April 7, 2014
Volcanic island eats another off Japan
Niijima island, a volcano which broke through the ocean’s surface off of Japan last November, has now merged with a nearby island that formed from a volcano which last erupted 40 years ago. Ken Rubin, UH Mānoa professor and expert in deep submarine volcanism, is watching closely.
April 4, 2014
Plane Search Shows World’s Oceans Are Full of Trash
UH Mānoa’s Nikolai Maximento, who has modeled debris drift from Japan’s Fukushima tsunami event, weighs in the Malaysian plane crash and the challenge in locating even large debris fields in the open ocean.
March 25, 2014
Papaikou Resident Finalist in Innovation Competition
Big Island Now
Graduate student John Burns wants to develop waterproof computer tablets to further the study and conservation of coral reef ecosystems in Hawai’i.
March 17, 2014
The Health and Environmental Dangers of Overpopulation
The Weather Channel
Public health problems, food and water scarcity, climate change: all serious global issues mitigated if there were just fewer of us, says Camilo Mora, Ph.D., assistant professor at UH Mānoa, who published a new review of population studies in the journal Ecology and Society.
February 18, 2014
Earth is prepared enough for next asteroid strike
From late 2015, the ATLAS telescope array in Hawaii will start searching for Chelyabinsk-sized rocks and bigger coming near Earth. The system should be able to find the smaller objects in time to give as much as a two-day warning of a possible collision, says project leader John Tonry at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
Hawaii’s Bumpy Road For Hydrogen Cars Doesn’t Bode Well For The Technology
Honolulu Civil Beat, Huffington Post
Mitch Ewan, hydrogen systems program manager for the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, commented on the challenges related to bringing hydrogen cars to the islands. Fueling stations currently cost about $3 million each, he said, and it’s still expensive just to produce the hydrogen. “Here in Hawaii, we are slowly, slowly trying to progress the development of hydrogen infrastructure to support a potential roll out,” he said.
January 27, 2014
Solar Wind Creates Water in Star Dust, Implications for Life
Interplanetary dust known to possess more carbon-laden organic molecules than any other known class of meteoritic material. Such dust “may well have acted as a continuous rainfall of little reaction vessels containing both the water and organics needed for the eventual origin of life,” says Hope Ishii, new Associate Researcher in the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) at UH Mānoa and co-author of a recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
December 30, 2013
Glow-in-the-dark pigs are part of radiant green menagerie
Los Angeles Times
Scientists from UH Mānoa’s Institute for Biogenesis Research have used a new technique to quadruple the success rate at which plasmids carrying a fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA were transferred into the embryo of the pig. The resulting piglets now glow green under black lights. The green color simply indicates that the fluorescent genetic material injected into the pig embryos has been incorporated into the animal’s natural make-up. “It’s just a marker to show that we can take a gene that was not originally present in the animal and now exists in it,” explains Dr. Stefan Moisyadi, a veteran bioscientist with the IBR.
December 12, 2013
Finding I-400: How It Happened and Why That Matters
U.S. Naval Institute News
The discovery of I-400 was the result of the perseverance of Terry Kerby, Steve Price, and the team at the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL)—along with a small amount of funding from NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, and a convergence of opportunity, writes James Delgado.
December 12, 2013
Western Australia’s shark culls lack bite (and science)
Removing large numbers of sharks in the hope of keeping ocean users safe is nothing new in Australia, writes UH Mānoa shark expert Carl Meyer. But new shark control programs are controversial both because they are a new strategy for the Western Australia region and also because they will target Great White Sharks, currently protected as endangered species due to their naturally rare occurrence and low rate of reproduction which make them vulnerable to population collapse.
December 5, 2013
Scientists warn of permanent heatwave looming over the Pacific
UH Mānoa graduate student Ryan Longman is co-author of a report called “The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability,” and he says the results of the study are “shocking.” He and his fellow researchers are warning that the climate people are used to will be a thing of the past within a generation, but he says if the world takes the right action now, they could at least buy enough time to allow the human race to adapt.
November 22, 2013
High-tech Doppler radar comes to Hawaii
Hawaii News Now
[VIDEO] A high-tech doppler radar — a tool used to see where rain, hail and snow fall — has been brought to the islands. UH Mānoa’s Michael Bell and his meterology students join members of the National Weather Service to give Hawaii News Now a chance to see it in person.
November 20, 2013
Is Your Garden Good for Hawaii?
