In July, while workers were wrapping up construction of the new University of Arizona Environment and Natural Resources Building, or ENR2, they discovered someone else wrapping up a little construction of her own. That someone was a hummingbird, and she had built her nest on a data cable dangling directly in front of a security camera.

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There is a theory that RNA, instead of DNA, is the original building block of all life, yet many RNA molecules remain mysterious.

Now, with an award of more than $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation's Plant Genome Research Program, three scientists are setting out to study the true nature of a class of largely understudied RNA molecules known as lncRNA.

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Across the country, middle and high schools have begun incorporating personal financial education into their curricula to prepare young people to make good financial decisions as adults.

The University of Arizona is helping to give teachers the tools they need to deliver these important life lessons.

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Eric Lyons, the iPlant Collaborative co-principal investigator, is addressing the challenge presented by the projected rise in scientific data. (Photo: Judy Davis)

In an era of unprecedented scientific discovery, researchers are generating more data than ever before. But do scientists have access to enough technological firepower to turn this mountain of data into tangible results?

Many biologists worry that the future rise in genomic data will strain the computational resources of the discipline beyond its capacity to store, analyze and distribute large datasets. However, University of Arizona assistant professor and iPlant Collaborative co-principal investigator Eric Lyons is much more optimistic.

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(PC: Mark Thaler)

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) welcomed Parker Antin as its new president on July 1. Antin is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona.

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45-acre Cornville ranch (PC: The Steele Foundation)

The Steele Foundation officially announced today that it will award the organization’s 45-acre DK Ranch in Cornville to the University of Arizona, providing the university with a permanent footprint in Northern Arizona. The university will gain the ability to expand its programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with a focus on the newly established Veterinary Medical and Surgical Program.

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Herring Hall, home of the campus herbarium (PC: Edwin Remsberg Photography,

Based on specific criteria and methodology, the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Campus Arboretum was received among the top rankings for US University Gardens and Arboreta.

The University of Arizona Campus Arboretum is home to over a thousand species of trees, shrubs, cacti and other plants. While some of these are native to North America, others come from all over the world. As part of the University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the arboretum has a strong educational component.

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Arthrobacter arilaitensis (Re117) genome (PC: iPlant)

In a recent study published in PLoS Biology, biologists worry that the future rise in genomic data consequent to dropping genetic sequencing costs will strain the computational resources of the discipline beyond its capacity to store, analyze, and distribute large datasets.

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A heavy stand of pines that has not been thinned since the trees sprouted in 1918. (Photo: Tom DeGomez)

Nearly $3.5 billion is spent annually in fighting wildfires that claim lives, destroy homes and scorch the land.

Wildfires today are burning twice as many acres than they were 40 years ago, according to federal officials. Contributing to the devastation in Arizona are dense forests of spindly trees that cause fires to rage out of control.

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Veterinarians and veterinary technicians examine a dog at a vaccination clinic event. (Photo courtesy: Humane Society of Southern Arizona)

Shane C. Burgess and the University of Arizona are looking to launch a hands-on curriculum in 2016 as part of the university’s veterinary medical education program. Buntain, who previously organized a veterinarian school at the University of Calgary in Canada, will apply her experience working with modern veterinarian schools to help the University of Arizona move through the accreditation process.

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(Photo: UA RTIP Facebook)

Doug Reed, Director of the Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, was interviewed on the Zach Clark show June 9th, 2015, shortly after CALS alumnus Bob Baffert won the Triple Crown with his two-year-old colt American Pharoah. In the interview, Reed comments on the RTIP as a UA academic program and how it prepares students for industry careers as well as affects the race track industry as a whole.

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(Photo Alamri/Arizona Sonora News)

A hundred cows at the Caballero dairy munch alfalfa under the spacious barn while fans and misters keep them cool during a 79-degree spring day.

The cool digs are not just about making cows feel comfortable, especially when temperatures hit 115 or more in the summer, said dairy owner Craig Caballero. New research indicates that ambient temperature affects milk production, and for Arizona farmers that means money.

Heat stress causes about $39,000 of annual loss to the average dairy farm in the United States, according to a study published in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is now offering online courses for its nutrition minor during each summer and winter session.

Over the course of more than one summer, a student can complete the required 18 units, the equivalent of six classes, from a list of 10 approved courses in the UA Department of Nutritional Sciences.

"The minor provides an opportunity for a student to learn more about a topic that permeates into many different disciplines, as well as everyday life," said Kelly Jackson, assistant professor in the UA Department of Nutritional Sciences.

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The bond between mother and child has long been recognized as critical to children's development, but what about Dad?

Increasingly, scientists have turned their attention to the role of fathers in the family. It's a timely topic, as an estimated one-third of U.S. children grow up in homes without their biological dads, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.    

At the University of Arizona, researchers are investigating the role of fathers under the Fathers, Parenting and Families Initiative, a research and education effort within the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families.

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Two University of Arizona professors have received the highest honor bestowed on faculty in the Arizona state university system.

The appointment of Bruce Tabashnik and Julia Clancy-Smith as Regents’ Professors, approved recently by the Arizona Board of Regents, brings to 99 the UA’s number of Regents' Professors since the designation was created in 1987. The honor is reserved for faculty scholars who have achieved national and international distinction for their work.

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Researchers in the University of Arizona's BIO5 Institute have entered into a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Consumer & Personal Products and Janssen Biotech Inc. to leverage foundational discovery research aimed at determining environmental factors that underlie asthma and allergies.

The project's goal is to identify compounds present in dust in the farm environment that may be protective against asthma. Findings from this study could lead to the development of medicines to prevent the disease.

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The plenary panel for "Edible Cities: Building Resilience With Urban Agriculture" at the GFIA (from left): Maximilian Loessl, founder of the Association for Vertical Farming; Marcelo de Andrade, chairman of Pro-Natura Brazil and partner of Earth Capital Partners, LLP; Joel Cuello, UA professor of biosystems engineering; Roger Platt, president of the U.S. Green Buildings Council; and Gus van der Feltz, global director of City Farming, Philips. (Photo: George Zaharescu)

The University of Arizona again served as Official Knowledge Partner to the 2015 Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, this spring. With 102 countries represented at the Forum — launched just a year ago — the GFIA has become one of the world's most influential global platforms for scientists, entrepreneurs and policymakers to present and explore innovations toward sustainable agriculture and food security.

UA-sponsored exhibits have included various controlled environment agriculture greenhouse technologies, a patented algal bioreactor for biofuels and aquaculture systems.

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