Phoenix Arizona


ASU scientists invite the community to explore Earth and space Nov. 3 by quotes
October 31, 2007, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Arizona, Arizona State University, ASU, Science | Tags: , , , , , ,


TEMPE, Ariz. – Kids of all ages, and their parents and teachers too, are invited to learn more about Earth and space through hands-on activities, experimental demonstrations and public lectures by ASU scientists from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 3, in the Bateman Physical Science Building, F-Wing, at ASU’s Tempe campus.
 
The annual Earth and Space Exploration Day, hosted by ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, provides a variety of educational activities “for kids ages 5 to 95,” says professor Tom Sharp, a mineralogist and associate director of the NASA Arizona Space Grant Consortium.
 
“The purpose of this event is to provide an up-close opportunity for the public to see some of the great science we do at ASU, while we engage students of all ages in fun, hands-on scientific learning activities,” says Sharp. “There is plenty of depth for adults too.”
 
For example, ASU planetary scientist David Williams will present a lecture on solar system exploration at 10 a.m., and give an overview of results from NASA’s and the European Space Agency’s 2007 planetary missions. Other lectures on black holes, volcanology, the Mars rovers and whether there will be an energy crisis are scheduled on the hour throughout the event.
 
In conjunction with the day of exploration, ASU’s Space Photography Laboratory is hosting an open house and will show the latest NASA planetary images.
 
There also will be special shows in the planetarium, including one on “Stars over Arizona.” Other educational activities include learning about minerals while panning for gold, examining rocks and meteorite sections under a microscope, viewing the sun with a solar telescope, and learning about volcanoes and their explosive eruptions.
 
The public can “take a tour” of Mars with the aid of a GeoWall 3-D projector. Children, and adults can bring in rocks for “Dr. Rock” to identify or water samples for “Dr. Water” to analyze. Minerals, gems, fossils from around the world, the only active seismograph in central Arizona, a six-story Foucault pendulum, and Columbian mammoth bones from Chandler, Ariz., will be on display in the Dietz Museum of Geology.
 
Also scheduled is a geology field trip to “A” Mountain (Hayden Butte) to learn about sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and geological structures exposed in Tempe.
 
There will be handouts and outreach information for teachers from the School of Earth and Space Exploration and other academic and research units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, including the Institute for Human Origins and the School of Geographical Sciences.
 
“We hope the event will encourage children to learn that science is fun as they learn about how the Earth works and how we study it,” Sharp says.
 
For more information, contact the School of Earth and Space Exploration at (480) 965-5081 or http://www.sese.asu.edu <http://www.sese.asu.edu/> .



Mars by azhttp

 
Heat-sensing ASU camera finds possible cave skylights on Mars volcano

TEMPE, Ariz. – A heat-sensitive camera designed at Arizona State University and flying on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter has led a team of Mars geologists to find seven small, deep holes on the flanks of Arsia Mons, a giant volcano on Mars. The holes may be openings, called skylights, in the ceilings of underground caves. The discovery is announced in a scientific paper published recently in Geophysical Research Letters.
 
The team of scientists includes Philip Christensen of ASU, plus Glen Cushing and Tim Titus of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, and Judson Wynne of Northern Arizona University. Cushing is the lead author on the paper.
 
Christensen, a Regents Professor of geological science in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, designed the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), the instrument the team used to make the discovery. THEMIS has been photographing the Red Planet at five visual and 10 infrared wavelengths since February 2002.
 
Says Christensen, “THEMIS is the only heat-sensing imager currently orbiting Mars.” Temperature data was the key in spotting the potential cave skylights, he notes.
 
The features the team found are dark, nearly circular holes in the ground with diameters ranging from 100 to 250 meters (yards). The holes appear in images of Arsia Mons taken by Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor orbiters. Located in the volcanic region of Tharsis, Arsia is one of the larger volcanoes on Mars, and like the rest of Tharsis, it has a heavy coating of dust.
 
“We examined the flanks of the volcano in nighttime infrared images, looking for temperature anomalies – warm spots,” explains Christensen. “Then when we re-examined the locations in daytime images, we saw the small, deep holes in the ground.”
 
Dusty surfaces, he says, become hot during the day, both on Earth and Mars. But at night, dust and sand give up heat quickly, becoming very cold shortly before sunrise. The holes, however, changed temperature by only two-thirds as much as the surface.
 