Helping people discover which plants are better versus not-so-good is one of the goals behind Ulu, a new sustainable garden project at the University of Hawaii’s Lyon Arboretum, located at the back of Mānoa valley amidst a tropical rainforest and screaming cockatiels. Bernice Fielding explains.
November 6, 2013
More Large Asteroid Strikes Are Likely, Scientists Find
New York Times
In new research, a team of scientists is suggesting that the Earth is vulnerable to asteroid strikes as often as every decade or two. With a $5 million grant from NASA, University of Hawai’i astronomers are setting up telescopes to scan the sky for quick-moving spots of light that could be oncoming asteroids.
October 21, 2013
Lava flows found to have formed most of islands’ mass
Honolulu Star-Advertiser (subscription required)
A recent study by researchers at SOEST and the University of Rhode Island (URI) changes the understanding of how the Hawaiian Islands formed, determining that it is the eruptions of lava on the surface called “extrusion” that grow Hawaiian volcanoes, rather than internal emplacement of magma, as was previously thought.
October 16, 2013
Unusual erosion eats away at Wakikiki Beach
Dolan Eversole of the Sea Grant College Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa was quoted in an article focusing on severe coastal erosion occurring in Waikiki and Sunset Beach. More information on this issue and a graph displaying the unusual high tides are available on the Sea Grant website: http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/unusually-high-tides-may-be-contributing-seasonal-coastal-erosion-hawaii
October 10, 2013
Coral significantly impacted one month after molasses spill
Hawaii News Now
[VIDEO] One month after 233,000 gallons of molasses spilled into Honolulu Harbor, researchers have learned a little more about its impact on the coral and underwater ecosystem, but studies are ongoing to determine the full scope of damage. Bob Richmond, a research professor at the UH Mānoa’s Kewalo Marine Lab, says samples indicate the water quality of the harbor has returned to its pre-spill environment, but he cautions that coral health and resurgence are critically dependent on conditions of the ocean floor as well.
October 7, 2013
Hawaii’s top papaya variety takes center stage in GM debate
University of Hawai’i researcher Richard Manshardt explains how the genetically modified Rainbow variety of papaya came to prominence and took over the once struggling Hawaiian industry. Manshardt worked on the development of the variety at a time when Kapoho Solo papaya production in Hawaii teetered on the verge of collapse as a result of the ringspot virus.
September 24, 2013
‘Disaster University’ studies way to minimize death and destruction in Asia-Pacific
Academics from the Asia-Pacific region have developed a project dubbed Disaster University, a global forum to share aspects of disaster preparation and management, from meteorology to urban planning to economics. “Generally speaking, hazards don’t kill people — it’s the building that collapses on them,” says Karl Kim, executive director of the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawai’i. In the first phase of the USAID-funded initiative, faculty from several Indonesian universities took classes at the University of Hawaii in areas like humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery.
September 9, 2013
E-cigarettes raise new questions about smoking
Though e-cigarette makers do not make safety or health claims, many users assume that eliminating the smoke of burning tobacco also eliminates the harm. That may not be true. For now, researchers are trying to get a handle on the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes. “It’s a new product, and there’s still a lot we don’t know,” says Pallav Pokhrel, a public health scientist at the University of Hawai’i Cancer Center.
September 5, 2013
New UH study tracks the migration of female tiger sharks
[VIDEO] Marine biologists have known for years that tiger sharks give birth in Hawaiian waters during late summer and fall months. Groundbreaking research tracking the movement of female tiger sharks from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to Hawaii is providing new information. “What our data suggest is approximately one-third of the mature females from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are participating in this migration each fall,” Dr. Carl Meyer of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology. Meyer says while the population of tiger sharks is unknown, this new information can help better interpret events that we see in Hawaiian waters including the recent shark bites.
Hawaii Space Exploration: UH Students Reach for the Sky
Once UH students fling there Hiaka Satellite into space, this place might never be the same, according to Honolulu Magazine. Its August 2013 update on the Hawai’i Space Flight Laboratory’s efforts to initiate Hawaii’s first space launch includes remarks from HSFL Director Luke Flynn, who says it’s not a complicated rocket. “It’s a simple system. It’s easy in terms of guidance. It keeps costs low to develop these things and to launch them into space. And previous versions of the rocket are very reliable.”
August 11, 2013
Not all genetically modified foods are the same, and a blanket ban on them would be misguided
Honolulu Star-Advertiser (subscription required) and Big Island Video News
In this editorial opinion, Maria Gallo, dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and director of research and the cooperative extension service at UH Mānoa weighs in on GMOs, stating that the technique of genetic modification itself is not harmful, and that the focus should be on the safety of a given genetically modified organism and its use.
