Annually, the University Communication and Marketing (UCAM) Department compiles a list of its Top-10 research stories during the course of the year. Below is a list of UNM's Top-10 research stories for 2015. The stories are in random order.

UNM celebrates International Year of Light
From the phones, tablets or computers we rely on daily to various medical technologies that improve our health, whether we know it or not, we depend upon technologies made possible by light. That’s why the University of New Mexico and its Center for High Technology Materials hosted of the state’s celebration of the International Year of Light as a chance to highlight current and future advancements in the field.

A passion to defeat the whitefly
University of New Mexico alumna Laura Boykin (Ph.D. 2003) was recently featured in the article, “12 Badass Scientists...Who Also Happen to be Women" released by Ted Fellows, a program that falls under the purview of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) the organization whose motto is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.

UNM alumnus helping develop technology to protect troops
A University of New Mexico alumnus is helping develop state-of-the-art laser technology designed to protect troops overseas. Isaac Neal currently works in the Laser & Electro Optical Systems organization within The Boeing Company as a Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineer for the Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) project in Albuquerque.

An image of the Yellowstone hot springs.

Scientists image deeper melt reservoir at Yellowstone
A new reservoir of hot, partially molten rock located beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano has been imaged for the first time giving scientists a new perspective of the volcanic plumbing system under the supervolcano.

Exercise hormone may factor in breast cancer prevention
University of New Mexico researchers are studying a newly discovered hormone that releases from muscle after exercise. Irisin, named for the Greek “messenger” goddess Iris, may prevent breast cancer and boost the effects of chemotherapy drugs used in breast cancer treatment.

Anthropology professor's discovery of a lifetime is documented
For nearly two decades, University of New Mexico Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Lawrence G. Straus, his colleague Manuel R. Gonzalez Morales from the University of Cantabria and their students have spent part of every summer in Spain, in a cave that once held penned goats. They have been searching for a glimpse of the inhabitants who lived in this part of the world between 40 and 3,000 years ago.

UNM, NIH researchers develop vaccine to treat high cholesterol
A team of researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a vaccine to treat high cholesterol. The vaccine, which targets a molecule called PCSK9, a protein involved in cholesterol metabolism, is a cost-effective alternative to current expensive cholesterol drugs and could lead to a widely applicable vaccine-based approach for controlling high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

UNM Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Patricia Crown.

People in Southwest valued caffeine even in 750 A.D.
There were not large numbers of people in the eighth century living in what is now the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico, but the inhabitants who were there really valued cacao and holly beverages which were both high in caffeine.

UNM scientists link rainfall reduction to industrial emissions
Clues left behind in a cave in central America have allowed an international, multidisciplinary team of researchers, including several at the University of New Mexico, to produce a new paleoclimate rainfall record that illustrates the contribution of manmade industrial emissions to less rainfall in the northern tropics.

The secrets of longevity
After numerous studies, it appears that scientists are beginning to unravel some of the secrets of aging. Genes certainly play a role in longevity, but it’s been determined that only 35 percent of those living well into their 90’s and 100’s possess the longevity gene. What of the other 65 percent? Is it luck, healthy lifestyle choices, attitude?