Li Deng, co-first author on the Nature paper, stands on the deck of the research vessel. (Photo: Sullivan lab)

A fishing expedition of microscopic proportions led by University of Arizona ecologists revealed that the lines between virus types in nature are less blurred than previously thought.

Using lab-cultured bacteria as "bait," a team of scientists led by Matthew Sullivan has sequenced complete and partial genomes of about 10 million viruses from an ocean water sample in a single experiment.

The study, published online Monday by the journal Nature, revealed that the genomes of viruses in natural ecosystems fall into more distinct categories than previously thought. This enables scientists to recognize actual populations of viruses in nature for the first time.

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From left to right, graduate student mentor Roy Ulibari, Sierrane Gatela, and Alexandra Wilcox capture and study desert fishes. (Courtesy: SNRE)

In mid-September of 2013, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) announced $4.5 million in grants to launch the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at universities around the country, including a $1.5 million grant to the University of Florida for a partnership with institutions across the U.S., including the University of Arizona.

At the University of Arizona, the program is located in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and led by William Mannan, Professor and Chair, Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Program, as well as Scott Bonar, Unit Leader of the Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Associate Professor in the Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Program.

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Zambia Lion (Photo Credit: Dave Christianson)

Thandi Mweetwa, graduate student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences School of Natural Resources and the Environment, has received the Russell Train Fellowship award from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for her conservation work in Africa.

Mweetwa began research on lion populations in Zambia when she started graduate school at the University of Arizona in January 2014. Her research, titled “African lion demography across two critical populations in Zambia,” is performed under the advisement of Dave Christianson, assistant professor for Wildlife Conservation and Management.

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Since October, we've had very low precipitation – averaging less than half of average across large portions of the state – accompanied by low snowpack and temperatures that have been well above average.

The combination of these factors, along with bursts of dry winds that are typical for the spring, gives us conditions of above-normal fire potential, which is what the Southwest Coordination Center, the main fire prediction center for our region, predicted beginning in late January.

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The 160-acre Campus Agricultural Center, one of the university's existing teaching and research facilities that will be used for the UA Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program  (Courtesy of University of Arizona/Judy A. Davis)

A setback this spring for the proposed Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program at the University of Arizona has forced program leaders to rethink their strategy.

Nearly two years have passed since word first came of a veterinary program at the state’s only land-grant university. The university’s board of regents voted Sept. 27, 2012, to ask the state legislature to authorize $3 million for planning and staging of a veterinary program in Tucson. University officials subsequently asked the state legislature for a more modest $250,000 state appropriation for the initial study in spring 2013. The proposal went to Gov. Janice K. Brewer for her signature, but she did not include it in her 2013-2014 budget request. 

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Chemical odor plume measurements were made by proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry and anemometry in the University of Arizona Santa Rita Experimental Range. (Photo courtesy of Leif Abrell)

Car and truck exhaust fumes that foul the air for humans also cause problems for pollinators.

In new research on how pollinators find flowers when background odors are strong, University of Washington and University of Arizona researchers have found that both natural plant odors and human sources of pollution can conceal the scent of sought-after flowers.

When the calories from one feeding off a flower fuels only 15 minutes of flight, as is the case with the tobacco hornworm moth studied, being misled costs a pollinator energy and time.

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Two monarch butterflies sucking nectar on Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. Of the 73 species of native milkweeds, this one is the most important for the monarch butterfly. (Photo courtesy of Ina Warren)

University of Arizona researchers are playing a leading role in an unprecedented effort to save America's most iconic butterfly, the monarch.

Due to loss of habitat for milkweed – the sole food plant of the caterpillars – populations of this important pollinator have plummeted in recent years, leaving the monarch in dire straits.

Laura Lopez-Hoffman, an assistant professor in the UA's School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and Gary Nabhan, who holds the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the UA's Southwest Center, are helping bring together researchers, agencies, non-governmental organizations and grassroots movements to design and implement a recovery plan for the butterflies.

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(Courtesy: UANews)

Antibiotic resistance in humans is a growing health concern, and scientists are now looking at how water and soil in the environment might contribute to people becoming immune to life-saving antibiotics.

Experts will discuss this issue at an upcoming University of Arizona workshop, which will tackle the hot-button topic of antibiotic resistance in agriculture.

"Antibiotic Resistance in Agroecosystems: State of the Science" will be held Aug. 5-8 at Biosphere 2, and aims to bring together microbiologists and chemists to identify the most effective methods to track antibiotic resistance in the environment.

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Anita Bhappu, associate professor at the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences (Courtesy: Arizona Public Media)

E-commerce has exploded in the past ten years, as more people go to the Internet to buy and sell goods and services. Technology has driven much of that shift.

In coming years, changes will continue to occur, not online however, but in brick and mortar stores, according to Anita Bhappu, an associate professor of retailing and consumer sciences at the University of Arizona.

"The key thing has been about seamless integration across channels," Bhappu said. For those big retailers who have both physical stores and online marketplaces, " they can meet their consumer in whichever place the consumer is at, and can follow them through their path to purchase."