July 17, 2013
Aquarium Celebrates 110 Years
Written by Aquarium Director Andrew Rossiter, this Business Roundtable piece highlights the Aquarium’s storied history and firsts. “Furthermore, the University of Hawaii projects that take place at the aquarium are a great example of how exhibits in public aquaria can aid research and provide otherwise inaccessible data, and also familiarize the public with research being done at the university,” Rossiter says.
June / July 2013
Hawaii, we have liftoff
The Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory has already generated a raft of technology that could have a major effect on space research, like software that will make it easier to manage space operations. But it’s the launch capability that puts UH into an elite club. There aren’t many organizations that can put spacecraft into orbit, especially the low-budget, experimental satellites that universities are building. Includes an interview remarks from HSFL director Luke Flynn.
June 24, 2013
Planting for Hawaii’s Future, One Test Tube at a Time
Hawaii Public Radio
Hawai‘i is home to over 12,000 native plant species, with 90% found nowhere else in the world. Hundreds of these plants are endangered and teeter on the brink of extinction. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports on a Lyon Arboretum science lab at the center of a conservation effort that’s working to save some of Hawai’i’s rarest native plants.
June 21, 2013
Canadian quake refines Pacific tsunami riskNature
A study of the magnitude-7.7 earthquake that shook the northern coast of British Columbia, Canada, last October has solved a longstanding argument about the region’s geology. The finding suggests that even Pacific islands as far away as Hawaii might need to worry about tsunamis originating from this part of the Canadian coast. UH Mānoa’s Keith D. Koper is one of the study’s authors.
June 18, 2013
Quark quartet opens fresh vista on matter
Physicists have resurrected a particle that may have existed in the first hot moments after the Big Bang. The new particle has also been vouched for by a second experiment, the Beijing Spectrometer III (BESIII) at the Beijing Electron Positron Collider. “This gives credence to all of the other particles that Belle has seen,” says Fred Harris, a particle physicist at UH Mānoa and a spokesman for BESIII.
June 13, 2013
New Video Map Shows Large-Scale Cosmic Structure out to 300 million Light Years
Researchers with the Cosmic Flows project have been working to map both visible and dark matter densities around our Milky Way galaxy up to a distance of 300 million light-years, and they’ve now released this new video map which shows the motions of structures of the nearby Universe in greater detail than ever before. “The complexity of what we are seeing is almost overwhelming,” says researcher Hélène Courtois, associate professor at the University of Lyon, France, and associate researcher at the Institute for Astronomy, UH Mānoa. Courtois narrates the video.
June 3, 2013
Hawaii gets more muggy as trade winds drop, but scientists don’t know what’s causing change
Washington Post (AP article)
Part of what makes living in Hawaii so pleasant is the gentle breeze. Arriving from the northeast, it’s light enough that it is barely noticeable but strong enough to chase away the humidity. It’s a natural draw to the outdoors. It is not uncommon to show up at a house to find its residents relaxing out in the covered porch or in the car port, not their living room, and enjoying the cooling winds — and a cool drink. Nowadays, experts say, these breezes, called trade winds, are declining, a drop that’s slowly changing life across the islands. “People always try to ask me: ‘Is this caused by global warming?’ But I have no idea,” said UH Mānoa meteorologist Pao-shin Chu, who began to wonder a few years ago about the winds becoming less steady and more intermittent.
Sea Level Could Rise Five Feet in New York City by 2100
Since North American glaciers began retreating 20,000 years ago, the crust from New York City to North Carolina has been sinking, as the larger continent continues to adjust to the unloading. The land will continue to subside by one to 1.5 millimeters (0.04 to 0.06 inch) a year, according to S. Jeffress Williams, a coastal marine geologist with the USGS and UH Mānoa.
May 30, 2013
Possible ‘Comet of the Century’ Blazes Up in New Photos
Comet ISON is streaking toward a dramatic rendezvous with the sun on Nov. 28, when the comet is set to skim just 800,000 miles (1.3 million km) above the solar surface. If the comet doesn’t break apart or fizzle out beforehand, it could put on a spectacular show around this time, scientists say, perhaps blazing as brightly as the full moon. Karen Meech of UH Mānoa’s Institute for Astronomy says, “It is just now getting close enough to the sun where water will erupt from the nucleus, revealing ISON’s inner secrets.”
