A YEAR IN RESEARCH

As usual the U was the leader in discoveries and discussions on many research topics in 2016.

We started the year off with Vice President Joe Biden visiting the Huntsman Cancer Institute to discuss ways to share “big data” across disciplines, hospital systems and state borders in his quest to defeat cancer.

Biologists at the U discovered that vultures in some parts of the world are in danger of disappearing, and such a loss would have serious consequences for ecosystems and human populations alike.

A U study found that patterns of neural connections in the brains of so-called “habitual short sleepers” suggest that some of these people may be efficient sleepers, but may also be more tired than they realize.

More than 90 percent of ivory in large seized shipments came from elephants that died less than three years before, according to a study from the U. Combining radiocarbon ivory dating with genetic analysis provides a picture of when and where poachers are killing elephants, useful tools in the ongoing battle against illegal animal product trade.

Religious and spiritual experiences activate the brain reward circuits in much the same way as love, sex, gambling, drugs and music, report researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine.