000, you can take balloon ride to stratosphere
About two months after Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin launched their first space tourism flights, Tucson-based World View Enterprises has begun taking reservations for a $50,000 balloon ride to the stratosphere.
Oct. 8, 2021