“I struck gold,” Ashwin Naidu thought when Melanie Culver, U.S. Geological Service Conservation Geneticist at the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, handed him a cardboard box of mountain lion poop and asked him to analyze it as part of his Master’s Degree requirements. Some would have been repulsed to open up and sort through 105 sealed baggies of sun-dried poop but not Naidu. On the contrary, he knew the wealth of knowledge that could be gleaned by processing “leave behinds,” or scat, as poop is technically known as in the conservation biology field. For more, click download button above!
It’s 7:00PM. Matt Goode throws equipment into his pick-up truck and heads to a Tucson golf course. No, he isn’t going to play golf, far from it. The University of Arizona scientist will spend the night chasing rattlesnakes to find out what they do after the sun sets. With a headlamp strapped to his forehead, Goode searches grassy fairways and thick prickly-pear cactus patches for tiger rattlesnakes.
A scaly red patch appeared on my right hand, seemingly overnight. Its presence reminded me that I was middle-aged and that I spend too much time in the sun. Freckles dot both my hands, some large, others pin-points. Age-spots, I thought of the lot. But then about three weeks after it appeared, the red patch began to itch, and one Saturday morning I woke to find that the scaly part had grown, spread in all directions. A quick (one click) search on the internet turned up a photo match of my patch: squamous cell carcinoma. I called my dermatologist Monday morning.