Brain Food

NAU

The American Southwest is one of the fastest changing climates in North America. And some scientists fear many plants, and the organisms that depend on them, may not be able to adapt to the changes in time to survive. That’s why Northern Arizona University ecological geneticist Tom Whitham is cloning key species and planting them in different environments.


NASA

Information about Pluto continues to beam back to Earth from the New Horizons space probe. And scientists are finding the data perplexing, enchanting...and surprising!


KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

Tree climbing scientists are going to great heights to find pine genes with the perfect fit for the future.

Hillary Cooper is a biologist at Northern Arizona University. Perched high-up in a Southwestern White Pine on Mount Elden, she gathers cones for an experiment to see if they'll grow in warmer, drier conditions. "It wasn't too windy today," Cooper says, "but we had to climb pretty high on about a 4" trunk and then really stretch out to get those cones at the tippy top."

bespoketc.com

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a huge floating island of plastic. Twice the size of Texas, it's riding the ocean currents between California and Japan, threatening sea life along the way. Flagstaff-based marine scientist Maria Campbell studies ocean micro plastics with the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science. She says the plastics absorb harmful chemicals in the water.

Chris Downum

Archaeology students are using 3D technology to make an historic record of a deteriorating pueblo known as Tsöpki, or Antelope House. Northern Arizona University professor Chris Downum says terrestrial photogrammetry is a new trend in archaeology that stitches together hundreds of high-resolution digital images to create a virtual model.

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