galactic gusts

Artist’s impression of galactic gusts.

The Southern Arizona science and tech community never rests, here’s a recap of some of the most interesting news to come from our region:

Arizona Science Teachers Side with Evolution. The Arizona Science Teachers Association Board of Directors unanimously approved the adoption of an “Evolution Position Statement,” in which they found the theory of evolution to be of sound logic and evidence. Over the past eight months, ASTA’s Policy Committee has worked on writing and reviewing their position statement. The two-page document contains such unambiguous wording as: “There is abundant and consistent evidence from astronomy, physics, biochemistry, geochronology, geology, biology, anthropology, and other sciences that evolution has taken place” and simply, “There is no longer a debate among scientists about whether evolution has and is occurring.” The position statement goes on to declare that no science teachers or policy makers should advocate any religious or “creation” science. However, it also says teachers “should be nonjudgmental about the personal beliefs of students.”

Galactic Gusts. Our galaxy creates new stars at a relatively lethargic rate, about once a year. But some galaxies mass-produce hundreds or thousands of stars every year. This is an unsustainable rate, as the energy to make so many new stars so fast can deplete the mother galaxy. To avoid burning out these galaxies slow star births by ejecting out galactic winds of gas and energy. While astronomers have been aware of these phenomena, they’ve never been able to directly observe them— until now. New observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array show a powerful galactic “wind” of molecules in a galaxy seen over 12 billion light-years away. Justin Spilker, who graduated with a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Arizona last year is the lead author on the paper about the new observation. Researchers believe the winds are either from the effects of the supernova explosions that go along with the constant star formations, or by a release of energy as some of the gas falls down into the black hole at the galaxy’s center.

Roche Ranked as Most Sustainable Healthcare Company. For the 10th consecutive year, Roche has been recognized as the most sustainable company in the Pharmaceuticals index of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. Sustainability is part of the company’s ethos, according to Roche. Upon being listed, the pharmaceutical company released a statement saying, “Roche follows a holistic approach when managing sustainability: In addition to improving access to products, the company’s strategy also focuses on achieving continuous progress in areas such as social responsibility, environmental protection, supply chain sustainability, people attraction and retention.”

4th Annual Neuroscience & Support Skills Symposium Coming Soon. Territory Neurology and Research Institute is hosting a free two-day conference to provide information about neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, migraine, Parkinson’s disease and more. Presentation topics include nutrition, medical marijuana law, skin health and pain management.  Oct. 22 and 23. 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. At the Sheraton Hotel & Suites at 5151 E Grant Road. 

Potable Porters. Pima County’s AZ Pure Water Brew Challenge project won the “Transformational Innovation Award” at the 33rd Annual WateReuse Symposium in Austin, Texas. The WateReuse Association recognizes projects making significant contributions in the field of water reuse. Contributions include advancing the policy, technology, innovation and public acceptance of recycled water. The AZ Pure Water Brew Challenge is something all of Tucson can get behind: using recycled water to brew beer. The project team, including several Southwest Water Campus partners, showcased their technology by treating over 80,000 gallons of recycled community wastewater to use for a brewing competition. This marked the second time the Pima County, AZ Pure Water Brew Challenge project participated in the WateReuse Symposium.

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