Brain Food

NAU/Jackie Thomas

Scientists are trying to project what mule deer on the Kaibab Plateau might need in order to survive a changing climate. The herd lives on a forested "sky island" - an elevated area surrounded by different low-land environments. If the future holds warmer, drier conditions, how would food sources and hiding places change for the deer? That's what Spatial Ecologist Jackie Thomas is trying to find out.

prx.org

LIGO technology is enabling astronomers to listen to the sounds of the universe through gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of time and space. 


Dogs have long been used to sniff out bombs, drugs and bodies. Now, a forest ecologist at Northern Arizona University is enlisting the help of scent-detecting dogs to locate bat colonies. Carol Chambers is testing the idea in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, working with dogs trained to pick up the scent of bat guano. 


Rapid Eye Movement – that thing we do in our deepest sleep – is not fully understood. Scientists think it happens when different parts of the brain are communicating and making sense out of the chaos of the day. 


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. 


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