Brain Food: Insights and Discoveries from Northern Arizona

Thursdays at 6:41 and 8:41 a.m., and 5:30 p.m.

Hungry for more stories on science, culture and technology?

Check out Brain Food: Insights and Discoveries from Northern Arizona. From ground breaking scientific research to global music projects, Brain Food profiles some of the unique projects happening in the region and the interesting people behind them.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

More than 170 different kinds of bees are pollinating plants in Arizona’s high elevation forests. Flagstaff ecologist Lindsie McCabe wants to know what will happen to them as global temperatures warm. She’s conducting experiments with bees on the San Francisco Peaks, simulating the impact of climate change on native pollinators.


Northern Arizona University

Scientists are concerned that soil in the Southwest is drying out and blowing away from climate change. Flagstaff-based ecologist Matt Bowker believes the key to protecting it lies in the biocrust, or top layer. He calls it "Earth's living skin", and he's growing it in a lab at Northern Arizona University.


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. 


Getty Images

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!" 

Pages