May 24, 2013
Aloha, Mars! What We’ll Eat, Wear and Play with to Ease Boredom in Space
COSMIC LOG on nbcnews.com
One month into a simulated space mission, a team of “gastronauts” in Hawaii is already figuring out what to have for dinner on Mars. It’s thumbs up for wraps and vegetables, even when the vegetables are dehydrated or freeze-dried. It’s thumbs down for pre-prepared meat dishes and most sugary drinks. But Tang is a hit, just as it was for astronauts 50 years ago. Read more about the food study led by researchers at Cornell University and UH Mānoa.
May 23, 2013
NASA Reveals First Topographical Map of Saturn’s Moon, Titan
Science World Report
Orbiting Saturn is the massive moon, Titan. Now, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has peered through the thick orange clouds surrounding the moon in order to help create the first full topographical map of its surface using radar measurements. Check out the image courtesy of Emily Schaller, Insitute for Astronomy, UH Mānoa.
May 21, 2013
Waikiki shoreline holds up against pounding surf
(VIDEO) It’s being called an epic southern storm and it’s generating some of the best surf seen on Oahu’s south shore in 30 years. UH Mānoa’s Chip Fletcher and the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System — a federally funded network of ocean monitoring locations across the country — is keeping a close watch on the sands of Waikiki Beach, monitoring for erosion.
May 21, 2013
Abundance and distribution of Hawaiian coral species predicted by model
Researchers from the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) developed species distribution models of the six dominant Hawaiian coral species around the main Hawaiian Islands including two species currently under consideration as threatened or endangered.
May 5, 2013
Hopeful new signs of duplicate earths
Andrew Howard of UH Mānoa’s Institute for Astronomy has a new paper in the journal Science that highlights an entirely new class of planets, midway in size between Earth and Neptune, that nobody had predicted — and which turn out to be incredibly common in the Milky Way. “For me,” says Howard, “it’s kind of amazing that we keep expecting to find planetary systems like our own, and they keep turning out to be different.”
VIDEO: “How to Hunt for New Earths” – TIME video features IfA astronomer Nader Haghighipour and the W. M. Keck Observatory (5:05)
May 3, 2013
VIDEO: UH microbiologists search for clues to coral die-off
UH Mānoa professor Sean Callahan and graduate student Christina Runyon are part of a multi-agency team that is investigating a mysterious die-off of coral along Kauai’s north coast discovered by a resident last summer.
April 29, 2013
ORS Office teams with University of Hawaii on small sat launch
Officials with UH Mānoa’s Hawai’i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) hope a new launcher, set to debut in October 2013, will help jump-start a Hawaiian space industry while providing a low-cost launch option for small satellites, including cubesats, which are becoming increasingly popular with universities and government agencies.
April 26, 2013
A space aloha: Hawaii gears up for first satellite launch
For the state of Hawai’i's first space launch, UH Mānoa’s Hawai’i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) is the contractor for the launch facility, the satellite booster’s three stages, and the spacecraft itself.
April 24, 2013
Where do Hawai’i's great white sharks come from?
UH Mānoa researcher Kevin Wang outlines the results of his recent study, which determined that great white sharks spotted around the Hawaiian islands are likely migrants from populations centered off of California and Mexico. There is no evidence of year-round or breeding populations in Hawaiian waters.
April 24, 2013
Climate study projects less rain in Hawai’i
Summit County Citizens Voice
Almost imperceptibly, rainfall over the Hawaiian islands has been declining since 1978, and this trend is likely to continue with global warming through the end of this century. Researcher Oliver Elison Timm of UH Mānoa and the International Pacific Research Center explains.
April 18, 2013
Correspondent’s Diary: Life on Mars
The principal purpose of the Hawaii Space Exploration and Analog Simulation (HI-SEAS) mission is to learn how best to feed six astronauts in order to keep their spirits and productivity for 120 days. It is financed by NASA and led by Jean Hunter of Cornell University and Kim Binsted of UH Mānoa. Read along with Economist correspondent Kate Greene, one of the researchers inside the model habitat.
April 17, 2013
University of Hawaii cancer warriors
“Four ways the new UH Cancer Center is going to make a difference”
More than 100 ongoing research projects are moving in to the new UH Cancer Center, which opened its doors in February 2013. This article highlights four of the most promising projects — including research focused on tracing cancer to metabolism; the genetic links to mesothelioma; breast cancer’s ethnic link; and smoking intervention.
April 2, 2013
Detectors zero in on Earth’s heat
Nature – News
UH Mānoa neutrino physicist John Learned describes Hanohano, the proposed Hawaii Anti-Neutrino Observatory, which aims to detect mantle geoneutrinos from the ocean floor, where the crust is thinner than on land.