Arizona Science Desk


Alzheimers drug gets FDA panels backing
Health advisers on Friday unanimously backed the full approval of a closely watched Alzheimer’s drug, a key step toward opening insurance coverage to U.S. seniors with early stages of the brain-robbing disease.
June 10, 2023
Thousands of years of fiction can help us understand the AI future
Matt Bell says the idea of artificial life can be traced far back in human history — and there’s long been a melding of reality and science fiction.
June 9, 2023
Public schools, child care facilities can get free lead-screening kits
The Arizona Department of Health Services is offering free lead-screening kits to public schools and day cares for the testing of drinking water fixtures and faucets. Any public school or state-regulated child care facility can enroll in the program.
June 9, 2023
Study: Monsoons less able to help ponderosa pine forests
The drought and heat is impacting the way the trees are able to retain water.
June 9, 2023
AI assistants miss chances to refer people to crisis hotlines, resources
AI assistants like ChatGPT promise to change the future of medicine and improve public access to information. But the authors of a new paper in JAMA Network Open wondered: How do AIs respond to people who are suicidal or dealing with sexual assault or addiction?
June 8, 2023
AG wants to protect no-cost preventive health screenings
The Affordable Care Act requires private insurers to cover certain preventive health screenings with no out-of-pocket costs for the patient. But a recent federal court decision out of Texas would block enforcement of that rule.
June 8, 2023
Could a vaccine help the fentanyl problem?
The Show spoke with Dr. Colin Haile is a research associate professor at the University of Houston about a new approach to bringing the number of deaths from drug overdoses down.
June 8, 2023
Psyche mission back on track following adjustments
Last year, NASA’s mission to study the metal-rich asteroid Psyche missed its launch date as logistical problems delayed final systems checks. This week, an institutional review board gave the mission team a glowing report on its operational course corrections.
June 7, 2023
COVID-19 deaths, hospital admissions at lowest point since reporting began
COVID-19 risk remains very low nationwide. And by some measures, Arizona is now seeing some of the lowest levels of virus spread since the pandemic began more than three years ago.
June 7, 2023
What ASUs new medical school means for Arizonas health care industry
To address the question of whether or not an ASU medical school will fix the lack of medical professionals, The Show spoke with Will Humble, director of the Arizona Public Health Association.
June 7, 2023
Researchers are working on non-addictive pain meds
The CDC says overdose deaths are still a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, and that the majority of those involve opioids. Researchers like John Streicher are trying to figure out ways to bring those numbers down.
June 6, 2023
Some Indigenous people not happy with proliferation of psychedelic drugs
Growing Western interest in psychedelic drugs has many Indigenous people sounding the alarm. These are plants they have been cultivating relationships with for millennia and, to do it right, they say, Western medicine should create bridges with traditional knowledge holders.
June 5, 2023
This mannequin sweats, and its helping ASU researchers understand heat stress
By the year 2100, the U.S. will experience more frequent and intense heat waves. ASU engineers are trying to grasp how heat stresses the body — and they’re using a breathing, sweating, walking and shivering mannequin to do it.
More news from the Arizona Science Desk
June 1, 2023
New ASU class will train students to use ChatGPT
Artificial intelligence programs like ChatGPT have become a major disruptor in a pretty short amount of time. A lot of people are trying to figure out how to keep up, and one ASU professor is taking a unique approach.
June 1, 2023
Jalapeños arent as hot as they used to be. A look at the science behind the spicy
A recent article in the Dallas-based “D” Magazine addressed the gradual “de-heating” of jalapeno peppers in recent years. This phenomenon did not go unacknowledged by The Show staff, so The Show invited ASU prof Ken Sweat to talk about it.
June 1, 2023
Study cites gaps in suicide reporting by prisons
Research links both current and past incarceration to declines in mental health, and deinstitutionalization means people with mental illness often end up imprisoned. Yet a new study shows many states provide only sparse data regarding suicides behind prison walls — in violation of federal law.
May 31, 2023
Steady rise in pre-pregnancy diabetes threatens health of mothers, infants
Although more than four-fifths of diabetes cases in pregnant females develop during pregnancy, studies show pre-pregnancy diabetes poses a greater risk for mothers and infants. A new study by the National Center for Health Statistics shows those cases have been rising steadily, especially in Arizona.
May 31, 2023
How the 988 suicide hotline has been doing almost a year in
The Show talked with Justin Chase, president and CEO of Solari Crisis and Human Services, about how it's been going since July 2022 when the 988 hotline launched.
May 31, 2023
Coexisting in rural spaces: How the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program is succeeding
The Mexican wolf population is being bolstered by quickly handing off pups born in captivity to surrogate packs to be raised in the wild. Pups are born in captivity at breeding centers across the country, then carefully placed in wild packs with pups of the same age.
May 31, 2023
Experts are seeing an increase in ADHD diagnoses for adults
The Show spoke with Ishani Deo, a psychologist at the University of Arizona’s Counseling and Psych Services and coordinator for the ADHD Clinic there, about what kind of increase they’re seeing, in terms of adults being diagnosed with ADHD.
May 30, 2023