Brain Food

Literary and cinematic history is full of characters who have some type of disability...from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, to Rain Man, to Marlee Matlin's Oscar-winning performance in  Children of a Lesser God. But there aren't nearly as many of these characters in musical theater. That's according to Jim Leve, a musicology professor at Northern Arizona University. He's researching the repertoire of musical productions that feature characters - and actors - with all kinds of disabilities. 


NASA

Space missions are revealing more and more evidence of watery worlds in surprising places. Nadine Barlow is a physics and astronomy professor at Northern Arizona University. She's part of an international panel that studies areas of the solar system where water - and possibly life - may be present.


KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

It would be ideal if anthropology students had access to the world's oldest artifacts for their studies. But many of those objects are locked away in museums and private collections. That's why Northern Arizona University professor Francis Smiley makes epoxy replicas of knives, blades and spear points, so his students have hands-on training with Stone Age tools.

Dan Ruby, University of Nevada, Reno

Rollie-polies, book lice and bugs called springtails are among the 10 newly discovered insects that live only on the remote Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. Northern Arizona University Ecologist Jut Wynne and his colleagues found eight of these creatures. They're eking out an existence in the limited entrances and skylights of caves.


Courtesy

A fungus that’s been around for more than 400 million years is showing up in the roots of trees and grasses all over the world and helping plants grow. In a global study, Northern Arizona University Ecologist Nancy Johnson contributed samples of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from the Serengeti. She says the findings are surprising.


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