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UNM's Museum of Southwestern Biology adds two new cryotanks doubling liquid-nitrogen storage capabilities

UNM's Museum of Southwestern Biology adds two new cryotanks doubling liquid-nitrogen storage capabilities

UNM’s Division of Genomic Resources (DGR) is a world-class repository for cryogenic biological materials. It holds one of the world's largest frozen tissue collections for mammals. The nitrogen repository tanks, which were hoisted into place with a crane, are designed to better protect the world-renowned collection housed as part of the MSB. Cryogenic freezers provide a cryopreservation solution for research and clinical applications enabling storage at -150°C to -190°C temperatures. The liquid nitrogen freezers offer vapor or liquid phase storage and are the most reliable solutions for long-term cryostorage. Specimens archived in nitrogen vapor tanks will remain cold for more than three weeks in the event of a power disruption.

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The environmental cost of cryptocurrency mines

The environmental cost of cryptocurrency mines

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero – the names of digital-based ‘cryptocurrencies’ are being heard more and more frequently. But despite having no physical representation, could these new methods of exchange actually be negatively impacting our planet? It’s a question being asked by researchers at The University of New Mexico, who are investigating the environmental impacts of mining cryptocurrencies. In a new paper titled ‘Cryptodamages: Monetary value estimates of the air pollution and human health impacts of cryptocurrency mining’

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Shared Knowledge Conference highlights student research

Shared Knowledge Conference highlights student research

Each year, Graduate Studies hosts the Shared Knowledge Conference, which showcases the incredible and wide-ranging research of graduate and professional students. This year, around 60 graduate students presented their research in a poster display in Hodgin Hall and explained their projects to attendees. Topics ranged from the highly technical Stimulated emission depletion microscopy with silicon vacancy centers in diamond, to social issues such as The relationship between access to health insurance and obesity, to the study of traditional values in Engaging the 7th generational model in honoring traditional leadership knowledge and many more. Poster abstracts are published in the UNM Digital Repository.

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Let there be light

UNM study gauges effectiveness of light therapy to reshape circadian rhythms

University of New Mexico researchers and their colleagues from the Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA) Center based at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have demonstrated a new technology for gauging the effectiveness of light therapy to synchronize human circadian rhythms as a potential treatment for insomnia, mood disorders and other health problems. LESA researchers are exploring the use of wearable biometric devices to study relationships between lighting and patient circadian rhythms. Together with the other Testbed sensors, these tools could lead to personalized lighting treatment for various disorders without hospitalization.

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Nanoscale manipulation of light leads to exciting new advancement

Nanoscale manipulation of light leads to exciting new advancement

Scientists in the Theoretical Nanophotonics Group at The University of New Mexico’s Department of Physics and Astronomy have made an exciting new advancement to this end, in a pioneering research effort titled “Analysis of the Limits of the Near-Field Produced by Nanoparticle Arrays,” published recently in the journal, ACS Nano, a top journal in the field of nanotechnology. The group, led by Assistant Professor Alejandro Manjavacas, studied how the optical response of periodic arrays of metallic nanostructures can be manipulated to produce strong electric fields in their vicinity.

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Online dating outstrips family, friends as way to meet a partner

Online dating outstrips family, friends as way to meet a partner

Where did you meet your partner/spouse/significant other? Through family? School? A bar or party? Church? If you did, you’re becoming the minority as online dating gains popularity. Nowadays, a long-term relationship is likely to start with a simple swipe to the right. From the end of World War II to 2013, most couples met through friends. But that changed in the 1990s with the popularity of the Internet. According to recent research conducted by Professor Reuben “Jack” Thomas of the sociology department at The University of New Mexico, traditional methods of meeting partners have been replaced by online dating.

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Researchers examine causes, effects, treatments for alcohol use disorder

Researchers examine causes, effects, treatments for alcohol use disorder

New research from Regents’ Professor Katie Witkiewitz at The University of New Mexico Department of Psychology and Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions examines alcohol use disorder, the physical and economic toll it takes, and effective treatments that are now available. Witkiewitz and her colleagues, Barbara McCrady (Distinguished Professor of Psychology) and Eric Claus from the Mind Research Network, are also looking for volunteers to participate in a new study. The UNM-Mind Research Network team is looking for volunteers between the ages of 22 and 55 who want to change their drinking with a non-medication-based treatment. This study is examining how the brain, behavior, and emotions change after alcohol treatment.

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Minimizing wildfire risk through economics

Minimizing wildfire risk through economics

In the Land of Enchantment, our disaster risk assessments mainly focus on forest wildfires—how likely they are to happen, how intense they will be when they do happen, and how susceptible our communities are to these disasters. Bernknopf’s project, “Forest Wildfire Risk and Value of Information Analysis with LANDFIRE and supporting Earth Science,” explores whether satellites and other remotely-sensed scientific data can help reduce wildfire risks to humans and ecosystems, while also assessing the value of this information as it relates to risk management. The goal of the project is to reduce uncertainty when it comes to wildfires—uncertainty regarding the behavior of the fire itself, as well as uncertainty in our human reactions.

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UNM research supports first born home visiting

UNM research supports first born home visiting

First Born matches families with home visitors, who visit the home weekly to help with goals and struggles and helps establish a nurturing, supportive environment for the child in the critical first three years of life. Research into early childhood, in general, shows the importance of physical, mental, and environmental wellness for development. Analysis of the First Born program is critical for not only the success of the program itself, but to better support families in the program. New Mexico needs early childhood intervention, and the analysis by Heinz and her team will ensure First Born remains effective for New Mexico children and their families.

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UNM study confirms cannabis flower is an effective mid-level analgesic medication for pain treatment

UNM study confirms cannabis flower is an effective mid-level analgesic medication for pain treatment

Using the largest database of real-time recordings of the effects of common and commercially available cannabis products in the United States (U.S.), researchers at The University of New Mexico (UNM) found strong evidence that cannabis can significantly alleviate pain, with the average user experiencing a three-point drop in pain suffering on a 0-10 point scale immediately following cannabis consumption. [Jacob] Vigil explains, “Cannabis offers the average patient an effective alternative to using opioids for general use in the treatment of pain with very minimal negative side effects for most people.”

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