The University of New Mexico's Office of the Vice President for Research and the University Communication and Marketing (UCAM) Department annually compiles a Year-in-Review for its research features during the course of the calendar year. Below is the list of UNM's Year-in-Review research features for 2019. The stories are in random order.

UNM researcher develops technology aimed at preventing injury and deaths in a fire
Firefighters entering a burning building step into a critically risky and potentially lethal environment. Smoke and flames combined with unfamiliar environments, compounded by stress and anxiety complicate accurate decision making. How a firefighter handles this combination of factors is a matter of life or death..

UNM announces Grand Challenges research projects
University of New Mexico President Garnett S. Stokes announced recently three institutional Grand Challenges that will bring researchers and scholars together in multi-disciplinary teams to collaboratively address some of New Mexico’s most pressing challenges. 

NASA selects teams to study untouched moon samples
NASA has selected nine teams, including a team from The University of New Mexico's Institute of Meteoritics, to continue the science legacy of the Apollo missions by studying pieces of the Moon that have been carefully stored and untouched for nearly 50 years. A total of $8 million has been awarded to the teams.

School of Engineering experts helping to improve Balloon Fiesta access
Researchers from The University of New Mexico’s Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering’s transportation program are offering their expertise to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to help ease traffic congestion associated with the city’s world-famous event.

Boron on Mars and the building blocks of life
New research project aims to study interactions of boron and ribose in groundwater on Mars Does life exist beyond Earth? Human beings have pondered this question since we first gazed up at the stars. Today, planetary scientists turn to our solar system and its history for the answer, and due to the recent discovery of boron in Martian clay by the NASA Curiosity rover, Mars may hold the key to understanding the building blocks of life.

Trailblazing findings of daguerreotype properties revealed by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and UNM
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The University of New Mexico recently announced the groundbreaking findings of a two-year study of the plasmonic properties of daguerreotypes. Using atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, together with numerical calculations, the team of scientists was able to determine how the light scattered by the metallic nanoparticles on the surface of a daguerreotype determines the characteristics of its image, such as shade and color.

UNM paves the road into the future for Quantum Information Science
Imagine a future of cyber-transactions with unbreakable encryption. Thermometers that never need calibration. Near-absolute measurements of time. Medications customized at the molecular level. These advances are imaginable because of new support for Quantum Information Science and the universities driving QIS innovation forward.

Engineering student uses technology to examine aging infrastructure
Railroads transport huge amounts of freight and people every day across the continent and being on time is of paramount importance. There are approximately 100,000 railroad bridges in the United States, and more than half are over 100 years old, making each one increasingly risky every time a train rolls over. These factors make bridge management and maintenance a top priority for the safety of freight rail, according to Fernando Moreu, assistant professor in the UNM Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. 

UNM study highlights importance of female roles in matrilineal families
What do termites, elephants, whales, hyenas, and some human societies have in common? The core of their societies is female. According to a new study led by Siobhán Mattison, assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology and director of The University of New Mexico’s Human Family and Evolutionary Demography Lab and the study’s lead author, females – not males – may provide the backbone on which complex society is built.

Early detection of brain degeneration on the horizon with innovative sensor
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can be devastating to patients and their families. These diseases are difficult to diagnose before symptoms show, meaning it’s often already too late to reverse the damage to the central nervous system. That knowledge gap is being addressed through cutting-edge research by a team at The University of New Mexico led by Professor Eva Chi of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

New UNM study aims to learn why particular treatments work for alcohol use disorders
There are numerous approaches to treatment for AUD that are effective in reducing alcohol use during treatment, leaving clinicians, researchers and others in the field wondering why treatments are effective and which treatments may be most effective for specific individuals. Now, a new study by researchers at UNM and the Mind Research Network to identify neurocognitive and neurobehavioral mechanisms of behavior change in alcohol treatment has the potential to build a database of knowledge about the processes by which treatments work.

UNM database of deceased people a national first
People die. All the time. From many causes, including old age, disease, accidents, murder. But researchers can learn from these deaths. Heather Edgar, forensic anthropologist at The University of New Mexico Office of Medical Investigator (OMI) and associate professor of anthropology, is converting a dataset of whole body decedent CT scans into a searchable database. The website, titled the New Mexico Decedent Image Database, will be available to researchers.