Judith K. Brown

A global network of scientists has elected three University of Arizona faculty members American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows, a distinction awarded to those who are advancing science in ways that are considered scientifically or socially distinguished.

Dozens of UA faculty members have been named fellows of AAAS, the largest general scientific society in the world. 

Judith K. Brown, a plant sciences and BIO 5 Institute professor, was cited for "for pioneering international work on emergent plant viruses, and for distinguished contributions to research on plant-pathogen-vector interactions including functional genomics of vector-mediated pathogen transmission."

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Photo Credit: Susan McGinley

The documentary "Earthlight" follows the success of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center lunar greenhouse team in constructing a closed system that recycles all air and water and produces food that astronauts will need for extended missions to the moon and Mars.

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Sharing Tribes promotes lending and borrowing over buying. It involves "taking the science of retailing and applying it to the practice of sharing," Anita Bhappu says.

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Photo: Lynn Ketchum

With the help of the UA-based iPlant Collaborative, students in a revolutionary, two-university "ecoinformatics" course dug through unused open-access data to discover how variations in soil composition influence microbial life.

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Photo Credit: Lynn Ketchum

The new center will include a law clinic staffed by students from two UA colleges who will work directly with ranchers, farmers, miners and others.

The Natural Resource Users Law and Policy Center — the first of its kind in the nation — has been launched at the University of Arizona to address the currently unmet legal needs of ranchers, farmers, miners and others whose business involves the use of natural resources.

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The setting sun plunges the Tucson Mountains into silhouette and casts a golden glow on the fields and stables of the University of Arizona Equine Center. UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences student Nicole Chapman is just starting her shift caring for the thoroughbreds and quarter horses that are used in classes such as horsemanship, equitation workshop, and weanling and yearling management.

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Image Credit: iPlant Collaborative

As principal investigator of the UA-headquartered iPlant Collaborative, he is working to expand the capabilities and impact of the $100 million computational infrastructure platform.

Not every research or technology project can boast that its director also heads up national initiatives in life sciences and biotechnology. The University of Arizona's Parker Antin is a unique case.

Antin leads the iPlant Collaborative, the UA-headquartered computational infrastructure project that is the National Science Foundation's premier data management service.

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Photo Credit: Lynn Ketchum

Can humans grow food on Mars in the same way that Matt Damon’s character did in the popular new movie “The Martian”?

University of Arizona scientists say yes, but not necessarily in the fashion that the hero of the story, Mark Watney, did. Researchers at the UA have been working for years on ways to make a habitat on Mars a reality.

Gene Giacomelli, director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center at the UA, does research which focuses on making fruits and vegetables in greenhouses, including ones that simulate environments that can be found on the moon and Mars. According to him, it would be possible to make enough food on Mars for about half of the daily calories you would need. The rest would have to be brought in, such as cornmeal, flour or rice.

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Photo Credit: Lynn Ketchum

Arizona’s students will soon have more choices when it comes to pursuing a career in veterinary medicine while minimizing educational debt. University of Arizona and UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty are planning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program (link: http://vmsp.cals.arizona.edu/), slated to open in August 2016. Applications for the 2016-17 academic year will be accepted once the university receives a Letter of Reasonable Assurance of Accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association. The UA DVM Program not only will be the first public veterinary medical education program in Arizona, but the first of its kind in the United States. We sat down recently with Sharon Dial, research scientist in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, and Dave Besselsen, director and attending veterinarian for University Animal Care, for a preview of what the UA DVM Program will have to offer.

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Donato Romagnolo and Ornella Selmin (Photo by csrichards.com)

Once you understand how something works, the next step is to figure out how to keep it working.

That is precisely the goal of Donato Romagnolo and Ornella Selmin of the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Romagnolo and Selmin hold faculty appointments in the Department of Nutritional Sciences in the College and Agriculture of Life Sciences and share a laboratory at the Cancer Center.

