Bonnie Stevens

Brain Food - Reporter/Host
UCLA Archives

A Flagstaff geneticist has discovered the molecular fingerprint of a deadly strain of anthrax stockpiled during the Cold War in the then-Soviet Union. 

Colorado River Discovery

The first all-electric commercial passenger raft launched this summer on the Colorado River. Instead of running on a gas-powered motor, the Helios uses rechargeable lithium ion batteries. It took 10 years to engineer and is a partnership between the river rafting industry and the National Park Service. 

Technology is making the world a loud place. Researchers say 1 in 5 Americans over the age of 12 now has at least some hearing deficit. Smart Phones, iPods, video games - even chemicals - are making it worse...stressing out the cells in our ears until they give up their biological instinct to protect themselves. That's why audiologist and molecular biologist O'neil Guthrie hopes to engineer biomedical therapies to amplify the cells' protective mechanisms. 

KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

State wildlife biologists are teaching a survival training course for native fish. In a watery lab near Cornville, Matt O'Neill with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, injects predatory game fish with a Botox-like substance to temporarily paralyze their jaw muscles. That gives him time to teach hatchery-bread native fish - like Razorback Suckers and Bonytail Chub - to steer clear. 

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When bears raid campsites, it might be because of a relationship that developed thousands of years ago between humans and carnivores. That's what an archaeologist at Northern Arizona University believes. Chrissina Burke is looking at ancient bison kill sites to prove that wild animals have been conditioned to see humans as food providers. 

Burke says, "The research focuses is really focused on how do humans impact animals on the landscape. So, what I've been looking at in that context is how carnivores came in, saw, and said, 'Oh hey look! A smorgasbord. Free food!"