Higher Education Across the Border.
More than 75 Mexican diplomats based in cities across the U.S. and Mexico recently completed a lengthy online program about American law and policy designed by University of Arizona law professors. This was the latest step in a new program developed by the Mexican Foreign Ministry (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores) and the UA College of Law. The program aims to enhance legal services and strengthen international relations by teaching Mexican diplomats the foundations of American law directly from a U.S. law school. This first class of students includes professionals serving in 24 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, as well as in Mexico City and surrounding cities. The group also includes members of the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C. Each participant receives a certificate issued jointly from the UA and the Mexican Foreign Ministry upon completion.
Building Big and Flying High.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced it is distributing over $5.5 million in infrastructure grants for the Marana Regional Airport. These new grants came from a recent program in which the Federal Aviation Administration awarded over $770 million in airport grants nationally. The Marana Regional Airport will receive a $4.5 million grant to repair aircraft parking and a $1.025 million grant to repair a taxiway. These grants are just the latest in the national Airport Improvement Program, with a total fund of $3.18 billion. Airports receive a certain amount of AIP funding each year based on activity levels and project needs.
Light Echoes and Star Death.
Nearly two centuries ago, astronomers witnessed the explosive death of one of the brightest stars in our galaxy—or so they thought. Eta Carinae is a stellar system that seemingly went through a supernova in the mid-1800s yet is still around to tell the tale. But how? Astronomers at UA’s Steward Observatory are making the most of a fascinating phenomenon to look back in the past and figure out the mystery of the star that won’t die. A “Light Echo” is when light bounces off celestial bodies before reaching Earth, essentially taking longer than it normally would to reach us. This delay allows astronomers to, in a sense, look back into the past to Eta Carinae’s great eruption. First off, Eta Carinae is a binary star, which means it’s actually two stars in close orbit that can look like a single star to the untrained eye. Using data gathered from light echoes, UA astronomers theorize that the supernova witnessed in 1837 wasn’t the death of a single star, or even of a binary star, but an energy transfer between three stars. In this proposed scenario, two large stars orbit closely together while a third star orbits in the distance. When the largest of the two binary stars begins to die, it expands and transfers most of its material onto its slightly smaller sibling, thus resulting in the two extant stars post-supernova that we see today.
In a recent report, Tech Launch Arizona detailed 16 local startup companies it helped launch in the past year. The new companies specialize in fields as diverse as medicine, biology, aerospace and technology. Some of Tucson’s newest science startups are:
• Regulonix, which “develops non-opioid-based small molecule inhibitors for chronic pain reduction.”
• Iluminos Therapeutics, which creates “small molecule approaches for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative and cognitive diseases.”
• FreeFall Aerospace, which “develops new technologies for spacecraft communications and observational capabilities.”
• Discern Science International Inc., which “offers an automated interviewing and deception-detection technology for use in security.”
• And Omniscient, which “develops a novel dual-view imaging technology that captures simultaneous forward and 360-degree backwards views in a single image for applications in medicine and other industries.”