Science and Technology

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The Navajo Generating Station is slated to close in 2019, and officials are considering several potential buyers to prevent the shutdown. In July, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Salt River Project officials met with the U.S.-based company NantWorks. They discussed converting the coal-fired plant into a high-powered solar facility incorporating a new energy storage technique using molten salt. To find out exactly what this technology is, KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius spoke with University of Arizona engineering professor Peiwen Li who specializes in renewables.


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A Flagstaff inventor is rethinking commuter transportation with a new class of vehicle. David Calley has created the Planet Rider, essentially, a hybrid between an electric car and an electric bicycle, powered in part by human energy. 


The symptoms of Valley Fever can present like the flu: headache, chest pain, cough, fever. But scientists are still uncertain why some people become extremely ill – or even die - and others live with it for years symptom-free. Now, a team of Flagstaff biologists is developing a DNA-based test to detect the fungus.


smithsonianmag.com

Researchers are learning more about human voices by studying grasshopper mice. Their call, barely audible to human ears, is produced the same way that humans speak. Northern Arizona University Biologist Bret Pasch says the rodents stand upright, tilt their heads back and flare their mouths, like an opera singer. 


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The array of telescopes on Anderson Mesa south of Flagstaff will soon be able to detect surface features of distant stars in more detail than any other telescope in the world. Astronomer Gerard van Belle is the director the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer.


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