Brain Food

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.


Spirits call out on the wind, and chains scrape the streets at night, or so go the ghost stories of Easter Island. Northern Arizona University archaeologist Britton Shepardson shifted his focus from studying the island’s mysterious and massive stone statues, to founding Terevaka Archaeological Outreach. The nonprofit organization involves local high school students in preserving the vanishing Rapa Nui oral history.


NASA

It's only been a few weeks since scientists confirmed there is indeed water on Mars. But they have yet to determine if life exists in the briny water or if that moisture is coming from the atmosphere or from underground.

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