Says Christensen, “We saw that we had dark holes that are warm at night, but cool by day. The best way to explain that is to have a deep hole with vertical walls, so you’re looking at a rocky surface free from sand and dust.”
 
The team suggests that the deep holes on Arsia Mons probably formed as faults created stresses that opened spaces underground. Some of the holes are in line with strings of bowl-shaped pits where the surface has collapsed.
 
The observations have been discussed at meetings with other Mars scientists earlier this year, and they have prompted researchers using Mars Odyssey and NASA’s newer Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to search for other openings to underground spaces.
 
Christensen adds, “The temperature data is what really separated these unique holes from millions of run-of-the-mill craters, volcanic vents, and collapse pits.”
 



Arizona’s 50 Year Transformations by quotes

Arizona’s  50 Year Transformations  Arizona is growing, but this is not news to anyone.

Yesterday it really hit home. Over the past 20 years I have had numerous meetings at the Salt River Project’s modest, single story administration building in a desert setting on Project Drive. Yesterday I could hardly find it within the massive complex of hi-rise buildings. Sitting I the familiar lobby I thought about Arizona’s real transformations.  

In the first half of the 1990’s it was hydraulic innovations that delivered water from the massive dams through SRP canals that created our agricultural economy.  The second half of the 1990’s was driven by a company about one mile west of SRP on Washington Street: Goettl Air Conditioning. They introduced evaporative coolers and then air conditioners that transformed Arizona’s economy once again.  

So here we sit in the early 21st century, wondering where we go next. What innovation in infrastructure will transform Arizona once again? We are a unique state in that we are one of the few that is fresh and young, and has a history of astounding growth and transformation. Incrementalism will not serve Arizona well in the next couple of decades. Our governance, education and business communities have a sense of this need to build a third great infrastructure. We have good success with broad band telecommunications which started its surge ten years ago. With a successful Broadband Authority strategy Arizona will complete its rural rollout in a few years.  

But we need an innovation much more powerful and unique, to match the Arizona pioneers of the past century. And to no surprise to prior readers of this blog — that transformation will be the eLearning system adoption within all Arizona K-12 classrooms statewide.   

Cheers!         

Ted                        

Theodore C. Kraver PhD ,  President

eLearning System for Arizona Teachers and Students Inc.not-for-profit   501-c3    

volunteer design and advocacy organization 

602-944-8557(direct) tkraver@qwest.net            

http://AZelearning.org

225 West Orchid Lane  

Phoenix, AZ    85021 



Biomedical Sciences at ASU by quotes

Bee researcher at Arizona State University is one of 20 new Pew Scholars in the biomedical sciences

TEMPE, Ariz.– It’s hard to imagine, for most of us, that the bees we see buzzing between strands of orange flowers of the desert mallow could potentially usher in a medical breakthrough. However, in the right hands, these insects best known for their banded coloration, social life and skills with pollination could some day be the key to advancements in biomedical neuroscience of aging – if Gro Amdam has her way, with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
 
Amdam, an assistant professor in Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences who heads social insect studies in laboratories at both ASU and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences’ Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, is one of only 20 researchers chosen this year to enter the Trusts’ exclusive rolls as a Pew Scholar in the biomedical sciences. About 150 eligible colleges across the nation were invited to submit a candidate for the award this year. Remarkably, it was the first year that Arizona State University was invited to participate and Amdam was the sole candidate put forward by ASU President Michael M. Crow.
 
“The focus of this award – biomedical sciences – is an evolving area of emphasis for ASU,” says Crow. “The fact that the award is going to a researcher using the honeybee as a biomedical model exemplifies the spirit of ASU unconstrained by disciplinary boundaries.”
 
Robert Page, founding director of ASU’s School of Life Sciences and Amdam’s oft-time collaborator in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, says he never had any doubt that the Pew Trusts would select Amdam, and that the award has special significance on several fronts: “This the first year that ASU was invited to nominate, so it marks our initiation as an institution into this select ’club.’ The fact that our faculty member was chosen also shows that ASU belongs in the club. Then, when you consider that this award is in the area of biomedical science and will support research using honeybees … it shows just how much the world of biology is changing and that comparative biology will be central even to the biomedical sciences.”
 
