In the news / Bioinformatics

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UArizona assistant professor of hydrology and atmospheric sciences lead a team received $5M grant from NSF to use machine learning to build models of the nation's watershed systems that can be used to forecast future conditions. Building a platform that can handle the model and the large data transfers needed for this approach is a significant challenge. So, Dr. Condon and her team have partnered with CyVerse, a UArizona-led NSF-funded organization dedicated to providing life scientists with computational infrastructure to handle and analyze large datasets.
 
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A new study, co-authored by University of Arizona researchers provides the first quantitative assessment of environmental policies on deforestation, forest fires and drought impacting the diversity of plants and animals in the Amazon.
 
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Dr. Walt Piegorsch discusses how he harnesses mathematics and data science to predict health, environmental and social hazards.
 
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The Global Health Equity Scholars (GHES) fellowship program, a year-long research training program funded NIH Fogarty International Center, sends a new cohort of students to conduct research in low-and-middle-income countries around the world every year. This year, six fellows working with faculty mentors at UAZ MEZCOPH will pursue global health research around the world as part of this year’s program.
 
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The Artificial Intelligence Institute for Resilient Agriculture, or AIIRA, is one of 11 new NSF National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes, expanding upon seven institutes funded in 2020. Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the University of Arizona will take part in the $20 million institute that aims to transform agriculture through artificial intelligence, focusing on innovative AI-driven methods for agriculture, promote the study of cyber-agricultural systems, and support education, workforce development and community engagement. CyVerse will provide the institute with expertise in cyberinfrastructure, along with education and engagement opportunities for Native Nations, farmers and community stakeholders to address how technological advances in AI can answer agricultural needs.
 
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The 2021 KEYS research program provided 50 students with a remote summer internship focused on science literacy and data science.
 
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The newest member of CyVerse's Science and Training team Michael Culshaw-Maurer, combines his interests in ecology with teaching data science and computational skills, and will contribute to our efforts toward a future of open science. Culshaw-Maurer's primary focus at CyVerse is to further develop training materials and curricula, including leading the Foundational Open Science Skills and Container Camp programs.
 
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The University of Arizona Health Sciences Career Development Awards (CDA) program recently selected Dr. Amanda Wilson, as one of its four 2021 recipients. Dr. Wilson is interested in the impact of everyday human interactions in built environments on health, especially in terms of microbial exposure and risk assessment and is mentored by BIO5 member, Dr. Paloma Beamer.
 
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In the animal kingdom, killer whales are social stars: They travel in extended, varied family groups, care for grandchildren after menopause, and even imitate human speech. Now, marine biologists are adding one more behavior to the list: forming fast friendships.
 
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Keep Engaging Youth in Science (KEYS), BIO5's flagship research internship program, provides students with the power of discovery.
 
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Single-subject genomic methods hold the key to understanding disease origins, assess patient vulnerability and predict treatment outcomes.
 
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Dr. Yves Lussier discusses the fusion of of technology and bioinformatics in precision medicine.
 
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A new University of Arizona Health Sciences-led study aims to develop a novel dietary assessment mobile app for researchers to use that will help study participants more accurately track their saturated fat and added sugar intake. The app will prompt participants multiple times a day to report their recent intakes from a list of commonly consumed foods and beverages that contribute the greatest amounts of saturated fat or added sugar in the American diet. The resulting data will give researchers a more accurate picture of food consumption, allowing them to make better recommendations to improve health and wellness.
 
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The University of Arizona's COVID-19 vaccination site reached a milestone over the weekend, surpassing 100,000 doses administered. The site has now administered a total of 102,734 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, President Robert C. Robbins announced during the virtual weekly briefing on the university's COVID-19 status. The announcement came on the same day the university is transitioning to Stage 3 of its instructional plan, allowing courses of up to 100 students to meet in person.
 
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Together, the BIO5 Institute and the UArizona Commission on the Status of Women funded two high-impact projects aimed to provide resources and mentorship.
 
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The university plans to move to Stage 3 the week of March 29, which will allow classes of up to 100 students to meet face to face, President Robert C. Robbins said Monday in his weekly virtual update on the university's COVID-19 status. It was announced that beginning Wednesday, March 24, at 8 a.m., any Arizonan age 16 or older will be able to register for a vaccination appointment at state sites, including the UArizona POD. New appointments at the state PODs will be released every Friday for the following week. Dr. Robbins also applauded recent research co-authored by Dr. Michael Worobey, head of the UArizona Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, on the origins of the novel coronavirus, likely circulating undetected for up to two months before the first human cases of COVID-19 were described in Wuhan, China.
 
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Researchers working to show when and how the virus first emerged in China calculate that it probably did not infect the first human being until October 2019 at the very earliest. Their models showed something else: It almost didn't make it as a pandemic virus. Only bad luck and the packed conditions of the seafood market in Wuhan -- the place the pandemic appears to have begun -- gave the virus the edge it needed to explode around the globe. We now know that the COVID-19 virus had to catch a lucky break or two to actually firmly become established, says Dr. Michael Worobey, BIO5 associate director and professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona.
 
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A new study dates emergence of the virus that causes COVID-19 to as early as October 2019. Simulations also suggest that in most cases, zoonotic viruses die out naturally before causing a pandemic.