Brain Food

KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

Tiny nanorobots may be the next big breakthrough in fighting cancer. About the size of a virus, the magnetic, metal machines could be used to detect and treat tumors from inside malfunctioning cells. John Gibbs is a physicist at Northern Arizona University and makes these microscopic nanomachines.

Brain Food: Studying Pluto's Ice

Feb 12, 2015
KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

Pluto has a surface of nitrogen and methane ice. Scientists know this from telescope observations. But, when the New Horizons spacecraft flies by the dwarf planet in July, they hope to know far more about its icy composition. Flagstaff astronomer Stephen Tegler will be analyzing the data.

KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

Every year, generations of classic car enthusiasts flock to sunny Phoenix for the Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auction. It's the essence of automobile artistry, power and engineering. And that's a perfect combination for Jerry McGlothin, a retired engineering professor at Northern Arizona University, and an antique car junkie.

KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

Growing microscopic organisms in a lab to conduct biological warfare might sound like the makings of a science fiction movie. But in the case of the bark beetle, it's real. An entomologist at Northern Arizona University is using a fungus to combat the beetles' deadly attack on forests across the West. As Arizona Public Radio's Bonnie Stevens reports, the fungus is the latest in a string of unconventional methods to stop the bugs' rampage.

If you’re one of those people who puts on weight while another person eating the same meal doesn’t, blame your gut! Greg Caporaso says it’s all about the microbiome — or the microbes living in our bodies — that determines how many calories we extract from food and also, how susceptible we are to disease.

Very few people want to go to the hospital. Even fewer want to be readmitted after an illness or injury. Now there's a new local program designed to keep you from going back.

Thousands of scientists worldwide are studying the environmental impact of climate change. But now, two professors of English are studying its emotional impact. SueEllen Campbell and John Calderazzo are co-directors of a climate change outreach and discussion group at Colorado State University. And, they recently visited Northern Arizona University to share this message about the Earth’s changing climate:

Baliga Diagnostics

E. coli is commonly thought of as a gut bug, but many times it presents itself in the urinary tract. Now, researchers in Flagstaff are studying how the germ gets there.

Bonnie Stevens/KNAU

If you've clicked on the audio link for this story, then the sound you're hearing is the chatter of one of the most endangered mammals in North American, the black footed ferret. It's a sound that hasn't been heard much in Arizona's grasslands since 1931. That's when the animals were thought to have gone extinct after a strain of plague nearly wiped out their main food source, prairie dogs.

Nicole Gilbert/Cronkite News

The Navajo Nation spans three states and 27,000 square miles. Many homes are so remote and spread out that they don’t have addresses. And, that can make healthcare difficult, especially follow-up care after hospitalization. That’s why John Georgas is working on a computer project and mobile app to identify homes without street addresses to make healthcare access a little easier.