Arizona Science Desk


Annual pap smears are no longer recommended. Heres why
Pap smears used to be performed on an annual basis, often as part of an annual well-woman exam. Pap smears can detect things like cervical cancer, which is mostly caused by the HPV virus.
Pahrump poolfish: Are they too naïve to live?
For 10,000 years after a thawing ice age dried up their lakes, three species of poolfish survived in small, isolated springs in the Mojave Desert’s Pahrump Valley, located an hour west of Las Vegas. Only one species remains, and it might be too naïve to survive.
8 hours ago
Researchers trying to add smell to VR — but not just for fun
The use of virtual reality has picked up steam in recent years, but a multi-disciplinary team at Arizona State University is looking into new ways to incorporate an additional sense to the experience.
Oct. 3, 2022
Pandemic led to health delays, but waiting rooms are getting busy again
During the pandemic, many people stopped going to the doctor. While some took advantage of telemedicine, there are certain exams that have to be done in person. But waiting rooms are once again busy.
Sep. 30, 2022
Scientists use Biosphere 2 to ‘sniff out’ drought-stressed rainforest
University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 offers a living laboratory for studying drought under controlled conditions. Now, research shows scientists can detect airborne chemicals released by plants and possibly use them to track ecological stress.
Sep. 30, 2022
Bitcoin mining creates a bigger carbon footprint than cattle, research shows
In March, Chandler became one the first metro Phoenix cities to let its residents pay utility bills using cryptocurrency. Recent research shows one of the most popular digital currencies, Bitcoin, has an even bigger carbon footprint than once thought.
Oct. 1, 2022
NASA DART test hit its asteroid target — but that’s just the beginning
On Monday, NASA’s DART spacecraft struck a small asteroid circling a larger one 7 million miles away to test whether such an impact could defend the Earth from dangerous asteroids or comets. The Lowell Discovery Telescope, located near the northern Arizona community of Happy Jack, will help gauge its success.
Sep. 30, 2022
Why some seek out abortion care in the second or third trimester
With the reinstatement of a territorial-era ban that dates back to the 1860s, Arizona women are no longer able to seek abortion care in most cases. But even if this latest legal decision is put on hold or the state’s constitution is eventually amended to reflect what most Arizonans say they want, which is some access to abortion care, women will still need or want abortions — even into their second or third trimester.
Sep. 28, 2022
Taking cues from COVID-19, experts call for modernized syphilis screening
Arizona currently faces an outbreak of syphilis among females and newborns. This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reiterated its 2016 call to screen at-risk persons with or without symptoms. But some say it’s time to modernize the process.
Sep. 28, 2022
As treatment improves, long COVID answers remain elusive
Two-and-a-half years after long COVID-19 sufferers coined the term, experts are still trying to wrap their brains around this variable and complex syndrome. What needs to be done to move the needle?
Sep. 28, 2022
The big question about abortion is who defines life of the mother
Abortion, for the most part, is now illegal in Arizona. The only exception, according to the territorial law that was implemented in 1864 and codified in 1901, is for the life of the mother. But that language is vague.
Sep. 26, 2022
ASU announces new School of Ocean Futures
ASU has added a fourth school to its College of Global Futures, one it says will bring together ocean scientists and teachers from across the globe.
Sep. 23, 2022
Study: Planting trees won’t save planet from climate change
As climate change looms and carbon-emissions targets appear less and less achievable, some have suggested locking up carbon by planting trees in drylands. But new research throws some shade on the idea.
Sep. 23, 2022
EPA says metro Phoenix ozone pollution has gotten worse
The EPA has reclassified Maricopa County to a more severe status for ozone pollution, moving the region from “marginal” up to a label of “moderate.”
Sep. 23, 2022
For health care worker exhaustion, prognosis still grim
In May, KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk described the emotional distress wearing down health care workers and hindering efforts to bounce back after COVID-19. New research gives a glimpse of how those workers are faring.
Sep. 22, 2022
AI can help people write their wills
A team at the University of Arizona hopes people can skip the lawyer's office and write their wills with artificial intelligence.
Sep. 22, 2022
A plan to share the pain of water scarcity divides farmers in this rural Nevada community
Sharing the pain of scarcity goes against Western water law – but this Nevada farm community is trying it anyway.
Sep. 22, 2022
Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff hosts viewings as Jupiter swings closest since 1951
Jupiter is making its closest approach to Earth in 70 years, and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff is offering the public the chance to view the gas giant through several of its telescopes, including the historic 24-inch Clark Refractor.
Sep. 21, 2022
Lack of key rules for concealed carry permits tied to greater gun violence
Arizona is known for its loose concealed carry laws. This year, the state Senate voted to allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to bring their weapon into most government buildings. New research shows a strong uptick in gun violence in states with relaxed restrictions.
Sep. 21, 2022
Are enough Arizonans getting latest COVID-19 booster?
A new COVID-19 booster is available. At the same time, flu season is approaching. To learn about both vaccines and best practices, The Show spoke with Dr. Nick Staab.
Sep. 21, 2022
Lots of people have stopped masking. How the issue has evolved
Over the last couple of years, masks have been political symbols, but also social ones. To learn about that aspect of masking, The Show spoke with Markus Kemmelmeier, a professor of social psychology and sociology at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Sep. 21, 2022