Science and Technology

KNAU and Arizona News
9:37 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Inventory of Native Pollinators Aids Climate Change Research

A pan trap at the mixed conifer site below the San Francisco Peaks.
Credit Melissa Sevigny

Honeybees have been in the news lately because they’re disappearing. They’re crucial to food production, but they’re not native to North America. Now some scientists are turning their attention to the importance and health of native pollinators. Researchers are using the elevation of the San Francisco Peaks to study how local insects might respond to a warming global climate.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:46 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Brain Food: NAU Bark Beetle Researcher Fights Back With Fungus

NAU entomologist Rich Hofstetter tests his "fungal spray" on bark beetles
Credit 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.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Brain Food: The Human Microbiome

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.

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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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