Science and Technology

KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Brain Food: Soft Ticks and Relapsing Fever

Soft ticks are carriers of the tick-born relapsing fever. It is treated by antibiotics and is similar to but milder than Lyme disease.
Credit pathmicro.med.sc.edu

Soft ticks are arachnids, like spiders. They live in pine and hardwood forests and thrive on the blood of mice, squirrels, chipmunks and sometimes birds. They don’t usually feed on humans, but, as in the case that closed Camp Colton near Flagstaff recently, it does happen once in awhile. Northern Arizona University Forest Entomology Professor Rich Hofstetter explains.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Brain Food: The Active Seismic Zone of Northern Arizona

Northern Arizona University professor Dave Brumbaugh is the director of the Arizona Earthquake Information Center.
Credit Bonnie Stevens

Earthquakes can’t be predicted, but Professor Dave Brumbaugh says Northern Arizona can expect seismic activity simply because there are a number of faults here. Brumbaugh is the director of the Arizona Earthquake Information Center on the Northern Arizona University Campus. He says the Earth’s crust in the region is expanding.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Brain Food: Understanding the Land’s Role in a Changing Climate

Much of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from human activities — like burning fossil fuel — is taken up as plant food. Northern Arizona University’s Debbie Huntzinger, a researcher of climate change models, says the land’s surface is currently storing more of the greenhouse gas than it’s giving off. 

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Brain Food: Impact Craters and the Search for Water

Nadine Barlow, physics and astronomy at Northern Arizona University.
Credit Bonnie Stevens

Nadine Barlow studies impact craters throughout the solar system. This professor of physics and astronomy at Northern Arizona University calls these craters nature’s drills because they tell us what’s buried beneath the surface.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Brain Food: Harvesting Energy

As part of an NAU research project, a bird wears a transmitter powered by its own movement.
Credit Courtesy photo

When a bird flaps its wings or a seal dives into the ocean, it’s generating energy. Michael Shafer, an assistant professor in mechanical engineering at Northern Arizona University, says it’s possible to harvest the energy that an animal produces and use it to power transmitters that collect information for biologists.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:39 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Brain Food: Space Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly Comes to Flagstaff

Former commander of the Space Shuttle Endeavor Mark Kelly.
Credit Politico

Astronaut Mark Kelly says New York’s Times Square is the brightest place on Earth when looking down from space. After that, the next brightest is the Strip in Las Vegas. What may not be readily seen from space is Flagstaff, the first International Dark Sky City. That’s a designation he and his wife, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, fully support. Kelly recently spoke on the campus of Northern Arizona University.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:32 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Brain Food: The Alter G Treadmill...Like Running In Space

Physical Therapy Professor Dirk de Heer on the Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill
Credit Bonnie Stevens/KNAU

A machine that helped astronauts get used to what it feels like to walk in space is now being used at Northern Arizona University. Physical Therapy Professor Dirk de Heer says the Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill teaches students about biomechanics.

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KNAU and Arizona News
6:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Brain Food: Rethinking Energy Storage and Design with Smart Materials

Credit fraunhofer.de

In the near future, so-called smart materials may eliminate the need for batteries in hybrid cars and in solar panels. Cornell Ciocanel is a mechanical engineer at Northern Arizona University. He’s developing a new smart material that’s strong enough to be used in the body of a car and also stores electricity like a battery.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:32 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Brain Food: Ice Age Art

Ekkehart Malotki with the Ice Age petroglyphs in Utah.
Credit Courtesy of Ekkehart Malotki

A Northern Arizona University professor emeritus says he’s never seen anything like a recent find in the Utah desert. This, despite 25 years spent studying rock art at thousands of sites. Retired ethnolinguist Ekkehart Malotki is researching what could be the oldest known realistic engravings of Columbian mammoths in the Western Hemisphere: petroglyphs from the Ice Age near the San Juan River.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Brain Food: Bagging an Asteroid

NAU astronomy and physics professor David Trilling is helping NASA find an asteroid to bring back home.
Credit Courtesy photo

NASA wants to catch an asteroid, place it into orbit around the Earth, and send astronauts to retrieve pieces of it for scientific study. The agency just needs the right asteroid. NASA has asked Northern Arizona University astronomer David Trilling, one of the world’s foremost asteroid experts, to find it — a task much easier said than done.

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