The Pew Charitable Trusts is composed of seven separate trusts established between 1948 and 1979 by the heirs of Joseph N. Pew, founder of the Sun Oil Company, and is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. It partners with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share its commitment to fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.



“The Pew Scholars are among America’s finest biomedical research entrepreneurs. They seek out and mine unexpected leads in a quest for knowledge that may one day lead to new medical treatments and save lives,” says Rebecca W. Rimel, president and chief executive office of The Pew Charitable Trusts.



As a Pew Scholar, Amdam will receive a $240,000 award over four years to help support her research.



Among past Pew Scholars are Nobel Prize winners, such as Craig Mello from the University of Massachusetts, who shared the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Stanford’s Andrew Fire for their development of the RNA interference (RNAi) technique. Amdam’s research will make use of RNAi to study genes implicated in plasticity of honeybee neuronal aging.


Of the award, Amdam says, “In the scholarly system of Norway, where I come from, such recognitions are very rare, nearly unheard of. This is a great honor for me.” She also notes, “The award gives me a unique opportunity to take my research at ASU into the field of neuroscience, and neurogerontology in particular.”
 
According to Amdam, her Pew project will join two lines of study that have never been coupled: the emerging field of honeybee comparative neurogerontology – in which Amdam has published the first work on plasticity of neuronal oxidative damage – and honeybee behavioral physiology, where cumulative data show that age-related cell damage can be reversed. Amdam has authored or coauthored publications in Nature, Public Library of Science Biology, Advances in Cancer Research, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Experimental Gerontology and Behavioral Brain Research in the past year, laying the foundation for this work. Her group has documented that social reversal, which triggers old bees (that usually forage outside of the hive) to revert to tasks normally performed by younger bees (that nurse larvae within the hive), is associated with reversal of several physiological markers of senescence. Her findings, and supporting findings from other groups, Amdam says, indicate that “behavioral reversal triggers a systemic response, one which translates into a unique cascade of cell repair in bees.” Preliminary data collected in her laboratory suggest that this cascade can include the central nervous system.
 
“If social reversal causes arrest or partial clearance of neuronal oxidative damage, my project funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts will establish the first model for neuronal oxidative remission,” Amdam notes.
 
Oxidative brain damage is a fundamental pathology in normal human aging and in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and development of novel treatments has high priority in biomedical research, says Amdam. Although she describes this line of discovery as risky, “its prospective contribution is of considerable relevance for human health.” 
 



Cosmic Evolution, Earth Evolution: talks at Arizona Science Center by quotes

Cosmic Evolution, Earth Evolution: talks at AZ Science Ctr

[A forwarded message, received on Oct. 5, 2006. Note the talks on
astronomy and earth science on Nov. 29 and Dec. 13. — Jane J]

Evolution Speaker Series at The Arizona Science Center

Join the Arizona Science Center and The University of Arizona College of
Science for an exciting series of presentations about one of the most
controversial topics of our time.  Scientists from many fields work
together to discover the processes that create the current state of our
universe, our world, and ourselves.  The theory of evolution accounts
for
the origin of all matter, including the development of life itself.  We
are
proud to present these seven lectures that will illustrate the various
aspects of evolution.

  All lectures begin at 7 p.m. and are free to the public.  For
reservations
or more information, please email
  <edserve@azscience.org>
  or call 602-716-2000 and choose option 8, then option 3.

October 25, 2006
Biological Evolution: What It Is and What It Isn’t
Joanna Masel, Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

November 29, 2006
Earth Evolution: The Formation of Our Planet
Joaquin Ruiz, Dean of the College of Science and Professor of
Geosciences

December 13, 2006
Cosmic Evolution: From Big Bang to Biology
Chris Impey, Distinguished Professor, Astronomy

January 31, 2007
Social Evolution: Cooperation and Conflict from Molecules to Society
Rick Michod, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

February 28, 2007
Animal Evolution: Recycling Ancient Genes for New Uses
Lisa Nagy, Associate Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology

March 28, 2007
Human Evolution: Tracing Our Origins with DNA
Michael Hammer, Research Scientist, Division of Biotechnology and
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

April 25, 2007
Disease Evolution: The Example of HIV
Michael Worobey, Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Sent by:
Dianne McKee
Educational Services Manager
Arizona Science Center
Institute for Teaching
600 E. Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
(602) 716-2000, ext. 2564
 www.azscience.org