Knowing that the BRCA1 gene functions as a tumor suppressor, Romagnolo and Selmin are working on a way to keep the gene from being repressed through epigenetic changes caused by environmental factors.

Roughly 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer diagnoses are a direct result of an inherited mutation on the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes. But what is causing the other 90 percent?

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Provost Andrew Comrie addresses patrons and guests at Forbes Building Centennial and Lobby Dedication. Photo Credit: Judy A Davis

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Forbes Building, Provost Andrew Comrie, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Shane Burgess, and Forbes lobby donors dedicated the new Forbes Lobby and Career Center on October 10 and kicked off the next 100 years.

The College of Agriculture was the first academic unit of the University of Arizona and in 1915 the impressive new Forbes Building (originally Agricultural Hall) was the pride of the College. The departments within it consisted of Animal Husbandry, Agricultural Chemistry, Agronomy, Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Home Economics and Agricultural Extension and they formed the basic structure that still prevails: teaching, research, and extension.

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Gene Giacomelli harvests food fit for Mars at the UA's Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. (Photo: Norma Jean Gargasz/UANews)

"So, I've got to figure out a way to grow three years' worth of food here — on a planet where nothing grows," says Mark Watney, the botanist who ends up stranded on the red planet in Ridley Scott’s new film, "The Martian."

Watney, whose character is played by actor Matt Damon, later engineers a way to grow potatoes on Mars and remarks, "I am the greatest botanist on this planet."

Despite never saying it explicitly in the novel on which the film is based, author Andy Weir has revealed that "The Martian" is set in the near future; the NASA crew lands on Mars in November 2035.

But UA scientists already have figured out how to grow food on the freeze-dried planet, including sweet potatoes and strawberries — roughly 20 years ahead of Mars' "greatest botanist." Watch video here.

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Developmental screeners, Robyn Powers and Guadalupe Quintero administer and record an ASQ-3 screening at a local library. Photo credit: Jennie Treadway

Ninety percent of a child’s brain is developed by age 5, which is why it is so important to monitor the progress of infants, babies and toddlers as they grow.

Are they hearing well? Do they see clearly? Are they developing fine motor skills and speech on pace with their peers? 

Parents in Pinal County are learning the answers to these formative questions about their children — and finding out what to do if help is needed — through an early childhood health program led by University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, which is part of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Pinal County parents can sign up to have personnel from the UA Cooperative Extension screen their child for free by calling 520-836-5221.

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Photo Credit: John de Dios

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart announced Monday that the new home for the UA’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program will be its newest campus: University of Arizona Oro Valley. See video here.

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Paul in the Plant Pathology Lab (photo courtesy: Ramon Jaime).

University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences PhD candidate and Norman E. Borlaug LEAP fellow, Paul Kachapulula, remembers the two-hour walk from his tiny village in Zambia to the school in the nearest town with fondness: “We were just a big ball of children, running down the path on the way to school!” 

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Katy Prudic at the Arizona Health Sciences Library (photo courtesy: Jeff Oliver)

Katy Prudic, assistant research professor in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Entomology, is invited to the White House to participate in the citizen science forum on September 30th, 2015.

Prudic is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the eButterfly citizen science project that is maximizing the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of butterfly observations, photographs, and collections made each year by recreational and professional butterfly enthusiasts.

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(Photo Courtesy: Jessica Luse)

Thanks to support from University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the hard work and dedication of community volunteers, interns and AmeriCorps members, Tucson Village Farm expanded its reach this summer to include additional infrastructure, acreage, outdoor classrooms and programming on the west side of Campbell Avenue in Tucson, Arizona.

A program of UA CALS and the UA Cooperative Extension, Pima County, Tucson Village Farm (TVF), on the east side of Campbell Avenue, is an education-based farm that reconnects youth to a healthy food system and teaches them how to grow, prepare, and eat fresh food, which empowers them to make healthy life choices.

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