Brain Food

Nature Publishing Group

Military officials regularly run safety tests for on-base Anthrax detectors. Normally, they use "dead" samples of the dangerous bacteria - deactivated by massive doses of radiation, but recently it was discovered there were some live spores within batches of Anthrax shipped by the Pentagon. Flagstaff geneticist Paul Keim suspects the microorganisms might be able to bring themselves back from the dead.

KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

An 8-armed drone that looks like a robotic black spider will soon be hovering over northern Arizona's ponderosa pine forests.

KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

In the world of chamber music, not many pieces have been written for the clarinet-saxophone duo. That's because they haven't been around nearly as long as the violin or piano, the darlings of chamber music. So when clarinetist John Masserini and saxophonist Jonathan Bergeron decided to produce a CD, they put out the call to composers to create new music for the single reed instruments.

KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

KNAU's Slide Fire series continues with a special installment of Brain Food. In early May of 2014, Coconino County emergency responders practiced a community disaster exercise. At the time, none of the participants knew just how soon they'd have to use it in "real time".

Sharon Moses

Beneath piles of bricks that were once chimneys for slave quarters, anthropologist and archaeologist Sharon Moses is unearthing what she believes are spiritual artifacts on South Carolina's Cat Island. Nails, shells, buttons and pottery bundled together, she says, were likely part of Hoodoo magic intended to protect the inhabitants.

KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

More than 100 season firefighters, including 3 Hot Shot crews, 10 tower lookouts and 1 air tanker, are poised and ready for fire season on the Coconino National Forest.


The Southwestern White Pine is under attack from a parasite. Almost all the trees infected by the "Blister Rust" fungus die. That's why forester Kristen Waring is searching for the rare genes in the species that can combat the deadly spores.

KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

Springs might be small in size, but they support an abundance of plants and animals. Now, a new study conducted by the Springs Stewardship Institute in Flagstaff reveals just how significant springs are to ecosystems.

Space age technology is allowing a Flagstaff archaeologist to see ancient Mayan cities that have been hidden in the jungles of Belize for centuries.

Christopher Mann's laboratory at Northern Arizona University is strewn with bullet cartridges. He's an optical research scientist working on an invention to help detectives solve gun-related crimes more quickly, accurately and affordably. In his ballistics forensics lab, Mann is testing his 3-D imager - a camera system that uses light waves to record microscopic details found in shell casings.