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Psychologists often focus on role of mothers in children’s development. Writer Paul Raeburn asks: when it comes to raising children, what does dad have to do with it?

Dads are not just a second-income in a family, he says, but their role in children’s psychological development has been overlooked. Raeburn’s book “Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us About the Overlooked Parent”, delves into the effects an active, present father has on his children. He found recent research that suggests that fathers’ love and involvement is a crucial factor in children’s well-being, particularly in his sons’ and daughters’ teenage years.

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Vivianna Pardini was 15 years old when she got pregnant. Three months into her pregnancy, she heard about Marana High School's Teenage Parent Program, or TAPP.

TAPP is a day care center tucked away in a corner of Marana High. It provides care to babies and toddlers when their teen parents, mainly moms, are in U.S. history and geometry classes. But it’s far more than a day care facility. TAPP is where young people like Pardini learn how to be parents.

Pardini is now 18, and just finished her junior year at Marana. Over the past few years she’s been able to go to classes, while her daughter Yasleen has spent her days at TAPP. The daycare facility is located in Marana’s campus – and the goal is to help teenage moms get their high school diploma.

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Tarantula hawk (Photo: Chris Kline, Boyce Thompson Arboretum)

Peter Warren spends much of his day answering serious questions about insects and horticulture for the Pima County Cooperative Extension at the University of Arizona.

Questions such as:

“How do I keep kissing bugs out of my house?”

“How often should I water my new Meyer lemon tree?”

And, “What the heck is this bug and how do I kill it?”

So, we decided to ask him a few not-so-serious questions about his job and what makes him tick.

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(Courtesy: Edwin Remsberg, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)

Peak tomato season — July through September here on the East Coast — is almost upon us, and the anticipation is palpable. Before we know it, those super sweet, juicy fruits, grown outdoors under the hot sun, will be back in abundance..

We tend to fetishize summer tomatoes, especially heirloom varieties like Brandywine and , and regard them as the pinnacle of tomato flavor.

But according scientists who specialize in growing food in hydroponic greenhouses, some tomatoes bred for the indoors are now just as flavorful as the ones grown outdoors in perfect summer conditions.

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Speaking about the UA's commitment to rural and border communities, UA President Ann Weaver Hart said the University is "working for the next generation." (Photo Courtesy: UANews)

As part of statewide visits, University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart toured the U.S.-Mexico border region of Santa Cruz County, affirming the UA’s commitment to Arizona as the state’s land-grant university.

Hart's daylong visit included meetings and interaction with community college transfer students, families, extension specialists, agriculturalists and education board members.

The trip coincided with the 100-year anniversary of the UA's Cooperative Extension, established in 1914 and responsible for translating research into community solutions and economic impact, helping to shape the Arizona of today.

Cooperative Extension, a program of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has helped grow Arizona's agriculture to a $16.2 billion industry. In 2013 alone, Cooperative Extension served more than 585,000 Arizonans.

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Kevin Fitzsimmons (left) with Aftab Alam (middle) and Ali Madi Idris (right) during a 2012 visit to the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

Kevin Fitzsimmons, Cooperative Extension specialist from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, received the President’s Volunteer Service Award Apr. 21, 2014. This national honor was given in recognition of Fitzsimmons’ extensive volunteer efforts with Winrock International, a non-profit volunteering organization.

The award was established in 2003 and is given annually to around 100 individuals, groups and families who have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering like Fitzsimmons.

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A field planted with Bt cotton in Southern Arizona. (Photo credit: Timothy Dennehy)

An international team led by scientists at the University of Arizona and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has discovered what happens on a molecular basis in insects that evolved resistance to genetically engineered cotton plants.

The findings, reported in the May 19 issue of the journal PLOS ONE, shed light on how the global caterpillar pest called pink bollworm overcomes biotech cotton, which was designed to make an insect-killing bacterial protein called Bt toxin. The results could have major impacts for managing pest resistance to Bt crops.

Caterpillars of the pink bollworm are one of the most detrimental pests to cotton production worldwide. First detected in the U.S. in 1917, this invasive insect species wreaked havoc on Arizona's cotton-growing industry, with larvae infesting as many as every other cotton boll (the fruit capsule containing the valuable fibers).

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Bottom row (L-R) Anna Collins, Alanna Riggs, Megan Hurrell, Emily Pecilunas; Top Row (L-R) .Eric Wagner, Trevor Chilcote, Emilio Corella, Mike McIntire, and Larry Howery (coach)

The University of Arizona's Tierra Seca Club placed 5th overall in the 21 universities represented by student chapters at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management. The meeting was held Feb. 8-14, 2014 in Orlando, Fla.

Tierra Seca is the University of Arizona's student chapter of the International Society for Range Management. Mitch McClaran, assistant director of the Arizona Experiment Station, serves as Tierra Seca student advisor.

All eight Terra Seca students who took part in the meeting participated in the Undergraduate Range Management Exam, a test of knowledge for range ecology and management. With the help of advisor Larry Howery, specialist in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, every member placed individually in the top half out of 153 students. Three of them placed in the top ten: Alanna Riggs and Anna Collins tied in 8th place; Mike McIntire earned in 9th place.

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