Arizona Science Desk

Reporting on science, technology and innovation in Arizona and the Southwest through a collaboration from Arizona NPR member stations. This project is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Additional stories from the Arizona Science Desk are posted at our collaborating station, KJZZ: http://kjzz.org/science

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Yuma Science Chat: Rare Earth Metals

Apr 8, 2016
Steve Hennig - KAWC

KAWC is starting a new initiative to reach out to local scientists and learn from members of the community. This is our first Yuma Science Chat.

Scott Donnelly, chemistry professor at Arizona Western College, joined Arizona Science Desk reporter Amanda Solliday to discuss rare earth metals. These metals are critical for modern society and not easily mined.

Solliday: I’m Amanda Solliday. I’m here with Scott Donnelly, chemistry professor at Arizona Western College.

Donnelly: Hello Amanda, thank for inviting me.

New Ideas Wanted For Keeping Birds Out Of Arizona Crops

Mar 28, 2016
Paula Rivadeneira, University of Arizona

A flock of birds can damage acres of fresh produce.

“Not only can they eat the produce or eat your seedlings or your seeds, but they also poop in the field. So there could also be fecal material left behind,” said Paula Rivadeneira, University of Arizona professor at the Yuma Agricultural Center. “And that’s a real, genuine concern for food safety.”

To keep birds away, growers have tried more than just scarecrows – including cannons, noises that mimic predators and even lasers. Nothing really works.

NASA Photos Show Record Low Wintertime Arctic Ice

Mar 25, 2016
NASA

The Arctic had an extremely warm winter this year, and the latest satellite images from NASA reveal the lowest levels of winter Arctic sea ice on record.

NASA scientist Walt Meier uses satellite images of Arctic sea ice in his research.

“It’s about two Texases less ice now than it used to be back in the late seventies,” Meier said.

Meier said it’s not just area – the ice is also about 40 to 50 percent thinner.

Blood Drives Canceled in Yuma County Over Zika Concerns

Mar 17, 2016
United Blood Services

Two blood drives have now been canceled in Yuma County due to Zika concerns - the first in San Luis last month and another scheduled at Arizona Western College next week. This is leading to donation shortages of certain blood types in southwestern Arizona.

iPads Connect Hospice Patients To Nurses

Mar 17, 2016
Kimberly Shea, University of Arizona

End-of-life care is a difficult time for both patients and their families. And if an individual is managing a terminal illness at home, it can also be hard to get prompt medical help. This is especially true in rural areas, where a hospital may be a long drive away.

A professor at the University of Arizona wants to provide hospice patients with better access to nurses.

Kimberly Shea was a hospice nurse for 15 years, providing at-home care to patients with only a short time left to live.

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